Will Insurance Cover Signs of Hidden Water Damage?

Posted on May 2, 2024


Frances Badayos | author

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ICHQ | Site Author

In the wake of hurricanes or severe storms, water damage becomes a serious risk to a home that needs addressing before it leads to further catastrophe. Some damage is simple enough to notice and document, but unfortunately, there are types of hidden water damage that might escape your notice for months.

At Insurance Claim HQ, we understand the threats posed by hidden or subtle water damage. We also understand that the insurance company might make it difficult for you to get suitable compensation for such damage, so our water damage lawyers serving New Orleans can support you in getting the most from your coverage so you can secure the settlement you truly deserve.

Where Should Homeowners Look for Hidden Water Damage?

Many homeowners are quick to notice water damage in easily observable places, such as the interior ceiling, but protecting your property and getting full compensation from your home insurance policy requires a more thorough investigation. In particular, there are several places that homeowners should regularly check for water damage, especially after a bout of nasty weather:

  • Under exterior siding
  • In and around the chimney
  • Inside wall framing or behind drywall
  • Under and around appliances
  • Around indoor plumbing fixtures

These places are prone to hidden water damage either due to their exposure to weather effects or simply because homeowners do not typically observe them.

What Does Water Damage Smell Like?

Water damage is visibly apparent when there is mold growth or peeling paint around the affected area. When water damage is invisible or in an out-of-way location, you need to know how to check for water damage in other ways to make sure your home is safe. The presence of water damage often produces a musty or moldy smell. If you detect such a smell, it is important to take it seriously rather than trying to cover it up.

It is also important to be mindful of any stains, discoloration, or warps in the ceiling or walls. Another subtle sign of hidden water damage is a sudden jump in your utility bills, which might indicate a harmful leak somewhere on the property.

Are There Other Ways to Detect Hidden Water Damage?

Some signs of water damage will remain invisible and undetectable even by smell, possibly for years. These untreated damages can ultimately lead to very costly situations for your home. If you suspect there might be water damage that you cannot find yourself, it may be worthwhile to turn to a professional solution.

Thermal imaging experts use infrared technology to detect water damage that is otherwise invisible to the naked eye.

This technology is a non-invasive method of scanning an area for disparities in temperature. Areas that remain moist for long periods due to water damage are likely to read at a lower temperature.

Combined with other technology, such as moisture meters and thermographers, thermal imaging can help you prove the presence of hidden water damage and even gauge the extent of the damage more accurately.

Will Home Insurance Cover These Signs of Hidden Water Damage?

Most homeowner’s insurance policies cover water damage when the cause is “sudden and accidental” rather than being the result of poor maintenance or neglect.

Depending on the terms of your policy, this applies to subtle water damage as well, even if you do not notice it right away. However, this requires providing evidence of the damage and proof that the cause was a sudden and uncontrollable accident.

If you do notice signs of water damage and have strong proof in the form of photographs or thermal imaging, it is best to not hesitate to file a claim. Taking timely action will help ensure that you get a settlement equivalent to what it would cost to repair the water damage. Even hidden water damage has the potential to cause devastating damage to your home and property, so your settlement should reflect that.

How Can a Water Damage Lawyer Help?

When you file a homeowner’s insurance claim, especially for damage that is subtle or that went unnoticed for a long time, the insurance company might try to twist the situation in its favor. Insurers are in the business of making and preserving money, so if the terms of your policy are ambiguous when it comes to hidden water damage, it may be difficult to secure the settlement you deserve.

Working with a Louisiana water damage lawyer at Insurance Claim HQ helps level the playing field and gives you the chance to restore your home while we carry the legal burdens.

We can help support your claim by:

  • Investigating the cause of your water damage
  • Collecting evidence to establish that your policy applies to the damage
  • Submitting your homeowner’s insurance claim and other relevant paperwork
  • Negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf

Involving an attorney early in the process and filing a water damage claim quickly can alleviate many of the hurdles you might encounter with a home insurance claim. Putting off the claim can lead to exacerbated damage, giving the insurance company room to attempt to assert that some or all of the damage is due to homeowner inaction.

Contact Insurance Claim HQ for Help With Hidden Water Damage

When you file a homeowner’s insurance claim for hidden water damage, you might understandably feel uncertain whether your insurer will actually cover the costs. Our team at Insurance Claim HQ proudly represents homeowners around New Orleans as they fight for fair insurance settlements. Contact us today online or call 844-964-0778 for a free consultation.