Water Damage? Should I Call My Insurance Agent?

Insurance claims for property damage can be complicated and confusing for most property owners.  Although most people think of hurricanes with regards to an insurance claim, the most common cause for property losses in Florida, is water.  Water damage losses are typically caused by a broken pipe, hot water heater, or other plumbing fixture that malfunctions.  In addition, there are overflows of water which may result from a broken waste line, or a clog in a waste line or A/C condensate line. Water can also enter a property from wind driven rain through a roof, wall, flashing or window.

Regardless of the source of water, when building materials get wet, they can become an opportunity for mold growth to occur, and this has become a major issue in today’s world of insurance.  In our experience as a restoration contractor, about 30% of water damage events create a mold contamination issue.

If the source of water is easily identified, the first order of business might be to shut off the supply of water to the property, that is, if the water is seen escaping from a plumbing component of some kind.  Water through a leaking roof would be more difficult to deal with, however, a bucket or pail might be sufficient to collect the intruding liquid, and limit the amount of water damage to the property interior.

Now more than ever before, mold awareness and concern should give cause to the proper drying of any building that has suffered from a water loss.  Since mold growth with become apparent in two to three days, the suffering of a water loss at one’s property should give rise to a call for emergency services, but the question that property owners often ask, is who to call first.

 

The call could be to a friend, relative, neighbor or property manager if there is one. They might have an idea of who to call for help, then again, you might call a company you found on the Internet, or you might call your insurance carrier or agent.

May we suggest that the Emergency Service Company, or your Agent be your first call.

A good Emergency Services Company can answer all of your questions with regards to your water loss, as they see and deal with such events on a daily basis.  An on site visit by a reputable Emergency Services or Restoration company can be the best step in mitigating further damage to your property.  They should be able to explain to you all the required action to protect your property, and be able to work with your insurance company or adjuster to get paid.

The other suggestion would be to call your agent.

Your  local agent can help you through the claims process, even though they will not be actually handling your claim.  In today’s world of insurance, it is not advisable to file an insurance claim on your property, unless you are confident that your issue will result in a covered loss, and that the claim is significant enough in size.

If you have a high deductible of perhaps $2,500, it would probably not be wise to file a claim if the damages to your property are less than your deductible, but if you have a lower deductible of $500 or $1,000, and the damages are expected to be several thousand dollars, it would make most sense to file a claim.  In either case, it is advisable that your water damage claim is handled properly from beginning to end. It is in the best interest of the property owner to perform proper “mitigation”.

Your agent could help you through this process, with the presumption that your agent is local, and not one that is out of state and that you have only dealt with over the phone.  The relationship between the customer and agent is important to both parties, and that relationship is based upon trust.  An important value of  having a local agent is having someone that is truly interested in helping you through the claims process.

Restoration Xperts Inc., located in Deerfield Beach, has performed on more than one thousand  Emergency Service and restoration  projects over the years.  The staff of our General Contracting company has more than 75 years of combined industry experience, and is ready to take on your project is a very professional manner, and our proven experience helps our company achieve a very high level of customer satisfaction.

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