How to file a water damage insurance claim
You never know when water damage might happen. That’s why you purchased homeowners insurance to allow for the unforeseen. When damage occurs, the faster you file a claim, the more quickly you will be able to repair the damage and get your life back to normal. Not so fast! If you file without understanding the process, you run the risk of having to re-file your claim or even have it denied. That’s why Harrell Adjusting wrote this guide to file a water damage insurance claim.
How does the claim process work?
First off, when water damage happens, you need to contact your insurance provider right away. Make sure to gather documentation by taking pictures of the flooded area, along with any structures and belongings that sustained damage. You can pair these with any pictures from before the incident, if you have them, to better show the extent of the damage.
When you file for water damage or any other type of claim, your insurer first will ask questions to ensure the claim is covered under the tenets of your policy. Next, your provider assigns a claims adjuster to come evaluate the damage. This is called “field scoping” and determines the extent of damage, what needs to be repaired and how much that will cost.
You have the right to gather your own estimate, by hiring a contractor on your own to evaluate the damage and estimate the repair costs. This estimate can come in handy if your insurance adjuster comes back with an estimate that is too low to cover the full damages. Once you and your insurance provider agree on a settlement, the money usually is sent in two installments—half up front and half, minus the deductible, upon completion.
Water damage can be complicated.
Water is tricky. It can seep into walls, ceilings, and flooring and do damage that is not physically obvious. Mold can grow, which will need to remediated. Identifying the full extent of water damage can be a challenge even for a trained professional. Therefore, sometimes homeowners experience water damage, then only to find the damage was more extensive and will cost more than their insurance settlement. This is why, even after the damage is repaired, you want to keep all documents and pictures related to the incident. You can reopen the claim but you will need documentation to prove your case. Hiring a public adjuster to reopen your water damage claim in Florida is a great choice. An adjuster has the knowledge and access to experts to help you prove the water damage was more significant.
It is important to know that, depending on the language of your policy, filing a second claim may make you pay a second deductible even if the mold is determined to come from water damage.
How can a public adjuster help?
The adjuster who works for your insurance company is there to represent your provider and its interests. A public adjuster, on the other hand, represents you, the homeowner. Public adjusters have the same knowledge and experience as the adjusters who work for an insurer. A public adjuster is your advocate throughout the claim process, and will fight for you, your rights, and for your insurer to completely handle the claim.
Some reasons to consider hiring a public adjuster include:
A public adjuster will be your advocate and contact point with the insurer, saving you time and hassle.
You know a public adjuster is qualified, because he or she is licensed with the state of Florida.
Public adjusters have the knowledge and training to understand even the most complicated language in an insurance policy.
Typically, claims handled by public adjusters have higher settlements, because the adjuster negotiates on your behalf.
Public Adjusters for Water Damage
Water damage can be quite costly to repair and, at the same time, one of the most difficult types of damage to assess properly for a contractor or insurance company. The average homeowner lacks the knowledge and experience to fully assess the damage and is left to believe the insurance company adjuster’s assessment is valid. To make sure you are getting all the money you deserve, you owe it to yourself to hire the services of a public adjuster.
In Florida, that means hiring Craig Harrell. He possesses years of expertise in the insurance world and uses it to help homeowners just like you. He is based in Central Florida but works throughout the state of Florida. To find out more about his services, schedule an appointment today by calling the Harrell Adjusting at (863) 559-3405 or inquiring online.