If your home suffers water damage, such as a burst pipe or serious rain leak that causes major structural damage, you will likely look to make a homeowner’s insurance claim to help you pay for the repairs that are necessary (which could be extensive). However, it’s not uncommon for homeowner’s insurance companies to try to protect their bottom line in this situation by looking for any possible way to deny your claim. This can lead to a number of headaches and quarrels as you try to get your claim paid for. On this blog, we take a look at five things you can do to ensure your claim is stress-free.
Choose Your Wording Carefully
This is extremely important: standard homeowner’s insurance does not cover flooding. So if a pipe bursts in your house and causes a ton of damage to your home, even to the point of your floors being submerged under several inches of water, you do not want to describe your issue as “flooding” but as “water damage.” This could help you avoid months of quarreling with your insurance company, which could delay your compensation and force you to pay bills you should otherwise be reimbursed for.
Take Pictures… Lots of Them
If you sustain damage, you want to take as many pictures of it as possible. Odds are your homeowner’s insurance company will send an adjustor to help inspect and evaluate the damage. However, if you’re forced to clean or make any changes to the site of the accident (i.e. for safety reasons or to prevent further damage), you will want to thoroughly document the extent of the initial damage for them. This can help you ensure you get fully compensated, not just for the damage the adjustor sees when they finally arrive.
Be Careful What You Clean
Related to the idea of taking pictures, try to make as little of an impact to the scene of the accident as possible. If there’s clear evidence your damage was caused by a storm or accident, try to leave it in place if possible. If you can’t, you may be forced into a situation where it becomes your word against the adjustor’s, at which point it’s not likely that your word will win out.
Document Any Outside Involvement
Say you just had your plumbing redone and a pipe bursts in your downstairs bathroom as a result of a defective part. In this instance, you’ll want to make sure that you have a full record of the company that performed the plumbing service, including a statement, the company name, contact info, their insurance company name, and their policy number. You’ll want to submit this with your homeowner’s insurance claim because logically the company’s insurance will be on the hook, not your own.
Have Temporary Housing Expectations
If your home becomes temporarily unlivable, your homeowner’s insurance likely will provide you with a stipend for meals and temporary housing. This “loss of use” compensation often has a cap at around roughly 20% of your total coverage, but it can vary from policy to policy. Be sure you know what your limit is and when you can expect to reach it. This can help you plan for how long you can be out of your home. Also, keep a record of how much you spend as a result of being forced out of your home—you may be able to use these records to get the maximum amount of compensation for your inconvenience.
If you have suffered flood damage to your home, call The Morgan Law Group P.A. today. We are dedicated to helping citizens of South Florida protect their rights and secure the financial compensation they are entitled to. We specialize in civil litigation suits and are not afraid to stand up to insurance companies who would rather protect their bottom line at your expense.
Suffered flood damage in your home? Call The Morgan Law Group today at (844) 818-0774 and let us review your legal options with you!