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What You Need to Know About Water Damage Insurance Claims
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What You Need to Know About Water Damage Insurance Claims
ServiceMaster by LoveJoy has compiled some water damage insurance claim tips to help you understand the claims process better and keep the stress to a minimum.
Water damage incidents at home could prove stressful. The Insurance Information Institute reports that one of the most common causes of home insurance claims is water damage, coming second to wind and hail damage claims. Dealing with the insurance claim process can be overwhelming, but you are not alone.

ServiceMaster by LoveJoy has compiled some water damage insurance claim tips to help you understand the claims process better and keep the stress to a minimum.

What Types of Water Damage is Commonly Covered by Home Insurance?

Standard homeowners insurance covers the following types of water damage:
  • Accidental or sudden water discharge, such as burst pipes
  • Water overflow as a result of faulty appliances
  • Water damage as a result of severe weather, such as roof damage from fallen trees during a storm
However, standard home insurance policies do not usually cover the following:
  •  Flood damage
  • Gradual damage as a result of poor routine maintenance, such as a leaky toilet or pipe
  • Septic back-up, sewer back-up and sump-pump overflow

Take note that basic homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage and other types of water damage, so it is a proactive step to purchase a separate flood insurance policy as well as coverage for broken pipes, failed drainage tiles or sewer backup. You can learn more about flood insurance claims process.

Before Filing an Insurance Claim

Take these steps before you file a claim to make sure that no further damage happens to your property.
  • Ensure the safety of the people inside your home
  • Shut off the main water supply to avoid further damage
  • Remove all surviving valuables from the water-damaged area
  • Prevent water entry by boarding up doors or windows
  • Remove standing water if it is safe to do so
  • Dry the affected area as best as you can
  • Document the damage through photos or videos
Minor damages still require the services of a trusted water damage restoration company to take precautions to ensure that further damage doesn't happen to the affected area. 

Don'ts When Filing a Water Damage Insurance Claim

Throwing damaged items away
  • The insurance company will analyze the evidence of your water damage claim during the inspection process, so do not throw away damaged items unless you have received a written authorization from the insurance company. 
  • Disposing of these items may mean that you will not be compensated for them during your claims process.

Making repairs before you have the approval
  • Beginning repairs without prior approval from your insurance company will put you at risk of not having these repairs covered.

Using the vendors suggested by the insurance company
  • While the insurance company may present a list of the vendors they work with, it's important to perform your own research to find a company that is best equipped for the job, has extensive experience, and is reliable, such as ServiceMaster by LoveJoy.

How to File a Water Damage Insurance Claim

Here are the steps to filing a water damage insurance claim:
  1. Review the declarations page of your homeowners or renters insurance policy to check your coverage, deductibles, limitations, exclusions and filing deadlines.
  2. Document the damage (photos, videos, etc.) before any cleanup or restoration work.
  3. Once the affected area has been inspected, hire a professional restoration company like ServiceMaster by LoveJoy for assessments, estimates and restoration. We will perform complete water extractiondrying and dehumidificationpack-out and content storage, board-up and mold remediation as necessary. 
  4. Request written estimates at each stage of the process to provide to your insurance agency.
  5. Gather necessary information needed to file a claim, including, but not limited, to: 
    • Date and location of the damage
    • Contact information of the property owner or your contact information if you do not own the property
    • Cleanup and restoration estimates
    • Receipts for cleanup, repairs, lodging and meals if your home is uninhabitable or if you have to leave before or during cleanup and repair, and other related costs
    • A complete list of all damaged items and building materials
  6.  Keep a detailed record of every contact or communication you've made with the insurance company. Include the date and time of the call, the name of the representative, and a short description of your conversation. Keep copies of written communication with the insurance company, including files for digital communication like emails. 
You will be contacted within a couple of days after you have filed your water damage claim. You will be provided with a detailed description of the process, including your responsibilities and documentation you need to complete. After this is done, your claim will undergo investigation. Upon approval, you will receive reimbursement for the damaged property and a direct payment to the company in charge of the restoration work.

What Will Cause Coverage to be Denied in a Water Damage Insurance Claim?

  • In most cases, your claim may be denied because your policy may not have had the coverage necessary to cover the damage that has happened to your home. You will have to clarify why that certain coverage was not added to your policy.
  • If the coverage you need is not offered by your current company, you may consider switching to another company who provides that coverage for future purposes.
  • You may ask your insurance agent or a licensed professional for a review if you are still confused why your claim was denied or why an item was not covered. It will help you become more informed about how insurance policies work even if you may not receive any compensation.
  • If you performed proactive steps before the water damage event happened, such as practicing regular maintenance, mitigating damages, or preventing the damage from becoming a bigger problem, and the insurance company claims otherwise, ask for a review or a second opinion. Evidence will be required, so prepare your receipts and communications saved to support your claims.
  • Insurance adjusters, agents and contractors each have different roles in the claims process. Clarify things to better understand who issued the decision, why the claim was denied and ask for a formal decision in written form for your records.

Avoiding a Denied Water Damage Claim

Take the following steps to ensure the likelihood of your claim being approved in the future.
  • Ensuring that you understand policy exclusions and that your homeowners insurance policy has the coverage you need
  • Performing regular home maintenance to avoid costly expenses in the future
  • Keeping a record of repairs done in your home in case of another disaster
  • Hiring a professional like ServiceMaster by LoveJoy to prevent further problems

Make an Appointment With a Trusted Professional in Georgia

If your water damage emergency can't wait, ServiceMaster by LoveJoy is on-call 24 hours a day7 days a week365 days a year. We service residential and commercial properties in AtlantaRoswell Sandy Springs, Marietta, DecaturStockbridgeConyersMcDonoughStone MountainCovingtonSocial CircleDekalb County, Fulton County, Georgia and surrounding areas. 
  • Contact us at (678) 293-0297 for customers near Conyers, GA, and (770) 983-6665 for customers near Roswell, GA.  
  • We offer a FREE inspection and estimate.
  • You may connect with us online to schedule an appointment. 
  • Check our offices in these areas:
        Conyers, GA: 700 Blacklawn Road Southwest Conyers, GA 30012
 Covington, GA: 4905 Highway 20, Covington, GA 30016
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Call 678-293-0297 for water damage help, water damage cleanup, water damage restoration and repair, water damage removal, Water Damage in Conyers Georgia.
Business details
  • +1 (678) 293-0297
  • 700 Blacklawn Road Southwest Conyers, GA 30012
Since 1995, ServiceMaster by LoveJoy has been providing businesses and homeowners the highest quality of Water, Fire, Mold Remediation services.