Damage To Your Utah Home? Should I Call My Insurance?
There are all kinds of disasters that can happen to your home that are covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy. There are also lots of disaster that are NOT covered under that same insurance policy. How do you know if you should file a claim or not? What should you say to your insurance company? Is there anything I can do if my insurance company denies my claim? I’ll try to answer these questions as this is a very important topic for a lot of our customers. It can also have a huge impact on whether or not your claim is ultimately covered by your insurance carrier. Calling your insurance company by yourself, you may unknowingly compromise your claim. Instead, get help from a pro like The Flood Company. We can help diagnose the problem, document the claim, and act as your advocate. Before calling your insurance and answering a lot of questions that you are unsure of, give us a call and let us take a look at the damage.
You come home from work and you find your basement has flooded. Two bedrooms, the family room, the laundry room, just about the whole basement has been flooded, there is squishy carpet, and standing water where there is no carpet. What do you do next? This scenario, in various forms, plays out every day. The most critical point in terms of insurance coverage is the origin, or source, of the water. Your homeowner’s insurance can contain a lot of exclusions, but typically, if the water source is from an indoor plumbing source, is should be covered. Typical covered sources include water heaters that fail, supply lines for faucets or toilets that fail, washing machine hoses that fail, or overflows of sinks, toilets, and washing machines. Some insurance policies cover drain back-ups; others do not. Typical damage that is not covered is water from outside sources, like rain water or ground water. Depending on who your insurance carrier is, some may cover damage from Sprinklers or secondary water systems. Again, others do not. Are you confused yet?!? Beyond locating and identifying the source, most people don’t really understand what their insurance covers. If you call the claims department for your insurance, most will not tell you whether or not the damage will be covered. That is left up to the adjuster, who will be on-site within 1-3 business days. What are you supposed to do in the meantime?
Another hang-up for people trying to get coverage under their homeowners insurance policy, is they don’t know how to classify their damage properly. If you have a drain blockage, the exact location of the blockage, and what is causing the blockage are huge in determining coverage. This can determine whether your insurance company is responsible for the damage, the city is responsible, or if the homeowner is responsible. The opinion of an inexperienced plumber may hold the key to your damage being covered or not.
Finally, just because your insurance company determines there is no coverage for the current loss, that’s not always the end of the road. If you have spoken with a qualified professional (like The Flood Company!), and believe there is potential for a covered loss, the first step would be to request a second adjuster to come and inspect the damage. Adjusters can vary in how they interpret the language of your policy, and some are willing to extend coverage where others are not. If you still are unhappy with the insurance companies decision, the next step is usually small claims court. Again, if you feel your insurance company isn’t living up to the promises it made to you, there are steps you can take.
What kinds of floods and water damage events are covered by insurance? What should I say to my insurance company when I report the damage? What should I do if my claim is denied? These are all very important questions to have answers to. As experts in water damage restoration in Utah, The Flood Company can be a great resource for homeowners who need these questions answered.