Water Damage Insurance Claims
Water damage to the property may occur due to a pressurized plumbing pipe leak, plumbing drain pipe leak, refrigerator icemaker leak, dishwasher leak, water heater leak, washing machine leak or overflow and more. Generally, the water damage claims are originating from plumbing fixtures and components and can be categorized as “plumbing leaks”.
It is important not to confuse the water damage claims (plumbing leaks) with a flood damage claims.
Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) flood definition is: “ A flood is defined as a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres and two or more properties of normally dry land. Flood damage can only be caused by the following water sources:
- Overflow of inland or tidal waters
- Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source
- Collapse of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood as defined above” fema.gov
When dealing with water damage, a prompt action is critical. Water may damage dwelling components and personal property. The first action to minimize the water damage would be to find and stop the plumbing leak. A licensed plumber may be needed to properly complete the repairs to damaged plumbing fixtures and components.
Next, drying and cleaning of water damage is required. A specialized emergency services company may provide the best professional mitigation. The emergency services drying procedures may depend on the type of plumbing leak. If plumbing leak is originating from pressurized pipes, the drying procedures may be relatively simple. However, if the plumbing leak is originating from plumbing drain pipes, the drying process may become complicated due to possible contamination.
After the drying of water damage areas is completed, a licensed general contractor may be needed to perform the repairs and build the property back to its pre loss condition. The general contractor will hire the experts based on their trade (i.e. framers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, painters, flooring specialists and more).
During the claim related repairs, some additional code upgrade related repairs may be needed. Most policies have code upgrade coverage or Ordinance and Law Coverage. This coverage is very important for older buildings. The older buildings may need to upgrade the damaged items to comply with the most recent codes.
A public adjuster may assist the policyholder in dealing with their insurance company and any other parties who are involved in the claims process and the repairs.
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