Water Damage Insurance Claims

Understanding Water Damage Insurance Claims

Unpredictable events like flooding, coupled with more commonplace issues such as leaky roofs or burst pipes, leaking toilets or air conditioning units can result in unwanted water accumulation on various flooring types, be it wooden, hardwood, or tile.  Unattended water can cause mold growth and lead to structural damage, both of which can be costly to fix properly.

A common belief is that insurance policies will cover repair costs. However, the reality is different. Not all water-related damages are covered by insurance.  Many policies today have limits on coverage.  Some being capped at $10k or even worse it’s excluded.  A public adjuster can review your loss prior to filing the claim to ensure you have coverage for the water loss.  Policies also state the loss must be sudden and accidental.  If the water loss was continued seepage then the loss may not be valid under the policy.

Experiencing water damage to your property can be overwhelming. Yet, navigating the complexities of insurance claims needn’t be a solo endeavor. Engaging a public adjuster on your water claim can be invaluable.  Public adjusters offer guidance through the insurance process, assisting policyholders in understanding repair costs, suggesting preventive actions, and recommending effective water damage mitigation strategies, ensuring that further harm to property is averted.


Recognizing Water Damage

Unchecked water damage can escalate over time, leading to more significant issues. While some water damage may not be immediately obvious, others manifest clearly, especially depending on the materials affected. By being vigilant, homeowners and business owners can avoid large repair bills and prevent extensive damage.  Another issue to consider is how long after the loss did you notice it.  If you’re a snowbird or it’s a second home how long can you be gone before noticing the loss?  These are questions our public adjusters can sort out for you regarding your water loss.

Policyholders with water damage, immediate attention to visible signs is crucial.

  1. Physical Alterations: Look for discoloration or staining on walls. Bubbles in wallpaper or paint.  Water streaks on surfaces often suggest underlying moisture issues.
  2. Delay Can Be Detrimental: While some policyholders might await annual inspections, it’s crucial to act promptly when signs are apparent and make sure the claim is made timely. Even seemingly minor leaks from a dishwasher or malfunctioning washing machine pipes can hint at more extensive hidden damage.  Many policy’s state the water must be found within 14 days.
  3. Changes in Odor: A significant change in the smell of rooms or possessions is another indicator.  Water damage doesn’t always stem from pristine sources.  Especially in areas prone to flooding, the water affecting homes may not be clean, leading to distinct and often unpleasant odors.


It’s especially important to recognize that floodwaters or leaks from compromised pipes can subtly or dramatically impact property and items, introducing odors or even potential health hazards. Proactive measures, like consulting with maintenance teams at the first sign of trouble, can be invaluable reducing the extent of water damage.  If you do find damage, it’s important to properly document damages prior to repair.


The Hidden Perils of Water Damage

While the devastation of fires is evident, water damage operates insidiously, progressively weakening structures and materials over time. One of the most treacherous forms of water damage arises from “surface water intrusion,” which refers to water from the earth’s surface infiltrating a property. This type of water damage can harm various components of a home, including floors, insulation, fabrics, foundational elements, and walls. Here are the primary risks associated with water damage:

  1. Structural Vulnerability: Prolonged exposure to water can compromise the structural integrity of materials like insulation and flooring, making them susceptible to decay and collapse.  Decay is not covered in most insurance policies so it’s important you find the damage timely.
  2. Electrical Hazards: Water-damaged areas may expose or soak electrical wiring, risking corrosion or short circuits which could ignite a fire.
  3. Black Water Threat: Water contamination, termed as ‘black water damage’. Such water, laden with biohazards, can induce severe illnesses.
  4. Rapid Mold Growth: When certain materials are exposed to moisture, they become breeding grounds for mold. Mold can sprout as swiftly as within 24-48 hours in damp conditions, particularly in unnoticed areas like leaky roofs or due to surface water breaches.  Many insurance policies have a $10,000 maximum limit for mold.
  5. Health Risks: Mold doesn’t just compromise structures; it’s a health hazard. Individuals sensitive to mold can experience symptoms like wheezing, nasal congestion, or skin irritation. Prolonged exposure might even exacerbate asthmatic conditions.

It’s imperative to act promptly when water intrusion is detected. Immediate interventions can safeguard properties, valuables, and more importantly, the well-being of inhabitants.


Navigating Water Damage Claims with a Public Adjuster

The initial shock of the unexpected disaster and the ensuing confusion about steps to take next can be overwhelming.  Many policyholders, although insured, aren’t familiar with the intricacies of the claims process. They either lack the knowledge to navigate the complex process or simply can’t afford the time-consuming disruptions involved in assembling the necessary documentation.

Benefits of hiring Prime Adjustments to public adjust your water damage claim:

  1. Claim Expertise: Our public adjusters are well-versed on insurance policies and the claim process, ensuring that all proceeds are accurately claimed.
  2. Time-saving: With our knowledge and experience, our public adjusters streamline the process, handling paperwork and negotiations, freeing up policyholders to focus on other matters.
  3. Favorable Settlements: Public adjusters work for the policyholder, not the insurance company. Our goal is to ensure clients receive a fair settlement amount your entitled to.
  4. Stress Reduction: Knowing a professional is managing the claim can alleviate much of the anxiety and stress associated with water damage incidents.


Delayed Discovery of Water Damage: What Next?

Not noticing water damage immediately can introduce a range of complications. One significant concern is did you find the water loss timely under your policy provisions. The first step upon discovering such damage is to get in touch with Prime Adjustments to evaluate the extent and impact of the damage and your insurance policy. In some claims an engineer is hired to determine the origin of the water loss.

However, a critical distinction to note is that most insurance policies differentiate between ‘wear and tear’ and accidental damage. Routine wear and tear, which results from negligence or a lack of maintenance, typically isn’t covered by standard insurance policies. This underscores the importance of regular home maintenance to ensure that damage isn’t a consequence of neglect.

If you’re unsure about the nature of the water damage or whether it falls under your homeowner’s insurance coverage, it’s best to consult with us. We can assist in assessing the damage and potential losses, providing clarity and direction on the next steps to ensure your property is put back in a pre-loss condition.


Fill out the form below and we will get in touch with you ASAP or if you would rather call us for faster service please call 877-729-6365.

States We Are Licensed In