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When you are staring at your wet Muskogee home full of drenched possessions, it can be overwhelming. Where to start? Who will pay?
Your normal homeowners policy does not cover floods; you need a separate and specialized policy from the federal government for these situations. You buy flood insurance directly from the National Flood Insurance Program. To buy flood insurance, talk to your homeowners agent.
Most homeowners policies cover sudden and accidental water damage and cleanup: a burst pipe, toilet overflow, broken appliance hose. Most policies also cover damage if rain gets into your house through a storm-damaged roof or window. Coverage varies by policy, so talk to your agent to know what’s covered.
When the policy covers water damage cleanup, it will also pay to repair or replace your home and possessions. It might also pay your additional living expenses if you have to move while your home is repaired, including rent, food, and other costs.
Homeowners policies usually won’t cover damage from gradual leaks including damage over time from things like slow-leaking pipes, seepage from cracks in the foundation, or leaky appliances. Homeowners policies also won’t cover water damage caused by water seeping into your home because of rain, storm runoff, or over-saturated ground.
Your policy usually won’t pay to replace the cause of the water damage. For instance, if your hot water heater breaks and damages your floor, your policy will pay to fix the floor, but it won’t pay for a new hot water heater.
It’s natural to think that if the cost of the water damage cleanup is less than or just over their deductible, that it is better not to make a claim. The problem comes when the full extent of the damage isn’t always known at the beginning of the water damage mitigation process. Often the costs go much higher before the job is finished. Also, the reconstruction of the water damaged materials that cannot be salvaged and must be removed will add up, too.
Water migrates under walls and wicks up into building materials and cabinets. If exterior walls are affected there may be more demolition involved to remove the wet insulation in the wall. Usually kitchen cabinets are at least partially on exterior walls. Therefore if the insulation in those walls can’t be dried out, the cabinets and countertops will also have to be removed. And wet hardwood floors may later show signs of buckling, cupping, or delaminating.
Plus, your homeowner’s policy also covers contents, so you need to take into account any damage done to your belongings from sitting in water, wet drywall and insulation that falls from the ceiling, or from high humidity levels caused by the evaporating water that condenses on your furnishings.
Even in a very small water loss, baseboards and possibly some drywall will have to be removed. Even if only baseboards are removed, they will have to be replaced and repainted. On a $5,000 water loss, the rebuild could easily exceed another $15,000 depending on what had to be removed.
So when deciding whether to file an insurance claim, consider that the damage may be more extensive than you realize. Calculate damage to belongings; remember that anything that has to be removed will have to be replaced. Generally, unless a water loss is extremely small it will usually be larger than your deductible.
Courtesy Care has decades of experience working with insurance. Plus, our technicians will wear proper protective equipment and treat your family like family. When your house suffers from water damage, we are your partner to investigate the problem and make permanent solutions. We provide assistance for both small projects and large floods– doing everything possible to eliminate the spread and cross contamination of mold in your home.
These experienced water damage cleanup technicians are also background-checked and subject to drug testing to ensure your safety in your home. With onsite technicians and a super office staff working behind the scenes, they can assist you through the complete cleaning and restoration process.