How to Avoid Denied Water Damage Claims

March 14, 2024 Uncategorized

Article by David Selter

Your homeowner’s insurance policy is a contract, and one of the things that we all agree to by signing that contract is to “protect the property from further damage” after a loss has occurred. When a water damage loss has occurred, you have agreed in the policy do take the immediate necessary steps to limit further damage, and with water damage remediation, time is of the essence. It is important to get a professional emergency water damage company to begin the dry out as soon as possible. Why?

Because water that seems confined to one area is actually migrating under walls and cabinets, and wicking up into the drywall, framing and insulation. So the longer you wait, the further the moisture spreads, and additional damage is caused that could have been avoided. The evaporation of this moisture also causes the humidity to rise beyond what an air conditioning system can handle and requires commercial strength dehumidifiers to control. When the humidity rises above 60%, the evaporation rate continues to slow down, and the excess moisture in the air can begin condensing on other items and surfaces in the home. So a water loss that seems confined to the flooring can be causing secondary damage to other areas like the ceiling, AND to your contents. Insurance companies don’t want to pay for additional damage that could have been prevented, and if you didn’t take steps to prevent that damage, they can deny your claim because you didn’t fulfill you obligations under your insurance contract. A water damage cleanup company can also talk to your insurance company to answer their technical questions, and meet with the adjuster at your home to walk them through your water loss, and explain to them what was done and why. Taking immediate action is very important to avoid having your claim denied.

Some of the other important things to remember to avoid having a claim denied include:

Changing your insurance coverage if your house is vacant or you are renting it out. Vacant and rented houses are at a higher risk for losses and generally require higher premiums. If your house is vacant or rented out, you haven’t notified your insurance company, and subsequently you suffer a water loss, your claim will likely be denied.

Read your insurance policy. It’s not very long. Make sure you didn’t agree to a cap or limit on water losses, and if you did, call your agent and get rid of it. The cap may save you a little on your premium payments, but you will be shocked if you suffer a water loss of $50,000 and your coverage is capped at $5,000. When you include the cost of the dry out and the reconstruction of your home, a $50,000 water loss is more the norm than the exception. Mike sure you have full coverage! Don’t be like the people we’ve seen who, on top of suffering water damage to their home, then suffer a large financial loss because of insufficient insurance coverage.