Filing An Insurance Claim For Flood Damage
A flood can take a serious emotional toll, but once flood waters recede enough for you to get back into your home safely, the water repair and restoration process begins and there is a lot you need to make sure to do to stay safe and get your insurance claim filed. Follow these steps as a guideline to ensure that you do not miss anything.
Step 1: Safety
Turn off your power at the main box or breaker to avoid electrical danger while entering.
Do not drink water until you have been instructed that it is safe to do so. Often times after a flood you will have to drink bottled water for several days or weeks until the water supply can be tested and restored to normal.
Wear gloves and boots to avoid coming into contact with contaminated flood water and belongings with mold or fungal growth. Water repair should be approached cautiously.
Step 2: Filing an Insurance Claim
Contact your insurance agent immediately to file your claim as close to the incident as possible. This is important when there are a lot of affected homes because claims will be prioritized on a first-come basis so you want to be at the front of the line. Have your insurance policy number ready to provide. Your insurance company will assign an insurance adjuster to you that you will work with moving forward to get your claim filed.
Step 3: Supporting the Insurance Claim with Documentation
Your insurance adjuster will need evidence of the flood water damage to complete the claim so it is important that you take pictures and properly document any damage before moving anything or discarding ruined belongings. Do not throw anything away or clean anything without first documenting it. This is where a water repair company can help you identify all of the damaged areas so that you do not leave something important off of your claim. They will use their experience to aid you in identifying the scope of the damage and estimating a repair price.
To accompany the pictures that you take, make a list of everything that was damaged, ruined or lost in the flood and determine their value (supplemented with receipts where possible).
Step 4: Proof of Loss
Your insurance adjuster will provide you with a Proof of Loss form that details everything that was lost in the flood. You only have 60 days from the date of the disaster to file this for your claim to be evaluated, which is why it is important to get started right away. Your insurance company will review the form and then come to an agreement with you over the amount of the damages. At the point the claim payment will be issued.
Depending on how many homes were affected, it may take more time to receive your payment because the claims team can get overwhelmed with the number of payouts that need to be processed. Ask your insurance company when you should expect payment so that you have a clear picture of what to expect.
Step 5: Flood Restoration
After you have received your insurance claims payment, you will need to begin tackling the job of flood restoration. Hiring a certified water repair team on your side will ensure that the water is cleaned up properly and the risk of mold is mitigated.
Choosing to do the flood water cleanup yourself may save you money upfront, but improperly restored areas often develop mold and fungus later that can be harmful to your family’s health. Paying for mold remediation later on is usually going to cost you more in the long run anyways. Additionally, a professional water cleanup company will do the water pump out and then tackle the repair work much faster to get you comfortably back into your home in less time than if you tried to do it yourself.
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