You wake up to a strange noise and then bolt out of bed with the realization that it’s the sound of running water. You scramble to find the water shut off under the sink as water floods into your bathroom and runs down the stairs, ruining the hardwood floors below.
No one wants to wake up to such a disaster, but when it comes to water damage claims, about 1 in 50 insured homeowners file one each year. The unfortunate part? The water damage claims adjuster from your insurance company isn’t always on your side.
Here’s what you need to know about water damage insurance claims in CA.
Where’s the Water?
Before you call the insurance company, stop the water! Figure out where the water is coming from and turn it off, if possible.
Most appliances have a water shut-off valve called a “stop.” Look under your sink and you’ll see a valve connected to the hose where the water goes into the faucet. The toilet, dishwasher, and washing machine all have shut-off valves.
Now that the water is off…
Check Your Insurance Policy
It’s a good idea to know what your insurance covers before you need it, but if you’re not sure, check your policy. Most policies cover sudden or accidental water damage. This means it was a surprise and you weren’t able to predict it was going to happen.
A flood from a river rising isn’t covered on your homeowner policy. That requires a separate flood insurance policy in most states.
Have you neglected much-needed pipe repairs? If that results in water damage, your insurance company won’t cover it.
Call Your Insurance Agent
Don’t wait! As soon as you’ve identified the problem and stopped the flow of water, call your insurance agent. Mold develops quickly so time is of the essence.
Your insurance sends a water damage claims adjuster to survey the damage and decide on the settlement amount for repairs. Keep in mind that the adjuster works for the insurance company. You want a fair settlement that covers the costs of the damage but the adjuster will do his best to save the company money.
This is where a public adjuster comes in. Public adjusters work for you. They’re experienced and will see things you might miss when it comes to the repair bill.
A public adjuster knows how to negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to get you the best settlement. You pay the public adjuster a small percentage of the settlement money.
A public adjuster has insurance industry knowledge which helps you avoid a bad faith action on the part of the insurance company. A bad faith action is when someone from the company tells you something isn’t covered even though it is.
Resolve Your Water Damage Claims
Follow the steps above to resolve your water damage claims. If you’re having trouble getting the settlement you think you deserve, consider using a public adjuster.
Are you dealing with a difficult water damage issue? Give us a call and we’ll answer any questions you have about public adjusters.