5 Steps to Handling a Water Damage Claim
Claims are usually covered by your property insurance. Here’s how to start the process – and prepare before accidents happen.
As commercial and residential buildings in Hawai‘i age, building owners and managers increasingly see incidence of water damage. When multiple tenants are involved, confusion often clouds the process of determining who’s responsible, how to file an insurance claim and where to start the cleanup and remediation process.
If water damage happens to you, here are five simple steps to mitigate the situation, plus tips on how to prepare now before a water damage incident happens.
Step 1: Act Fast
Take action to prevent further damage and call a water remediation company. It is best to identify a reputable water remediation company before you have a loss so that you know who to call immediately when the need arises. Do not wait for the insurance company to determine whether there is coverage under the policy.
Step 2: Gather Information
Document when, where and how the loss happened and take inventory of what was damaged. It’s a good idea to take an inventory and photos of your personal belongings now – before you suffer a loss.
Step 3: Notify Your Insurance Company
Provide the information you have gathered in Step 2 to your insurance agent. The cause of loss helps the insurance adjuster determine whether your claim is covered or not. It usually takes at least 24 hours for an adjuster to be assigned to handle your claim.
Step 4: Take Photos
Photos are extremely helpful to the claims adjuster, so take lots of them.
Step 5: Keep Copies of Receipts
You may need to pay for your claim expenses upfront. Provide receipts to your adjustor. If the loss is catastrophic, you may be entitled to additional living expenses if your home is determined to be unlivable by the insurance adjuster.