Water damage is the most common type of homeowners and renters insurance claim, but policies are often written in a way which is confusing to understand. Rossmoor Restoration is here for you to help you with filing an insurance claim for water damage.
Here are some of the ways we help our customers with water damage insurance claims:
• We work with ALL insurance companies
• Professional assistance in understanding your policy, including what is and isn’t covered
• Documentation of damage and damage reports
• Meeting with the insurance adjuster
• DIRECT BILLING TO THE INSURANCE COMPANY
If you have a water damage emergency, contact us 24/7 at (562) 273-9449 to get the assistance you need. Or read on to learn more about water damage insurance claims.
Types of Water Damage Covered by Homeowners Insurance
There are three main types of homeowners insurance policies: H01, H02, H03. Each of these come with various levels of coverage and deductibles. H01 policies are the most basic. While they have the lowest premiums, they may not cover all types of water damage and will have higher deductibles and lower total coverage. H03 has the highest premiums but offers the most amount of coverage. You should look over your policy to see specifically what your deductible is and what is covered.
All types of homeowners insurance will generally cover water damage from an interior source, so long as the damage is unexpected. Here are some examples of types of water damage covered by most insurance policies:
• Damage from burst pipes
• Damage from leaking pipes
• Damage from appliance malfunctions
• Damage from fire sprinklers
• Damage from a leaking roof
Some policies will not cover water damage which is caused by backups from the sewer main. Considering that this is one of the worst types of water damage, it may be worth it to purchase an additional rider to cover these types of damages. Or, you should make a point of having your sewer main inspected regularly to spot any problems (such as clogs or cracks in the main) before they lead to major disasters.
What Water Damage Isn’t Covered by Homeowners Insurance?
Homeowners insurance policies will not cover water damage when the water was from weather-related circumstances or from exterior sources. For example, it will not cover the damages caused by rising sea levels or a tropical storm. These types of water damages are only covered by flood insurance. Many people in California are required to purchase flood insurance if they live in a flood zone.
Homeowners insurance will also not cover the costs of wear and tear repairs. For example, if you have leaking pipes, the water damage from the pipe should be covered but the actual repairs to the pipe will not be covered. However, your insurance should pay for any damages which are caused by the repairs, such as the costs associated with cutting open a wall in order to access a faulty pipe and the costs of repairing the wall afterwards.
Here are some examples of what is probably NOT covered by your homeowners insurance policy:
• Damage from leaking pools or hot tubs
• Damage from sewer or drain backups
• Damage from faulty gutters
• Damage from rising sea levels
• Damage from ground water seeping through the foundation
What about Mold Coverage?
It used to be common for homeowners insurance to cover the costs of mold abatement. However, many insurance providers have stopped offering this coverage as part of their standard plans. This does not necessarily mean that you will be denied coverage for mold though. It depends on the source of the moisture.
Mold growth from high moisture levels in your home is not likely to be covered. However, if water damage occurs and causes mold to grow, that mold growth would be considered part of the damages from the incident and should be covered. Again, this comes down to whether the initial incident is covered by your plan. So, mold growth from a sudden burst pipe should be covered whereas mold growth from a leaking swimming pool wouldn’t likely be covered.
Note that there can be many other rules written into your policy about whether mold growth is covered. You might be required to prove the cause of the mold growth, which could be impossible if you didn’t contact the insurance company to inform them about the initial water damage incident.
Business Insurance and Water Damage
Business insurance policies are typically written in a nearly identical manner as homeowners insurance policies. They will cover water damage which is from sudden, unforeseeable events such as plumbing failures and appliance malfunctions but will NOT cover water damage from exterior sources such as foundation leaks or storms. Do not assume that you are covered for certain types of water damage simply because your building has insurance. Read over your policy so you understand the coverage and can purchase additional riders if necessary.
Top Mistakes Made When Filing Water Damage Insurance Claims
Insurance policies are very difficult to understand and, in the chaos of a water damage emergency, it is easy to make mistakes regarding the insurance claim. When you call Rossmoor Restoration for assistance, we will help you through the process so no errors are made which affect your coverage. Here are just some of the most common mistakes which occur with water damage claims:
Not contacting the insurance company right away:
If you do not inform the insurance company of the damages immediately (even if you initially think you do not want to file a claim), then you may lose the right for coverage. Because it is so important for water damage cleanup to begin ASAP, many insurance companies have “quick response” teams who come out and inspect the damage right away so they can authorize certain repairs.
Throwing away damaged items:
If you throw away items before the insurance adjuster has inspected them, you may not receive coverage for them. This includes items like electronics and furniture as well as parts of the building like carpeting, drywall, and insulation. Yes, this rule does create a problem for you because you will need to find a place to keep all of those wet items until they can be inspected. Keep them in your parking lot or driveway if you must!
Not documenting damages:
While waiting for the water damage cleanup professionals to arrive, get out your camera and start taking photos of all damaged items and areas. Be sure to capture everything in detail, such as the levels of the water on the floor, wet spots on walls, and so forth. You will also want to write down details such as the height of the water. At Rossmoor Restoration, we back up this documentation with moisture reports and other professional documentation.
Accepting the adjuster’s initial estimate:
Insurance adjusters are notorious for lowballing the amount of the damages. If the amount quoted seems too low, you can appeal it! You will need to hire your own adjuster and then a third party will decide on which amount is right.
Not keeping all receipts:
If you must evacuate your home during the cleanup and restoration process, your accommodation should be covered. You will need to keep these receipts, as well as other receipts related to the damages.
Have a water damage emergency in Rossmoor, CA? We are here for you 24/7. Call us at (562) 273-9449 for assistance from certified water damage experts.