4 Types of Coverage You Should Know About When Filing a Water Damage Claim
Fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans have flocked to Florida to make a new home. In fact, according to a survey by Move.org, more people moved to Florida than any other state in 2021. If you’re one of these new residents, welcome!
Take a tip from us – make sure your new home has the insurance coverage you need, especially when it comes to water damage. At Harrell Adjusting, we hope that water damage never happens to you, but if it does, there are four types of coverage you need to know about before filing a claim.
Causes of water damage
Insurance companies consider water damage and flood damage separate calamities. Flood damage is covered by special flood insurance offered through the federal government. Homeowners with property in moderate- and high-risk flood zones are required by mortgage lenders to obtain flood insurance. Policies must be in effect for 30 days before a claim can be filed.
Water damage is another type of claim that is usually covered by homeowners’ policies. For these claims, water may originate from any of these sources:
- A malfunctioning appliance, such as a dishwasher or washing machine
- A broken or leaking pipe
- Groundwater seepage
- A leak in a roof, window, door or siding
- A clogged toilet
- Clogged gutters
- A malfunctioning sprinkler system
- A malfunctioning or leaking water heater
Known as “Coverage A” in the insurance world, this covers the costs of repairing your home if it suffers water damage in a claim that is covered by your policy. Water damage usually is considered a covered peril. Water damage is sneaky; it can seep into areas you may not think would be affected. The potentially impacted areas of your home may include:
- Wall treatments
- Electrical outlets or fixtures
- Wood or support structures
Dwelling coverage applies to any and all aspects of your home, including the basement and the roof. Roof leaks would have to come from sudden, accidental damage, such as a weather event. However, a damage claim for a leak due to shingle wear or shingles that already were missing may be denied.
Other structures coverage
This is referred to in the insurance business as “Coverage B” and protects other structures on your property that are not dwellings. Sheds, detached garages and workshops are all examples. As a general rule, Coverage B equates to 10% of dwelling coverage. For example, if your home is insured for $250,000, the default Coverage B amount would be $25,000. You can purchase additional coverage to protect the structures on your property,
Personal property coverage
Your possessions also are at risk from water damage. Furniture electronics, appliances, clothing … these are just some of the examples of personal belongings that can be damaged or outright destroyed. This type of insurance, which also is referred to as “Coverage C”, usually is based on actual cash value. This means belongings are covered for a depreciated value, based on wear, tear and use since the item was purchased. You may want to reach out to your insurance rep, or a public adjuster, to alter this aspect of your coverage to full replacement cost. That bases compensation on the full cost to replace items affected by water damage.
Loss of use coverage
Insurers refer to this as “Coverage D”, and it kicks in when water damage renders your home uninhabitable for a time. This protection covers the cost of temporary lodging, and even the cost of food from restaurants if your water damage renders the kitchen unusable. The default amount of loss-of-use coverage typically is low, but you can increase it by meeting with your insurance agent or a public adjuster.
Harrell Adjusting Is The Florida Public Adjuster for Any Water Damage Insurance Needs
Now that you know about water damage and the associated risks, do you also know the specifics of your insurance policy? Maybe the amounts of coverage for personal property and loss of use need to be changed. If so, you want to make any changes to your policy before you need to file a claim. Water damage could lead to massive damage or extensive repairs that take weeks or even months to complete. You want to make sure you are protected, just in case.
For assistance in understanding your policy or knowing what changes to make to coverage, a public adjuster is a tremendous resource. An adjuster is an independent professional with expertise in the insurance industry, but he uses his expertise to help you, not an insurance provider. For adjuster assistance in Florida, seek the services of Craig Harrell. He is based out of Central Florida but works with customers throughout the entire state. Schedule an appointment today by calling (863) 559-3405 or inquiring online.