Welcome to the Disaster Response blog! In our last blog post, we discussed the basic steps of the water damage restoration process. Though the actual process for your West Michigan home or business will vary due to many factors, you can expect the same basic steps. Read our previous blog post to learn about the water damage restoration process, or keep reading to learn about how your insurance company categorizes water damage and how it will affect your claim.
Not All Water Damage Is Alike
It’s easy to assume that water is “just water” and that cleaning up your home after your basement has flooded or your dishwasher made your kitchen a swampy mess is just like cleaning up a spill, except on a grander scale: all you need are some towels, maybe some buckets, a sponge or two and that’s it. This, unfortunately, isn’t the case. For example, if your basement flooded, you will need to completely dehumidify the area, throw out everything that was affected — including building materials — and completely dry out your basement to avoid mold growth, which is a whole other disaster by itself. The same is true if your dishwasher leaks all over your kitchen. If the water is allowed to seep into your floor and then into the structures beneath your floor, you will need professional water damage restoration services.
If your basement is flooded like your neighbor’s who live by the nearby lake, your insurance won’t cover the damages. However, if your dishwasher floods your kitchen, your insurance will cover the damages, but won’t cover the replacement of your dishwasher. The complexities of what your insurance policy covers and won’t over begins with understanding the terms the insurance imposes on sources of water damage.
Sources of Water Damage
Sudden or Accidental Discharge
Water from a sudden or accidental discharge is usually that which is from a pipe that has burst, an old hot water heater that has given up the ghost, your air conditioner that is on the fritz, a problem with your sprinkler system, or one of your appliances such as your dishwasher or fridge. Water damage from this source, will most likely be covered. However, if the issue is from neglect, the insurance company will assume that your lack of maintenance is to blame and will be less likely to pay for repairs. Also as we mentioned above, the insurance company will most likely not pay for a new hot water heater or dishwasher, but will pay for the damages done by your old one.
Sewer Backup or Water Backup
We hope that this never happens to you. The thought of sewage flooding your home is the stuff of nightmares. In some cases, you can prevent problems with your sewer and in other cases, you can’t. Keeping the contents of the sewer where they should be can be done by regular maintenance, such as keeping tree roots out of your lines, as well as grease and other destructive substances out of your toilet and drains. In some cases, the sewer may back up into your home due to a problem with the city’s system. The damages covered is dependent on your policy, but many policies will cover damages up to a certain amount, but will not cover the replacement of such equipment such as a sump pump.
Overflow of Your Tub, Sink, or Toilet
Accidents can happen even to the best of us; a tub can be left to overflow due to a distraction or a child’s innocence, and a toilet will malfunction due to its contents or age. Whether it is from a plumbing issue or an accident, water damage from these types of issues is normally covered by your insurance policy. However, it is best to speak to your insurance agent so you can have a complete understanding of what your policy actually covers and if it will be sufficient for the needs of your home and your family.
Flooding is where an insurance claim — and company — can seem tricky. Flooding damage, first of all, is different than water damage. Flooding damage is often caused by a natural event that you and possibly your neighbors have experienced. Water damage caused by a flood is that which has been caused by an even isolated to your property. An insurance company will not cover damages done by a widespread flood, but may cover those that would be categorized as water damage.
The insurance process can be wrought with all kinds of complexities and you need someone on your side. If you have recently been the victim of a watery disaster, call Disaster Response! We will be there to take your call day or night and will be there for you during the entire process including the claims process. We can not only be your guide, but we can also be an advocate. Often the insurance company will not know about your upgraded floors and pay you less than you deserve or even sometimes, it can feel like an insurance company is being dishonest. For these reasons we ofter public adjuster services. Learn more about what we can do for you by reading about or Watch Dog Program! Have water damage? We offer comprehensive restoration services to help you put your home or business back together. Visit our site to learn more about us and what we can do for you!