Unfortunately, businesses and homes can become damaged by water at any time. This type of natural disaster can happen quickly and unexpectedly. In addition, water damage that is not easily seen can be very difficult to spot. The insurance industry has listed water damage as one of the most common reasons for property loss.
How Water Damage Occurs?
There are several types of events that can cause a property to become damaged by water. Some of these events are:
• Plumbing issues/bad pipes
• Sewer issues
• Leaky roofs
Fortunately, most of these types of losses are covered by proper insurance coverage. However, for consumers who have never had to deal with this type of loss or have had to file an insurance claim, it can be challenging to understand the language contained in the policy and exactly what the insurance will cover. This is one of the reasons why you should hire a claims advocate who has had years of experience helping clients not only receive a fair compensation, but also the maximum amount of compensation possible.
The claims advocate will give you advice and suggestions on the procedure you should follow to ensure that the impact you have on your settlement will be in your favor.
What To Do After Water Damage Has Occurred?
Once you have realized that your property has been damaged by water, there are several steps that you should take. However, one of the steps that you should immediately begin is emergency mitigation. During emergency mitigation, you will immediately start to remove items from the damaged area and allow the area to dry. A public adjuster can be hired to help you navigate this step. It is important to remember that the way you take care of water damage within 24 hours after it has occurred will be instrumental in the way your claim will be handled and resolved.
For example, it is not uncommon to see adjusters who work for the insurance company to “forget” to remove finishings such as baseboards. This is a tactic that is used quite often to help the insurance company save more money. Unfortunately, for the property owner, failure to remove these finishings will keep air from entering into the wall. As a result, conditions are prime for mold, mildew and bacteria to thrive and grow in the floors and in the walls.
Find Out How Much Water Damage Has Occurred?
After you have taken the initial emergency steps, you will then need to determine how much damage has occurred to your property. You can do this in several ways:
• Infrared equipment
• Moisture detector
Be sure that the insurance adjuster uses one or more of tools to determine the level of moisture and amount of damage. If the adjuster does not, not only will your settlement be affected, but the restoration process will not be as effective.
What Is Black Water Loss?
Black water loss is a term that all property owners should be aware of. This is water loss that is the result of sewer damage of damage from toxic materials. The water then enters into the property. Treating this type of damage is different than typical water loss and should be handled carefully to prevent health, safety and life threatening issues.
Damage May Not Appear Immediately
Although your property may have water damage, it may take several days or even a week for the damage to become visible. This is especially true about items that are made of wood. Fortunately, a public adjuster with experience in water damage can advise you and the company hired for the restoration to address any important issues that can affect your claim.
Property owners should also understand the changes that insurance companies are trying to make in the industry regarding water damage. Since water damage claims are the most common, this type of claim is the largest type of expense to an insurance company. These companies are trying to shift the responsibility to policy owners. One such example is adding a clause in policies stating that water damage reported after a two week period will not be covered by insurance.