If your home sustains damage from a flood of any kind, whether it’s rain or groundwater or a plumbing mishap, you’ll need to react quickly to ensure the safety of your home and family. The best outcomes after flood damage happen when you involve your insurance company as soon as possible. Why wouldn’t you want to get insurance help quickly?
Call right away
Contact your insurance company within the first 24 hours after a flood. This will get your claim on file with the company and may provide access to emergency support, like help pumping your flooded home.
Know who to call
Contacting your local agent or insurance office is a good idea, but what if they are being bombarded with other claims? This is common during a community flooding event. If the flood affects your region, don’t hesitate to contact the insurance company’s headquarters.
Find your insurance policy
Hopefully you keep a copy of your insurance policy in a safe, accessible place. Read the fine print of your policy about flood coverage, and pay special attention to the section that provides guidelines about what steps to take after flood damage has occurred. If you can’t get to your policy because it’s unsafe to enter your home, the company can provide you with a copy.
Document your claim
Initially contacting your insurance agent by phone or email is advised. Having your claim in writing is an important step for your protection.
Determine the cause
Different homeowner’s insurance policies cover different things when it comes to flooding. Work with your agent to identify the cause of your flood so that you can find out the scope of your coverage for the damage.
Consider your area
If flooding has affected your region, find out if you are located in an area that has been declared a “disaster area” by the government. If so, you may be eligible for more resources or additional financial aid. Ask your insurance agent for help if you think this may apply, or contact FEMA directly for assistance.
Assess immediate needs
Be prepared to tell your insurance agent about any repairs that you’d like to do right away. Follow the company’s requirements about waiting for an adjuster to see the property before repairs begin, and always document all of your conversations.
As soon as it’s safe to enter your home, take pictures before any water is removed or repairs are made. Cleanup should not begin until photos are taken to document the damage, or else you can risk lowering the extent of your insurance coverage.
Inquire about housing
If your home is uninhabitable, ask your agent about provisions your insurance company makes for temporary housing during home restoration. If your home is unsafe, do not attempt to live there during repairs.
When the time comes for restoring your home, one likely area that will require work is your flooring because it is often damaged by flooding. Click here to find trusted local experts to provide the best flooring solutions.
There is no reason to wait to contact your insurance company after flood damage has impacted your home. The sooner you file your claim, the sooner you’ll receive money to restore your home and belongings and get your life back to normal.