Filing an insurance claim after your home experiences water damage can be confusing and frustrating. But, if you know what initial steps to take, the process can run much more smoothly.
First, you need to read your policy and then re-read it. Insurance policies aren’t always written in the most reader-friendly language and you may have to read a few times to understand what types of damages are covered. You may also want to see what the long-term effects are for filing a claim. Will your premium increase? Most likely it will, but by how much? Make sure you won’t end up losing money in the long-run if you file a claim.
Once you understand your policy, contact the insurance company immediately. The longer you wait, the more trouble you may have filing the claim. Many companies require you to file within a certain time period and you don’t want to miss the deadline. Whenever you speak to someone, make sure you get his or her name and, if possible, a number for the conversation log, in case you need to reference the conversation at a later date.
Before you clean up, take pictures of the damage. Don’t throw anything out until the insurance adjuster has investigated. If possible, be at the house when the adjuster comes so you can ask questions you may have.
Throughout the process, make sure you follow up with your insurance and keep any paperwork you’re given. Claims can take longer if you wait for them to respond. If they say two days, call the second day to ensure things are taken care of.
Even if it takes awhile to get the final check from your insurance company, don’t wait to have repairs done. The longer you wait, the more damage there could be. Water damage restoration is a necessity and should be taken care of as soon as possible.