Three Things You Should Know About Water Damage and Insurance Claims
Did your home or business suffer major water damage? If so, you are not alone. Water damage is one of the most common reasons why people file property insurance claims. In fact, the Insurance Journal reports that 30 percent of all homeowner claims filed between 2009 and 2015 were due to water damage. About two thirds of these water damage cases involved internal issues such as a burst pipe or a malfunctioning appliance, while the other one third of the claims involved weather-related events. Water damage claims can be especially costly and highly confusing for claimants. The following is a quick list of three things that you need to know about water damage to help ensure that your property insurance claims rights are fully protected.
- Once You Discover Water Damage, You Need to Act Immediately
Water will cause serious long-term damage to the structural integrity of your home or business. Even a minor leak, if left unaddressed, can cause thousands of dollars of damage. Not only will water erode your home, but toxic mold could begin to develop. As soon as you notice water damage, you must jump into action. This is important to protect both your property and your legal rights. Your property insurance policy will likely contain the following two requirements:
- You must notify the insurance company as soon as possible after damage occurs; and
- You must take proactive steps to mitigate the damage.
If you fail to follow either of these requirements, you may put your claims rights in jeopardy. The bottom line is that you need to take action.
- Pay Attention to the Source of the Water
The source of the water matters. This is true for several different reasons. First, you need to know the underlying cause of the damage so that you can fix the problem. Second, the source of the water damage may affect your insurance claims rights. Finally, some sources of water will pollute your home and can create hazardous situations that need to be rectified immediately. For example, if a pipe bursts, toxic materials may be strewn into your home’s air and ventilation systems. This type of issue requires immediate attention.
- Not All Water Damage Is Covered by Insurance
After damage occurs, you need to review the specific terms of your insurance policy. This is an important step in every case, but it is especially critical for water damage cases. Not all water damage claims will be covered by all insurance policies. In fact, most standard homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flood damage from rising water that enters the home from outside. There may also be other restrictions. You need to review your policy and pinpoint the source of the damage so that you can move forward in the claims process.
Do You Need Legal Assistance?
At Geyer Fuxa Tyler, our Fort Lauderdale insurance claims lawyers have extensive experience protecting the rights and interests of Broward County homeowners. If your property has sustained water damage, and your insurance claim was denied, please get in touch with our team today. Our lawyers will review your claim for free and help you assess your options. Let us use our skills and knowledge to get you the settlement offer you deserve.