Having the basement of your residential or commercial property flood can be a true nightmare. With soggy, molded carpets, damaged files and documents, can be a real headache. With additional electrical damage, you are going to have your hands full filing a flooded basement insurance claim.
The causes of this type of calamity are many. From burst pipes, faulty sump pumps or broken appliances, the list can be long. While many normal causes for basement flooding are covered by most home insurance policies, you need to be prepared. It is always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the flooded basement insurance claim process. Doing so can cut down on the amount of aggravation and expedite your insurance refund. You can help head off problems with your flooded basement insurance claim with the tips below.
Know Your Policy
Know your insurance coverage. No matter what your basement looks like. Be it a swamp or you are just planning for the future, have a clear understanding of your insurance coverage. This also applies to the types of things the policy will reimburse for. Knowing what basement flood insurance covers can only help you. Your insurance will help you protect your family, home and investment.
Many policies also include a caveat about what your responsibilities are if flood damage should occur. These are usually titled “Duties After a Loss.”. Failure to execute even one of these provisions can cost you claim money. Be sure to follow your responsibilities stated in your insurance policy. You want to avoid any delay, or outright denial, for your claim.
Knowledge of how much you have to pay before your insurance takes over is called the deductible. You need to know what your deductible amount is. Knowing your deductible can help you budget your home improvement needs. With your budget in mind, your can move forward with your home improvement repairs. With knowledge comes, the power to make great budget decisions for your home repairs. You need to budget your home repair dollars in a manner for the best repairs needed while you save money from your wallet.
If you find yourself in the middle of a flooding situation, make sure to call your insurance company immediately. Document the entire event. Take photos, videos and record the events in a journal. Firstly, your policy may have limits as to how long you can actually file a claim. Check your policy to be sure. Additionally, if the flooding is as a result of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or an overflowing water body, your insurance company might be able to get you emergency assistance. All in all, making the call as quickly as possible is the safest way to proceed without impediment. When speaking to the insurance claim agent, get their name, record the day, time and what you discussed. Record this into your journal immediately with a pen.
When sending a basement flood insurance claim notice, get a return receipt from the post office. In case it gets lost in the mail, you will have proof it was sent in time. Make copies with dates of all your insurance claim correspondence.
The insurance claims adjuster will document everything upon arrival to your home. Make sure you make thorough inspection yourself. Walk your basement in it’s entirety. Make notes, take photos and record all observations in your journal. If you have pictures from before the flooding, make those available. Anything of value, no matter how insignificant, should be documented. Just to be on the safe side, have photos on hand for proof.
If the damage was done due to a burst pipe, or other plumbing-related issue, you will need to find out how much it will take to fix. Contact a local contractor. Ask for a free estimate. Make sure all associated repairs are included. A description of the issue with a scope of work with fixed cost is a must. Use licensed and insured contractors. Make sure the estimate provides the company name and important contact information.
Make sure you provide a copy of all estimates for the adjuster. The adjuster needs to approve the repair costs. Claims adjusters need to verify work and licensed and insured contractor selection. Repairs started before the approval is given run the risk of being delayed or denied. While the contractor is making the estimate, ask for suggestions for future and suggested repairs. Include these suggestions on your estimate.
What You Can Do
Document everything, simple and temporary fixes made by you. Any work you provided prior to professional service, can be a plus with your claim.
Mold is one of the most common side effects of water damage. Unchecked mold is extremely dangerous and toxic. Mold remediation may be necessary. A thorough cleaning may be necessary prior to repairs. Check with your insurance agent first, so you can head off any costly bills down the line.
Proactive work like this can also help things lean in your direction. This can only help when it comes to the insurance company’s decision on whether to honor your claim. Show the adjuster that you are willing to do what is necessary to prevent further damage. The spirit of cooperation can only help you with an approved insurance claim.
While a flooded basement is never a walk in the park, you can work to be prepared. Steps taken before, during and after the damage occurs can go a long way for an insurance claim approval. Proper documentation, prompt contact and a willingness to do your part can turn a vision of terror into a minor nuisance.
Be sure to keep a record of your flooded basement event. Get a $2.00 journal and make entries of the basement flooding. Take photos and memorialize the dates, times and weather. Provide for eyewitness testimony. Record everything into your journal with dates and times.
Waterproof Your Home for Best Results!
If you have any additional questions on insurance claims or how our residential waterproofing services can help to protect your home, please call or contact Dirt Connections online for more information.