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    Tips for Successfully Filing a Water Damage Claim

    Couple Calling for Water Damage Claims
    Insurance industry research estimates that 37 percent of all homeowners suffer some type of water damage. This could be anything from the damage caused by a leaking pipe to a catastrophic flood.

    Many of these same homeowners rely on their insurance provider to cover the costs of this damage. Unfortunately, just because you faithfully pay your insurance premiums doesn't mean your provider will give you a fair settlement.

    The first step to getting the compensation you need to fully repair the damage is to file a successful claim. Here are a few tips to help you expertly and successfully fill out a water damage insurance claim.

    Understand the Claims Process

    Before you file your claim, learn about your insurance provider's unique claims process.  Ask for a certified copy of your insurance policy and determine what is covered. The claims process will vary by provider. However, here are a few basics steps you should expect:
    • File the claim. Most providers will allow you to file a claim on a website, over the phone, in person, or on paper. The claims process is lengthy, and you will need to document all the damage.

    • Meet with the adjuster. Within a certain amount of time, such as one or two weeks, an adjuster will visit your home and survey the damage.

    • Determine the claim amount. The adjuster will take the information gathered at your home, and based upon the extent of the damage and your coverage, your claim will be denied or approved.
    You should provide thorough documentation and proof of water damage to your home and know the claims process to ensure your claim is approved.

    Document the Damage

    Once your home is safe, begin documenting all the water damage. Take several photos and videos of the damage to your structure and belongings. Do not attempt to repair any damage to eliminate standing water before you document the damage.

    If the insurance provider disputes your claim, this documentation of the damage's extent will prove invaluable.

    Gather Specific Information About the Damage
    Write down as much information about the cause of the water damage, and the damage it caused, including:
    • The time the damage began
    • The circumstances surrounding the damage, such as a burst pipe
    • The exact location of the damage
    • A list of all structures and property damaged.
    For the list of damaged structures, you might need some guidance. For example, if the basement suffered water damage, write down the specific area that came into contact with water, how long it was in contact with water, and any contents that were damaged or destroyed.

    Contact a remediation service and get an estimate about how much it will cost to eliminate the water and begin the cleanup process. Give your provider this list, as well as any other expenses you have incurred because of the water damage. For example, if you had to stay in a hotel because of the damage or mold growth, keep records of your expenses.

    Document Interactions With the Insurance Company

    Throughout the claims process, you will speak to several adjusters and insurance agents. Write down the names, dates, and times of each conversation. Be present when the insurance adjuster visits your home, which, depending on the extent of the damage, could be several times. The adjuster will have several questions, including specifics about when and how the damage occurred.

    Keep your list of the specifics concerning the water damage with you when the adjuster visits your property. Providing answers will make it easier for you to dispute any decisions your provider makes that you don't agree with, such as a denial or less compensation than is required to complete the restoration.

    You can do several things to ensure your water damage insurance claim is successful. If you have any more questions, contact Appalachian Restoration & Cleaning.