We at Lake Elsinore Water Damage will help you through the insurance claims process. We bill directly to insurance companies and work with ALL insurance companies. In addition, we can provide reports and take documentation of the damages, as well as meet with the insurance adjuster to explain the damages and restoration process. If you have water damage, the clock is ticking: call us immediately to start cleaning up before mold growth starts and damages get worse.
Here is some vital information that homeowners and renters need to know about filing a water damage claim. Feel free to contact us if you need assistance!
FLOOD DAMAGE VS. WATER DAMAGE INSURANCE
One of the most important things to know about insurance claims for water damage is that there are two separate policies for Flood Damage and Water Damage.
Insurance companies generally consider anything from an outside source (such as rain water or runoff) as “flooding.” Typically, homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flood damage and you will need a separate policy for these damages.
If the source of the water is from within the house, then it will be considered Water Damage (such as from an appliance malfunction or leaky pipe). This type of water damage is covered by your standard homeowner’s insurance policy, though there may be exclusions.
WHEN TO CALL THE INSURANCE COMPANY
If you are going to be filing a claim for the damage, then you need to call your insurance company right away. Do not wait until the cleanup process has begun. We do recommend that you check your insurance policy before calling the insurance company. Your type of water damage may not be covered, or the damages might be so small that it isn’t worth filing a claim. Since water damage claims can cause your premiums to increase, many people choose to pay for small damages themselves. If you aren’t sure whether it is wise to file a claim or not, wait for our technicians to arrive (we come in 30 minutes or less!). They can give you an estimate of how much damages will cost and help you look over your policy so you can decide whether it is wise to file a claim.
YOU CAN USE ANY WATER DAMAGE RESTORATION COMPANY YOU WANT!
When you call your insurance company, they will likely recommend a water damage cleanup and restoration company in Lake Elsinore. You are under no obligation to use the company they recommend. You can use any company you would like.
TAKE AN INVENTORY
Your insurance company will ask for an inventory of damaged items. Make a list of these items and also take photographs. You shouldn’t throw away any items until the insurance agent has been able to look at them. You may also be expected to provide documentation or proof of purchase for the items.
MOLD DAMAGE INSURANCE
Mold is the worst secondary problem which can occur after water damage. In the past, homeowner’s insurance policies routinely covered mold damage, but now they are getting stingier and may not cover mold or may have strict exclusions.
Mold from a sudden incident of water damage, such as a burst pipe, will usually be covered. Mold which occurred from maintenance problems or neglect usually won’t be covered. If you had water damage and didn’t call for professional cleanup, then your insurance company may try to deny a later claim. Also bear in mind that, if you didn’t report an incident of water damage to the insurance company and mold growth occurs later, they may not cover the damages.
For these reasons, it is very important that you take water damage seriously and take steps to prevent mold growth.
SEWAGE BACKUP INSURANCE
Many homeowners don’t realize that they are responsible for maintaining the sewage main which is between their home and the city’s sewer. If the sewer becomes old and corroded, it can collapse or become clogged. Waste won’t be able to exit the home and will instead back up into your home – causing a hygienic nightmare and often extensive damage. Sewer mains can also back up when they get clogged, such as from tree roots.
Typical homeowners insurance will not cover sewage backups because they will say the cause was “neglect” or “lack of maintenance.” However, you may have purchased a special rider for sewage backups. This rider usually costs about $40 to $160 per year extra. Before you call your insurance company for sewage damage, check your policy so see if you are covered.