How to Make a Successful Water Leak Insurance Claim

Water damage insurance is insurance protection provided in some homeowners insurance policies against sudden water damage and accidental damage. Water leak/damage insurance does not cover damage resulting from the homeowners’ failure to maintain the home in good repair or negligence.  

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This article will teach you what a water leak insurance claim is, the average insurance payout for water damage, the most common water damage claims, and more.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • You will understand what water leak/water damage insurance
  • Ways to make a successful water leak/damage insurance claim
  • Ways on how to get insurance to pay for water damage 
  • The most common water damage claims and answers to some frequently asked questions on water damage insurance.
water leak insurance claim
Credit: kin.com

What is a water leak Insurance claim?

The majority of home insurance policies have a clause covering losses due to escape of liquid. It typically covers any loss or damage caused due to water leakage from fixtures, plumbing, or appliances. An important distinction is that this clause only covers losses when liquid escape is sudden or accidental. 

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If the water damage has happened due to regular wear and tear or the person is aware of the gradual water damage, the insurance company won’t cover the losses. For example, mildew, corrosion, or rust losses are not covered.

If people want to know whether their current policy covers water damage and to what extent, they should go through the policy document carefully/

Some insurance policies cover the cost of detecting the source of water damage in case it’s vague. The cost of replacing or repairing may not be covered in the policy.

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The average insurance payout for water damage

The average insurance claim to replace or repair water leaks/damage to a home is $11,605. About 2 in 60 insured homes claim freezing or water damage each year. 99 percent of United States counties were impacted by a flood event between the year 1996-2019

Water damage insurance claim list you should know. 

Some home insurance policies offer protection against water leakage/damage if the cause is unexpected and accidental. A comprehensive home insurance policy covers the following damage.

  • Water leaks causing damage to the insured property
  • Bursting of pipes
  • Cover against natural calamities like flood
  • Water leak in the roof
  • Bursting of water tanks
  • Accidental leakage from automatic sprinkler installations

People should please refer to the policy wordings of their home insurance policy to understand their exclusions and inclusions against water damage.

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The most common water damage claims

Below is a list of the common water damage usually covered by Home Insurance

  • Accidental and sudden plumbing or appliance issues
  • Leakage of roof
  • Frozen, burst pipes
  • Ice dams

How to get Insurance to pay for water damage 

Below are ways to get your insurance company to pay for water damage.

  • People should review their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. Their agent or insurance can provide a copy if the original is damaged or missing. The declarations page has essential information regarding people’s policy’s water damage coverage, limitations, deductibles, or exclusions. The insurance policy should list any claim filing deadlines.
  • Take video or photos of the damage before any restoration or cleanup begins.
  • Once the inspection is done, people should work with professionals for damage assessment, cleanup, and restoration. A professional company can perform complete water extraction and dry faster, board-up, pack-out services, and thorough mould remediation.
  • Ask for written estimates at each phase of the process. People will need to provide this information to their insurance agency.
  • People should gather the necessary information to file a water damage/leak insurance claim. This information includes, but is not limited to:
  1.       Date of water leak/damage
  2.       Location of damage
  3.       Contact information for the property owner
  4.       Their personal contact information if they are not the property owner
  5.       Estimate of cleanup and remediation
  6.       Receipts for all repairs, cleanup, and other related costs
  7.       Receipts for lodging and meals if they had to leave their home before or during repair and cleanup.
  8.       Complete list of all the damaged items and building materials
  • People will have to keep a log or detailed record of each person they speak with at the insurance company. The log should include the time and date of the call, the representative’s name, and a brief description of their conversation. People should keep copies of every written communication with the company, including a file for digital communication like emails.

Once people have filed their water damage claim, they will commonly be contacted within a few days. A detailed description of the process will be provided, including responsibilities and any documentation their need to complete.

Once done, their claim will be investigated. If approved, they will receive reimbursement for damaged property and payment to the company in charge of restoration and cleanup shortly after.

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How to Make a Successful Water Leak Insurance Claim

  • Get the leak under control

When people claim their home insurance, they should not do restoration work until their Loss Adjuster or the Insurer has assessed the situation.

They should, however, take some limp to prevent further damage, such as shutting off their water supply. They will need approval from their Insurer for anything more than damage mitigation.

  • Prepare evidence

Take lots of videos and photos of the source of the water leak, the damage the leakage caused, and anything else relevant to their claim. They should do this immediately.

  • Notify their insurance company

Contact their insurance company quickly to inform them of the situation. Most insurers have an emergency number that people can call 24/7 should the water leak/damage occur outside regular working hours.

  • Appoint help

At any point during the claim, people are within their rights to appoint a Loss Assessor, who will handle the claim process on their behalf. The sooner they engage a Loss Assessor, the more they can do to help.

  • Meet the Loss Adjuster

Soon after reporting the leak, the insurance company will appoint a Loss Adjuster to initiate the claim investigation. A fact-finding meeting between people and the Loss Adjuster will occur at their homes. If people appoint a Loss Assessor, they will attend this and any follow-up meetings on their behalf.

  • Loss adjusters report

After the meeting, the Loss Adjuster will prepare a Report, including a detailed assessment of the investigation and a recommendation on whether the Insurer should payout or not.

If people are unsatisfied with the Loss Adjuster’s report, they have the right to challenge it. Working with a Loss Assessor through this process will ensure they receive everything they are entitled to under the terms of their policy.

  • Carry out repairs

Most insurers prefer to appoint surveyors and builders to repair their property. However, people are entitled to appoint independent contractors to repair their homes.

If the damage is big enough to require a surveyor, it is important to ensure they use a Chartered Surveyor to assess the water leak and write a specification of works for repairs or replacement.

Surveyors who are not Chartered may not have the requisite expertise or experience for the job. Similarly, people are entitled to employ their surveyor if they are not contented with the assessment made by the Insurer’s surveyor, and they would like a 2nd opinion.

  • Contents claim

People or their Loss Assessors will prepare a claim for any damaged content because of the water leak. Regardless of whether the content damages are substantial or minimal, their claim must be detailed, including accurate replacement values for all damaged items.

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Conclusion

To mitigate water leaks/damage, older homes should be inspected by a licensed plumber every 5 years, use steel-braided supply lines on washing machines, replace older water heaters, and turn off the supply lines when the machine is not used.

Don’t run the washing machine or dishwasher when someone’s not at home.

FAQS

What qualifies as water damage?

  • A list of some of the problem that qualifies as water damage
  • Rain that gets through roof and damages ceiling and walls
  • A hailstorm that breaks windows and gets floors wet
  • A burst pipe that saturates the ceiling
  • An overflowing toilet that soaks bathroom floors

What is considered sudden and accidental water damage?

Sudden and accidental water leak/damage covers discharge or overflow of steam or water from within heating, plumbing, air conditioning system, or household appliance.

Does insurance cover water damage to walls?

it covers the cost to repair/replace damage done by a water leak people can’t see within the walls, ceilings, cabinets, floors, beneath the floors, or behind or under a home appliance

Is a water leak covered by insurance?

Homeowners’ insurance policy should cover any unexpected or sudden water damage due to a broken pipe or plumbing malfunction. However, some home insurance policies exclude damage to the home that occurred gradually, such as a slow, constant leak and damage due to regional flooding.

Does insurance cover plumbing issues?

Plumbing requires maintenance to function properly. Home insurance covers damage caused by accidental or sudden events. Therefore, most plumbing problems are not covered by insurance. A person’s policy can cover water damage caused by burst pipes.

What is limited hidden water damage?

Hidden water damage insurance covers water leaks/damage caused by a leak people can’t see within a household appliance or plumbing. The hidden water leak can result from deterioration, hidden wear and tear, corrosion, or rust from people’s home’s internal systems.

Can you claim the leaking shower on insurance?

If a sudden burst causes a leaking shower in pipes or another disaster with a quick onset, people can claim it on their home insurance. If, however, the leaky shower is a result of a gradual issue in their plumbing, they will probably pay for the repairs out of their pocket.

You can learn more from the video below:

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