Your home just sustained serious water damage, and after recovering from the initial shock, you are ready to make your insurance claim. Most people have never gone through the insurance claim process for water damage. You will need to take five basic steps:
- Call your insurance agent as soon as possible
- Fill out any claim forms your agent emails or mails to you
- Show an insurance representative the damage
- Make temporary repairs until permanent ones can be undertaken
- Write out a list of everything that needs to be repaired and have the permanent repairs done
Whether you sustained the damage due to a burst pipe or a flood, the insurance claims process will be similar. Let’s look at these five steps in more detail.
1. Call Your Insurance Agent
You should report the water damage as quickly as you can. Even if the incident happens during the middle of the night, you want the insurance company to know you did not delay in notifying them of what happened. You want to be seen as honest and straightforward in all your dealings with insurance. Calling immediately speaks to your trustworthiness. We recommend having a copy of your policy to refer to during the call so you can follow along with what is and isn’t covered.
2. Fill Out Claims Forms
Your insurance company will send you claims forms you must fill out, including details about what happened and what was damaged. Complete these as quickly as possible and send them back. Again, you want to show your forthrightness and cooperation. Ask for clarification on anything you do not understand.
3. Show the Damage
Often, the insurance company will want one of their representatives to see the damage for themselves before issuing any checks. Set up a visit as soon as possible, ideally within hours of the incident, and show them everything you think is relevant to the case.
Taking pictures of the incident and any damages that occurred as soon as possible will help you to accurately document the issues. If you can’t meet with the insurance representative right away, this will also help you recall everything you’d like to bring to their attention.
4. Make Temporary Repairs
It can take time to make a plan for permanent restoration, but you may have some things that require immediate attention, such as drying out the area to avoid the growth of mold. Once you have the insurance company’s approval, take whatever temporary measures you need to make your place livable until you can make the permanent repairs.
Depending on the cause of the water damage, it may be beneficial to you and your families health to bring in a water damage and mold remediation expert to ensure the water is not causing damaging mold growth.
5. List What You Need and Hire a Water Damage Restoration Company
The insurance company will estimate how much it will cost for the repairs to be done and issue you a check. Make sure you have thoroughly documented everything you want to address. The insurance company may recommend a company to do the repairs, but you can also choose your own. Finding the best, most experienced restoration company in Chicago will save you headaches down the line. You want everything done correctly, and you need a company that will be accountable for its work.