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Water Damage Insurance Claim Los Angeles
DOES HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE COVER WATER DAMAGE?
Are you experiencing water damage in your home? You’re not alone. The fact is that water damage insurance claims are the second most common type of homeowner insurance claims (following wind and hail damage).
Many people assume that their insurance policy will cover water damage. Given that all policies differ, your policy may cover the sudden or accidental discharge of water into your home, including water line breaks or weather damage, but it may not cover sewer back-up. Most home insurance policies limit water damage coverage to water that hasn’t entered your home from the ground or sewer. Sudden and accidental bursts of plumbing pipes may be covered under your residential insurance policy, with specific requirements and limits that change from policy to policy.
Water damage insurance claims can leave you feeling lost, stressed, and unsure of how to proceed with your insurance company. Luckily, a dedicated public adjuster can help simplify the process. A public adjuster is an individual who analyzes the damage to your home and then helps you understand the entitlements of your policy. A public adjuster represents you and protects your interests – NOT the interests of the insurance company. Discover the difference by hiring a public adjuster for your water damage insurance claim!
DIFFERENTIATING WATER DAMAGE AND FLOOD DAMAGE
One of the most significant factors in determining whether or not your claim will be covered relies on differentiating between water damage and flood damage. Standard homeowners insurance policies will not offer protection from flooding, but flood-specific insurance policies are available. If you have a flood insurance policy, refer to your list of coverages before filing a homeowner’s insurance claim.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) defines flooding as a general and temporary condition where “the normally dry land area of two or more properties (at least one of which is the policyholder’s property) floods from the overflow of inland or tidal waters; or from the unusual and rapid accumulation of surface waters from any source”. This definition is an excellent place to start when you want to assess whether your water damage will be attributed to flooding.
Flooding usually happens due to natural disasters like tsunamis, hurricanes, or major storms. If your water damage is NOT the result of flooding, it is far more likely that your claim will be covered.
WHAT ARE YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AS A PROPERTY OWNER?
If a water loss occurs in your home or business, it is your responsibility to mitigate the damage. You may need to contact an emergency drying service company to assist. Your property sustains more damage the longer it remains wet, so insurance providers want you to take the initiative to dry the area.
Do not dispose of building and/or personal property items such as furniture, cabinets, and flooring, even if they are damaged. Most policies have a condition that requires you to make the damaged property available for inspection. This allows the insurance company to more easily verify the value of the damaged items.
GRADUAL DAMAGE OR SUDDEN AND ACCIDENTAL?
Insurance companies are often unwilling to cover water damage claims that result from gradual water damage. For example, this could include water damage from an air conditioning system, water supply lines to a refrigerator etc. Gradual damage encompasses normal wear and tear on your property.
Insurance policies are meant to cover sudden and accidental damages. This could be a broken appliance or sudden plumbing burst. Unfortunately, even if the damage appears sudden to you as the homeowner, the insurance company may claim the damage was gradual.
In these cases, it is particularly useful to work with a dedicated public adjuster for your water damage insurance claim. We understand the intricacies of the claims process, and we’ll work with you to recover all compensation that you are entitled to receive.
HOW LONG DO YOU HAVE TO FILE AN INSURANCE CLAIM AFTER A WATER DAMAGE INCIDENT?
While all policies are different, most insurance companies require that prompt notice is given to the company. That means that if you have a loss you must notify your insurance company or agent right away. Furthermore, you should file your claim as quickly as possible to avoid a breach of your insurance policy, which may justify your claim being denied.
WHY SHOULD YOU HIRE A PUBLIC ADJUSTER FOR YOUR WATER DAMAGE CLAIM?
ven if you suspect that your water damage will not be considered a covered loss, it is still beneficial to call a public adjuster. Public adjusters are independent adjusters hired by individuals and companies to represent them in their dealings with their insurance company. Our main objective is to get you paid every dollar you are owed under your policy. We work on a contingency basis only and our fees are based solely on a percentage of the claim payments we bring you. Therefore, we are motivated to bring you the maximum amount available under your policy in the shortest amount of time.
Our team will help evaluate your claim and work hard to advocate for you. If some (or all) of your claim is denied, we will request a complete explanation of the denial. In some cases, we can still recover compensation for ‘resulting damage’ when the initial cause of the water damage event was denied. For example, gradually deteriorating pipes may not be covered, but if the pipes burst and cause water damage to your floor, that damage may be eligible.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HIRING A PUBLIC ADJUSTER FOR WATER DAMAGE CLAIMS?
We save you time – We will manage your claim and minimize the time you spend dealing with adjustment issues, which include meeting with the insurance company, their contractors, and various other vendors.
We even the playing field – As a result of years of claim experience, the public adjusters at Avner Gat, Inc. can help you read and interpret policies to determine your maximum entitlement.
Faster resolution – We can quickly organize the documentation to support the amount of your loss. We will present the evidence to your insurance company and can usually help you resolve your claim faster than if you were handling the claim yourself.