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Understanding How Water Damage Insurance Claims Work

Water damage-insurance-claim

Water damage is one of the most common reasons that policyholders file insurance claims. And while insurance companies generally cover this type of damage, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to get a payout. Unfortunately, insurance companies have become skilled at finding “reasons” to deny insurance claims. This leaves honest policyholders holding the bag for the damage. Where can you get relief if your New York water damage insurance claim was denied? Count on Rosenbaum & Taylor.

What to know about water damage claims in New York

Most policyholders fail to understand the basics of their own policies. They, therefore, don’t know the basis for which a water claim will be decided by the insurer. Knowing your own policy is perhaps the most important, yet most frequently overlooked step. A New York property damage insurance attorney can help.

Not all claims will be covered. Policies typically list flood damage and even sewage backup as exclusions. But other more urgent and sudden incidents, like busted water pipes, are usually covered. The key is to know what is and isn’t in the policy, and how to make a claim.

Water damage can happen for any number of reasons. Among the most common causes are:

  • Leaking appliances
  • Storm damage
  • Leaking and busted pipes
  • Roof leaks
  • Window leaks

The damage done isn’t limited to the immediate effects of the water. While water can damage electronics, clothing, and other items, it can have more insidious consequences. Not all water damage happens suddenly. And even that which does isn’t always completely discovered and cleaned up. Residual and leaking water can cause a number of additional, and expensive, damage to your property. It includes:

  • Rotting wood
  • Rusting metal
  • Mold, which may be hazardous to health
  • Mildew
  • Sinkholes

That’s why having a knowledgeable New York property damage insurance attorney is so critical.

How does a property owner file a water damage claim in New York?

As soon as you discover water damage of any kind, get to work documenting it. Begin with taking photographs and video of the damage. Take multiple shots to make sure you include the full extent of the damage. Also include footage of items on your property that’s been damaged. The more video and photos you have, the better.

It’s also a good idea to write down details that the pictures and videos won’t include. That includes the date and time of day you discovered the damage. If you know where the damage is coming from, make a note of that as well. And of course if anyone informed you of the water damage, be sure you write down that person’s name. That person could prove helpful later.

You will need to do what you can to prevent further damage from occurring. This is called mitigation, and is generally required of policyholders. If water is leaking from a roof, try to stop it from coming in your home. Make temporary repairs or fixes as you can to keep the problem from getting worse.

Finally, get to work on your claim. Get a copy of your insurance policy and read the water damage coverage. Follow the instructions for opening a claim and do so as soon as you can. Provide relevant details to the claims adjuster, including photographs and videos. If you have pictures of your property taken before it was damaged, locate and hold on to those. They can help demonstrate the nature and extent of the damage.

Having Trouble With A Claim? We Can Help

If you run into pushback from your insurance company, you may need an attorney to assist. Insurance companies routinely deny legitimate claims, or pay less than the damage is worth. Negotiating is a good first step, but don’t let the insurance company cheat you out of fair compensation. Reach out to Rosenbaum & Taylor. We can get started helping you with your water damage insurance claim today.

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