Understanding the Insurance Claims Process for Water Damage to Property

May 13, 2019
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A man is pushing his bike in a flooded town water damage

Water damage insurance claims are among the most common and, unfortunately, some of the highest expensed types of property claims. Due to home generally being unlivable following extensive water damage, this can also be among the most frustrating of processes for homeowners. For these reasons, it’s important to start the insurance claims process with a solid understanding of how the process goes as well as the role of the public adjuster.

There are three types of “adjusters”, the company or insurance-employed adjuster, the independent adjuster who works for insurance companies as a type of contract worker, and the public adjuster who works exclusively for policyholders (homeowners) and is not employed by any insurance company. With a public adjuster, there is no need to worry that what they suggest in any way advocates in favor of the insurance company and not yours.

The Process of a Water Damage Claim

  • Submit your claim and keep records. As you submit your claim to begin the claims process, be sure to keep a copy of this and record proof of all water damage. This includes pictures and videos of all damaged property in addition to preserving any broken devices, building materials, or equipment (i.e. HVAC equipment) that may have either caused the water damage or allowed it to take place.
  • An insurance claims adjuster will assess the damage. Upon receiving your claim, the insurance company will send out their adjuster to assess the damage and prepare an estimate. This process is also known as “field scooping”. This adjuster may recommend additional remediation.
  • The insurance company receives its insurance claims adjuster’s estimates and assessments. Upon completion of their assessment and the review of any other remediation, the insurance company adjuster will submit their findings to the insurance company who will review and will determine a settlement amount.
  • The policyholder gets the settlement. The insurance company will then provide you the policyholder with the settlement amount they deem accurate. 
  • Accept the settlement or hire a public adjuster. Once the policyholder has received the insurance company’s settlement, you can choose to either accept the settlement and move on with the repair process, or if you feel the settlement amount does not accurately reflect the incurred damage then you can choose to hire a public adjuster.

Even if you feel the insurance company has offered you a fair settlement, it is often in your best interest to get a second opinion from a trusted public adjuster. If your insurance company has outright denied your water damage insurance claim due to what they determine “a long ongoing leak” or “a preventable maintenance issue” then a public adjuster can help you overturn that decision. 

Don’t Take Chances: Get Fair Results With a Public Adjuster

To learn more about how a public adjuster can help you secure the finances you need to rebuild following water damage, contact us today.