Water damage is typically a sudden occurrence. Various plumbing leaks and the ensuing water damage are among the top causes of insurance claims. These leaks can include pipe breaks and bursts, toilet malfunctions, frozen pipes, ice dams, tub overflows, water softener systems, hot water heater ruptures, and icemaker and dishwasher lines. Because of how quickly water damage can escalate, you may need to begin the cleanup and restoration process before your water damage insurance claim is even filed.
Even a small leak, if not corrected, can lead to mold and other significant losses to personal property. Most water losses, whether sudden or occurring over time due to the absence of property owners, are a covered peril. The category of water involved in the loss can greatly affect the cost and level of remediation required.
The correct drying process is critical to a successful clean up. Carpets may need to be removed; padding may need to be replaced; drywall may need removal. The length of time that materials remain wet can also affect remediation efforts.
When dealing with any water damage situation, consider exercising your option to select your own water damage restoration company. You have the right, by law, to choose who works in your home. Your insurance carrier’s preferred vendor is not always the best choice since they may be operating under cost constraints that limit their ability to do the best job possible for you.
A disturbing trend in the insurance industry is the lobbying of insurance regulators to reduce or completely eliminate coverage for water losses. Policy language is being written so that if a water loss is over 14 days old, the entire loss will not be covered. If you own a second home or do extensive traveling, this can have a devastating effect. You should pay close attention to any new endorsements that are sent to you by your insurance carrier regarding water damage coverage.