Water leaks are one of the leading causes of major damage in a home. Even a single leaky pipe can eventually lead to severe complications like mold and decay, not to mention high repairs costs and a potentially lengthy claims process with your homeowners insurance.
When you have water damage in your home, make sure you call an experienced water damage attorney as soon as possible to help you avoid common pitfalls and make a successful water leak insurance claim.
At Insurance Claim HQ, we know how complicated water damage insurance claims can be, and we’re here to help you navigate the often frustrating and confusing insurance claim process. In this article, we will discuss common causes of water damage, what to do when filing a claim, and how an experienced attorney can significantly help your claim’s chances of success.
Common Causes of Water Damage
Water damage can occur in many ways throughout the home. Although some of these causes are preventable, many others are not—and either way, they can cause serious damage and hardship for you and your loved ones.
Common causes of water damage include:
- Sudden or accidental discharge of water (such as a burst pipe or ruptured water heater)
- Storm-related damage, such as wind and hail damage or roof damage causing water to enter your home
- Damage caused by ice, snow, or sleet
- Frozen pipes bursting
- Overflowing or clogged appliances
- Broken appliances
- Leaky roofs, pipes, or plumbing
- Foundation cracks
- Faulty plumbing systems
Water Damage Not Covered by Homeowners Insurance
Although your insurance policy may cover many of the above situations, a few other common causes of water damages are frequently not covered by standard home insurance policies. These include:
The most notable example is flood damage, which is not covered by standard homeowners insurance policies. If you live in an area that is prone to flood damage, you must have a separate flood insurance policy (usually through the federal government) to cover any damage that is caused by a flood. It goes without saying that floods can cause extremely devastating damage to your property, so it is important to get the protection necessary to ensure you and your loved ones are taken care of in case of a natural disaster.
Sewer damage is also often excluded from standard homeowner’s insurance policies. Be sure to check with your insurance agent about adding this on your insurance policy, as sewer backups can cause long-term damage to your possessions and home. Sewer water can also be hazardous to the health of you and your loved ones, so make sure you have the protection you need.
Homeowners insurance policies generally do not cover preventable water damage, or gradual damage. The argument is that in these cases, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to perform routine inspection and maintenance on their property. Unfortunately, many insurance companies will try to fight a legitimate water damage claim by unfairly accusing a homeowner of negligence, even when the cause of the water damage could not have been reasonably predicted or prevented. Making sure you not only perform regular maintenance of leaky pipes, but also keep detailed records, can help protect you against if the insurance company denies your claim.
What to Do When Filing a Water Damage Insurance Claim
After discovering a water leak in your home, it is important to act fast. The following steps can help you protect your property, strengthen your case, and protect you in case your insurance company denies your claim.
Stop the Water Leak
The first thing to do when discovering a water leak is to stop it and control any standing water. However, delay repairing any damaged property right away if possible, as your insurance adjuster will need to see the damage caused by the leak to accurately estimate the amount of recovery you’re entitled to.
Gather Evidence of Any Water Damage
Take as many photographs as possible of the damage from as many angles as you can. The more extensive the documentation, the better your chances are of a successful claim. After your insurance company estimates your damage, be sure to keep detailed records of any mold remediation or house repairs throughout the claims process.
Contact Your Insurance Company as Soon as Possible
As soon as you have the water under control, contact your homeowners insurance provider. The longer you wait to contact your insurance provider, the less likely your case is to succeed. If you delay too long, your insurance company may claim that you were negligent or that you denied them the opportunity to make an independent investigation, which could cause your claim to be reduced or denied.
Get a Second Opinion from an Independent Contractor
Hiring an independent contractor or public adjuster will provide you with a second opinion about the cause of the water damage and the estimated cost of the repairs. This opinion can be vital to the success of your case if your insurance company claims the damage is less serious than you claimed or caused by an event not covered in your policy.
Gather Previous Maintenance Records
To combat any potential negligence claims, maintain detailed records of any maintenance to show your due diligence in preventing leaks. Your insurance company may try to blame you for poor repairs, but having a record of professional work can deflect these false accusations.
How an Experienced Water Leak Insurance Claim Attorney Can Help
When dealing with water leaks in your home, the last thing you should have to worry about is how you’re going to properly file an insurance claim. By hiring an experienced insurance claim lawyer, you remove the burden of responsibility from you and your loved ones. This allows you to focus on recovering from any water damage and getting your life back to normal.
An experienced insurance claim lawyer can help you with your case in several ways you may not already know about. Your attorney can help you to contact trustworthy public adjusters to get an objective estimate of the damage caused by your water leak. They can also negotiate with your insurance company for you if you receive an unfair, lowball settlement offer. An attorney will help you to build your case and strengthen it to ensure you and your loved ones get the maximum amount owed for your damages.
Insurance Claim HQ: Here to Help Water Damage Claimants Fight Back Against the Insurance Company
Our team of water damage insurance claim lawyers have seen the devastation that water leaks can cause for you and your loved ones. We know the tricks insurance adjusters use to keep you from getting the financial compensation you need and deserve, and work hard to fight back against unfair denials and lowball settlement offers.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.