Understanding Water Damage Insurance Claims

The causes of water damage are as endless as the headaches they create: flooding due to hurricanes or other natural disasters, burst pipes, sewer line backups, and leaks in hoses, water heaters and roofs. The ensuing damage is at best an inconvenience and at its worst, catastrophic. Understanding what types of water damage are covered by your homeowners insurance and how to file a water damage claim are essential when calling Florida your home.

When filing a water damage insurance claim, it's essential to act quickly. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the damage and initiate the claims process. Take note of any deadlines or time limits specified in your policy.

In addition, it's important to understand the difference between water damage and flood damage. While water damage is typically covered by homeowners insurance, flood damage requires a separate flood insurance policy. If your property is located in a flood-prone area, it's crucial to have flood insurance to protect yourself adequately.

When Determining Water Damage, Go to the Source

Water damage coverage is most often linked to the source of the water damage. For example, if your hot water heater springs a leak, the damage is most likely covered by your homeowners insurance. However, if your hot water heater springs a leak as a direct result of flooding, flood insurance, if carried, will customarily cover the loss. Usually, however, homeowners insurance excludes flood damage. In Florida, you may qualify for flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. Additionally, home and business owners in high-risk flood areas may be required to obtain flood insurance.

What About Mold?

In Florida’s hot and humid climate, water damage and mold often go hand in hand. Mold not only causes property damage to your home, but can also health and medical concerns for those living in the home. Regardless of the source, insurance coverage may or may not cover mold and coverage varies with individual policies. Most insurers offer basic mold coverage, but you may be able to purchase additional mold coverage for an additional premium.

Documenting the water damage for insurance purposes

When filing a water damage insurance claim, proper documentation is vital to support your case and ensure fair compensation. Here are some key tips for effectively documenting the water damage:

  • Photograph and video: Capture the water damage from multiple angles, ensuring clear and detailed images. Take photos of both the affected areas and any damaged belongings. Videos can also provide a comprehensive view of the extent of the damage.
  • Make a detailed inventory: Create an inventory of all damaged items, including their value, age, and condition. This inventory will help you accurately estimate the value of your losses and support your claim.
  • Keep records of expenses: Maintain records of any expenses incurred due to the water damage, such as temporary accommodations, cleaning services, or repairs. These expenses may be eligible for reimbursement as part of your claim.
  • Preserve evidence: Avoid throwing away or making any repairs to damaged items until your insurance company has assessed the damage. If necessary, store damaged items in a safe location to prevent further deterioration.
  • Document the restoration process: If you hire a professional water damage restoration company to restore your property, make sure to document the entire process. Take photos or videos of the restoration work being done, as well as any invoices or receipts related to the services provided.

By thoroughly documenting the water damage, you'll strengthen your insurance claim and increase the likelihood of receiving fair compensation. If you're unsure about the documentation process, consider consulting with our insurance claim lawyers who specialize in water damage insurance claims.

Common Challenges with Florida Water Damage Insurance Claims

While the water damage insurance claims process is designed to provide coverage and compensation for policyholders, it can be challenging to navigate. Here are some common challenges you may encounter and strategies to overcome them:

  • Claim denial or underpayment: Insurance companies may deny or underpay claims for various reasons. If your claim is denied or you believe the offered settlement is insufficient, review your policy and gather additional evidence to support your case. 
  • Delays in the claims process: Insurance claims can sometimes be delayed due to various factors, such as a high volume of claims or disputes over coverage. Stay in regular contact with your insurance company, document all communication, and escalate the matter if necessary. 
  • Disputes over the extent of damage: Insurance companies may dispute the extent of the water damage or the value of your losses. To overcome this challenge, provide thorough documentation, including photographs, videos, and expert opinions if necessary. 

If you are a home or business owner and your water damage claim was denied by your insurance company, call an experienced Florida insurance attorney today to learn about your rights after a denied claim.

Has Your Home Insurance Company Denied Or Undervalued Your Property Damage Claim In Florida?

If your insurance company is dragging their feet regarding your property damage claim you should speak with an experienced insurance claim lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Florida law office directly at 800.451.6786 to schedule your free consultation. We help Florida residents just like you fight the big insurance companies who fail to abide by their own policies. Remember, we work on a contingent basis, meaning you don't pay us anything until we win your case. 

K.C. Williams III
Managing Partner who has spent his entire career representing Florida insurance and personal injury claims.