A variety of situations may cause water damage to your home. Plumbing leaks, burst plumbing lines, storms, and sewage backups may cause your home’s structure to become compromised by water. If your house suffers water damage, it is important to take immediate action to protect your right to compensation.
What Should You Do After Your Home Suffers Water Damage?
1. Document Everything
Evidence is essential to pursue compensation from your insurance company. You will need to take pictures and videos of all the damage, no matter how minor. If you fail to get the documentation you need, you may be unable to receive compensation to repair or replace the damaged property.
Some things you may need to document include:
- Cracks in the walls or foundation
- Damaged fences and landscape
- Broken windows
- Damaged furniture and personal property items
- Other structural or property damage
You should take all pictures before touching or moving anything. It is best to photograph the scene as it is, without trying to clean it up. Once you get all the pictures, you should keep any personal property items to show the insurance adjuster, as well as any broken equipment that led to the water damage (in case of a plumbing failure). Furthermore, you should write down everything you know about the incident and how the damage occurred. If someone else’s negligence was involved (such as a neighbor or a plumbing technician), you need to write down their names and contact information so your insurance company can get in touch with them.
2. Inform Your Insurance Company
It is important to call your insurance company as soon as possible. You should have your insurance policy number on hand, and answer any questions completely. However, be careful of using the word “flood,” as most general insurance policies do not cover flood damage. If your home was damaged by a flood, you can file a separate claim under your flood insurance policy. You should also ask the adjuster for a recommended course of action, and keep a detailed record of your conversation. This should include information regarding the date of the call, the name of the person you talked to, and a description of what was said.
3. Prevent More Damage
It is important to take steps to protect your property and prevent more damage from occurring. This counts as emergency repairs, and will not affect your ability to pursue compensation. It is important to note that the insurance company will not provide more compensation for damage that occurs after the initial claim. This means you should do whatever is necessary to prevent further damage.
Depending on the situation, you may need to:
- Put boards over broken doors and windows
- Drain or mop up standing water in your home
- Tack down your roof with tarp
- Put wet items somewhere to dry
- Air out your home
4. Review Your Insurance Policy
In general, it is a good idea to read and review your insurance policy. This can inform you of what coverage you will be entitled to in case of water damage, and how you will be able to receive compensation. The policy information may be complicated, and could involve a lot of fine print. However, by familiarizing yourself with its statements, you can be confident and prepared for your case.
5. File an Insurance Claim
Once you call the insurance company and gather the necessary information, you should file an official claim with your insurance adjuster. In this written notice, you should include the location of the water damage, a list of the damaged items, the date the damage occurred, the receipts from the initial cleanup costs, and estimates for remediation services. The insurance company will send an adjuster to inspect the damage and discuss your options within 15 days of receiving your written notice.
Call Our Miami Insurance Claim Attorneys Today – (844) 818-0774
The Morgan Law Group provides diligent legal assistance to clients in Florida. If your home has suffered water damage, our team of Miami water damage claim lawyers can guide you through the process. We will help you gather evidence, file the necessary paperwork, and seek the financial relief you need for the damages. If your claim is denied or delayed, we have the experience to handle any legal issues that may arise as you seek a favorable outcome.
Contact our office today to receive knowledgeable legal assistance for your case.