If you came home from work only to find that your home or basement had flooded while you were away, one the first questions that you probably had was how to get insurance to pay for the water damage. Whether or not you can file an insurance claim that will cover the cost of the damage will depend on several factors described below.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage?
Your insurance covers damage to your home and personal property that is "sudden and accidental." This means that damage due to normal wear and tear, long-term neglect, poor maintenance, or other forms of negligence are not covered. It also typically cover damage from wind, rain, hail, snow, or ice storms, but it does not cover damage from regional flooding. In general, if the water has hit the ground and then comes into your home, it is not covered.
Examples of the Types of Water Damage Covered by Insurance
Examples of the Types of Water Damage Not Covered by Insurance
Fully Document Your Damage
Be sure to take dozens or even hundreds of photos of the damage. Your photos should be extremely thorough and should include multiple photos of all damaged items and any wet drywall, saturated flooring, or wet carpet. These photos are necessary to support your insurance claim. A professional water restoration company will repeat this step when they arrive but it never hurts to have a second set of photos. Your water restoration company will also take moisture readings using high-tech moisture sensors and infrared cameras.
Call a Water Damage Restoration and Repair Professional
If you think your loss should be covered and the insurance company doesn't want to pay, be sure to call professional restoration company for a second opinion. Restoration companies have experience advocating for consumers when an insurance company or adjuster doesn't want to cover the cost of an insurance claim.
Never let your insurance company tell you which contractor you have to use. You have the right to choose your own restoration company. The contractor that your insurance company refers you to may have agreed to discounted rates in exchange for a high volume of job referrals. Which company would you trust to advocate for you and do a better job restoring your home? The company who is getting paid normal industry rates as determined by Xactimate, or the one working for substantially reduced rates so your insurance company can reduce its claim costs?