Your home recently suffered extensive water damage while you were away. Maybe your pipes were damaged, or maybe the basement was flooded? Now, dirty water covers certain parts of your home and the weird smell of trapped moisture just won’t go away.
What do you do now?
Every year, thousands if not millions of people find themselves in the unpleasant situation of finding water damage in their homes. When this happens, it’s time to present a water damage claim to your insurance provider.
If you don’t yet have water damage insurance coverage, however, then you should get one soon, particularly if your property is vulnerable to floods, rainstorms and other forms of water damage. Once you have that, or if you already have it, we will teach you how to process your claim, so that you can repair your home as soon as possible.
What Are The Effects of Water Damage On Your Home?
Water damage can do all kinds of damage to your home. Aside from damaging wooden areas, spreading dirt and infesting your home with bacteria, it can also cause mold to grow.
Furthermore, it can also create pockets of moisture and leave behind unusual smells. If the damage is caused by your plumbing system or bathroom fixtures, the water damage can spread to other parts of your home, or cause structural damage.
So when your home sustains water damage then you will need water damage remediation services to take care of the damages. You will also need to make the necessary changes and improvements to your home to prevent the same problem from happening all over again.
Unfortunately, these services cost a lot of money, particularly if the water damaged was completely unexpected. Most people who have to deal with this problem turn to their insurance coverage, but filing an insurance claim for your damaged property is often more demanding than most people think.
How Do You File a Claim for Water Damages?
Your water damage claim will cover your property’s water restoration process. Before the restoration process can start, however, your insurer will need an accurate estimate for repairing your home. So when you file this claim, your insurer will send a claims adjuster to look at your property and to prepare an estimate for your insurer.
This part of the filing process is known as “field scoping” and it is done to identify which parts of your home need to be repaired as well as the amount of resources required to do it. The adjuster, who is also meant to act as a third party liaison between yourself and your insurer, will not only assess the damages to your home, he or she may also recommend additional remediation services, such as using fans for drying walls or using tarps to cover vulnerable areas.
Once they have made their report, your insurer will process your claim and the necessary work can start very soon. But before we move on, let’s take some time to understand what adjusters actually do.
Types of Adjusters
Insurance adjusters are divided into three types, based on whose interests they serve. This is why many home owners often end up with different repair estimates whenever they consult multiple adjusters. Each group of adjusters compute their estimates using different values and formulas.
If you consult an adjuster who works for your insurance company then they will most likely use a formula that helps their employer. On the other hand, if the adjuster is independent then they are more likely to give you a fair estimate.
Here are the three types of insurance adjusters
Insurance Company Adjusters
These adjusters work for insurance companies and therefore serve their interests. These people won’t necessarily try to cheat you, but they are almost always biased in favour of their employers.
Independent Insurance Adjusters
Independent adjusters are freelancers hired by insurance companies whenever they lack the funds or resources to hire a full time company adjuster. Most independent adjusters also perform most of their work on behalf of one or two insurance companies, so although they are nominally independent, that doesn’t mean that they have zero biases.
These adjusters are the most biased towards homeowners. They are also the types of adjusters who can interpret your coverage, and some even offer impartial policy reviews in case you need someone to help you interpret your existing insurance outlook.
Public Adjusters and How They Can Help You
The role of an insurance company adjuster or even an independent insurance adjuster is to represent their clients’ interests. Consequently, the claims handled by these types of adjusters often cover fewer damages than what homeowners expect. In contrast, public adjusters are either licensed or regulated by the local Department of Insurance offices, which means that they are usually more biased in favour of home or property owners.
In fact, a study that tracked claim settlements in Florida in 2005 discovered that homeowner insurance claims handled by public adjusters often led to settlements that averaged around $15,000 or higher, which is significantly better than what independent and insurance company adjusters can offer.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that public adjusters are necessarily on your side. However, they are certainly more neutral compared to adjusters who work for insurance companies or even independent contractors.
Moreover, public adjusters possess knowledge and experiences that may help you to properly settle your claim. But most importantly, they will negotiate your claim settlement on your behalf. First, they will develop a claim assessment using a special software. Next, they will consult building contractors, building engineers as well as remediation and reconstruction experts to properly address your problems and concerns.
Finally, a public adjuster can also provide you with more in-depth damage assessments, since they are more likely to comply with the strictest government standards. So if you need an adjuster to help you with your claim then it’s best to hire a public adjuster.
What Happens After the Public Adjuster Has Filed His or Her Findings?
The work begins. The insurance company processes the claim, releases the funds and you get to hire a water remediation company to repair and restore your home.
First, the company will set up a schedule and a plan. Once they have done that, they will begin the most important parts of their work. They will remove the water off of the premises, identify pockets of moisture, repair the damaged areas of your home, remove the dirt and debris left behind by the water and remove whatever smell may have been left behind by the dirty water.
If mold starts forming in your house, they may take care of that as well, though they may also bring in a mold remediation specialist to take care of that. They may also carry out additional work if the water has spread to your lawn or your basement.
Once the water is removed, the remediation experts will start repairing your home and making changes to prevent the same problems from happening again. When they’re finished, they will clean up the work area and remove all the debris out of your home.
Water Damage Prevention
Aside from repairing your home and removing the dirty water still trapped inside, water remediation experts also strive to prevent the same water damage from happening to your home all over again.
By analyzing vulnerable areas to your home, they will be able to identify areas which are most vulnerable to floods, damaged plumbing and other water-related threats. So when you process your claim, make sure that your adjuster deals with the topic of water damage prevention.
Without water damage prevention, your home will most likely face the same problems all over again, and that’s certainly something that you’ll want to avoid.
If you need help processing your insurance claim then 1stresponsepublicadjusters.com is here to help you. 1stresponsepublicadjusters.com is the leading public adjuster Miami has to offer. Our team of adjusters is trained to help residential and commercial clients. We also do our best to provide maximum payouts for our clients as well as fast solutions to all sorts of challenges from your insurance company.
We also maintain a ‘no recovery no fee’ policy. So if we can’t help you file your claim then we will not charge you any fee. That’s a guarantee.
Additionally, we also offer free claim inspection evaluations as well as free consultations. So if you want to discuss your problem with us without making any commitment, feel free to contact us any time. We will talk to you about any issues related to your property and the water damages that you need to repair.
We are also prepared to examine whatever issues you may have with your insurance company as well as any other concerns which are preventing you from completing your claim. So if you need help with your claim or if you just need help speaking to your insurance company, come visit 1stresponsepublicadjusters.com and we will help you with your concerns.
See you soon.