What You Need To Know About Water Damage And Insurance Claims
Owners of homes are often worried about the possibility that their residences may experience water damage. Issues can arise from a range of reasons, including everything from unpredictable weather to pests creating holes. When homeowners submit water damage insurance claims, they need to be aware of a few key parts of the process.
Force majeure covers events that are outside the control of a homeowner, such as storms, explosions, power outages, and other occurrences that are hard to predict and prevent. These are also sometimes referred to as "acts of God," although the concept of force majeure can extend to events caused by governments and even other people.
It's important to understand, however, that risks that can be mitigated through proper maintenance do not fall under the heading of force majeure. If the pipes in a basement exploded because a power outage during a bad cold snap caused them to freeze, there's a good chance that will be covered. Conversely, if the pipes exploded because they had become visibly corroded and weren't replaced for years, there's a high probability an adjuster would reject that claim.
Roof leak insurance claims provide another good example to consider. If damage from a tree branch flying during a major storm immediately punched a small hole in a roof, leading to a leak, that's probably going to lead to an accepted claim, even if it takes a few months for evidence of damage to become obvious. On the flip side, the claim will likely be rejected if the roof hasn't been maintained in 30 years or if the initial construction wasn't solid enough to hold up to normal storm conditions.
A common sticking point on water damage insurance claims is when cash payouts are offered. For the insured, it's important to get a large enough payment to cover all repairs. The insurance carrier, however, wants to close the books as fast as possible. It's wise to obtain estimates from contractors that can be presented in order to clearly make your case.
Renters and Landlords
When a landlord insures a building, the insurance is intended to only cover the landlord's property and any of their potential liabilities, not the possessions of their tenants. Renter's insurance policies are available, and they'll cover the same sorts of losses that homeowners insurance will, such as the destruction of furniture, appliances, and other items the renter owned.