Although nobody wants to think it could happen to them, floods and other water problems can occur at the worst possible times. Victims of floods and water damage may lead the victim into dipping into their own savings account to repair the damage. Sadly, there are many individuals who are unable to afford repairs and who do not have any money saved. In fact, many people live check-by-check. These individuals become “stuck” because they cannot afford the fees and related costs. While some may feel relieved to think that their insurance policy will cover the water damage, many people get surprised to find that the majority of standard policies will not pay for the full costs of these damages.
While these insurance companies should be assisting their policyholders during these difficult times, the vast majority of them do not take their customers best interest to heart; they just want profit. This is why, becoming an expert on the limits that a standard coverage provides is crucial, especially if you are a homeowner. This action and prevent the homeowner from becoming a victim of the devious games that insurance companies play. It is important to note that if you reside in a state where water damage is imminent, purchasing additional water damage may be an option that must be taken. To avoid any issues, good results can come from working with a public adjuster expert.
Problematic Dangers That Are Covered by Water Damage
When water infiltrates a home, it can pose numerous threats, the worse being the loss of life. Many lives are taken by floods annually. In fact, water is the element that kills the most people and damages the most properties as a result of natural disasters like hurricanes. These are problems that could surge that could be covered by the policyholder’s insurance:
Burst pipes and similar issues
Cold temperatures and other threats can cause pipes to burst and flood a home in seconds. This problem often damages floors, walls, appliances, and personal property that gets submerged in water. In many cases, standard homeowner insurance will cover the fees and expenses related to a burst pipe. A decent policy should also cover mold removal and other issues that occur in the aftermath of a burst pipe, especially if the water is not cleaned out properly. Not all plans cover pipe replacement or repair services when a burst occurs, so people should carefully review their policy if they would like to know what to expect when they are faced with a pipe that burst.
Leaks within the roof
Hail and winds during a massive storm are known to destroy roofs that can lead to leaks within the home. As a consequence, a number of things could be destroyed within the home, electronic devices may become faulty, or the walls of the house may become rotten if they are composed of wood. Under these circumstances, the expenses associated with these losses will be covered under most homeowner’s insurance plans. Something that many individuals may not be aware of is that roof damage is typically not covered under homeowner insurance. Inability to understand the terms of the policy puts them at a disadvantage and exposes them to overwhelming repair fees. Those who want to get the most from any insurance claim must consult with a public adjuster before moving forward.
Floods may occur at any moment. They may be so sudden that no warning signs are present beforehand. Unfortunately, many homeowners are fooled to think that their insurance will cover them if a flood were to occur, but they are wrong. After their claims are denied, they are left asking themselves questions and at a loss for words. Getting protection from floods often requires people to take out additional policies to cover the gaps left by standard insurance. For those who live in areas prone to flooding, opting for additional water damage coverage is a wise move in the right direction. Doing so gives them peace of mind because they won’t need to face the unthinkable alone.
Gradual and Water Damages in Homes
Gradual damage is damage that occurs in homes over a specified period of time. As a homeowner or tenant, we often only look at what’s on the outside. We do not see any issues that may be present underneath the structure. Pipes, electrical wiring, and other parts of the home may slowly become affected and over time, become faulty. We tend to see just the walls, floors, and other areas visible to the eye. We don’t realize that our homes are run by complex structure underneath it all. If a home is not adequately maintained and regular investigations are done to assure that everything is functioning well, there may be multiple areas under the surface that may not be functioning correctly, leading to many problems in the future. Only when the problem has grown will there be physical evidence to determine that something is wrong. Only then is when a homeowner attempts to make a claim; when it might be too late.
A homeowner would face a problem when trying to file a claim if the problem that arose was as a direct result of progressive damage. Sure, you may have suffered water damage, but if you were negligent not to maintain your home and that water damage came about; as a result, an insurance company may give you a hard time and deny your claim. It is vital to maintain and inspect a property every so often to ensure that if a disaster does strike, that the homeowner is covered and does not have to face the consequences of gradual damage being an issue.
Below are some typical examples that be lead to a denial of a claim or diminished compensation:
- Damages walls, floors, or ceilings as a result of pipes or faucets that have been leaking for some time
- Cracks on the exterior or on the foundation of the home leading to seepage or water damage because they were not sealed
- Apparent signs of roof repair needed like tiles, shingles or other parts deteriorating
- Corrosion, rot, or mold that has not been addressed
- Electrical wiring deterioration
- Failing to repair or doing poor quality repairs
When a claim gets denied, there are often a space of unknowing. The most popular reason why a claim tends to be denied is a result of gradual damage. For the homeowner, it may be a problem that just suddenly appeared, but as further investigations occurred, it was actually a problem that was already there for a while. Because of the problematic results that gradual damage can cause someone who suffers water damage. In order to prevent further losses, be on top of your homes. Inspect them on a monthly basis.
Exceptions to Gradual Damage
There are instances where gradual damage will be covered. It gets confusing to know what gets covered and what doesn’t when it comes to gradual damage. Typically, gradual damage and wear and tear are excluded from policies, but there are certain exceptions. These exceptions include:
Mold: Mold remediation may be allowed by certain insurance companies as an option for policyholders to purchase. In fact, many companies have been pushing their residents to purchase this coverage.
Falling tree on a roof: A tree is falling on top of a home that causes a breakage could be covered. The damages that seep through from the water can be recovered, along with the roof damage and opening that the property sustained
Broken pipe: A pipe that breaks could have been the result of an ongoing problem. It could have gradually led to it breaking. While the pipe itself would not be covered, the resulting damage what the water that leaked from the pipeline may be covered.
If a claim is denied due to gradual damage, this could be difficult for the policyholder. In order to prevent this from occurring, there are multiple ways that a homeowner can avoid having their claim denied, including:
- Maintaining records of all the repairs that have been performed in the home throughout the years that resulted from maintenance, that way there is proof that you were not negligent
- Be knowledgeable of all the exclusions and details within the policy. In addition, a homeowner needs to know of their responsibilities.
- Performing small repairs on a home can prevent more significant repairs from having to take place. Regularly maintaining a home during the Spring and Fall could avoid a mountain of problems
- Be sure to inquire about other coverage’s that are present and ensure that the coverage that is being purchased fits your needs
Water Damage Numbers and Frequency in Florida
Florida is a state that is often attacked by natural disasters that are full of water. Being in such a state should give reason to purchase additional coverage in case water damage were to occur to a home. These are some statistics that are linked with water damage in the state of Florida:
- In Florida, there are an estimated 2.1 million flood policies currently active
- Because Florida is relatively flat, when the water rises, it makes it extremely difficult to drain effectively
- The NFIP required policies are 2/3 located in the state of Florida
- There were 71 hurricanes and tropical storms that even needed assistance from FEMA in Florida between the year 1995 and 1999
- Because Florida is relatively flat, when the water rises, it makes it extremely difficult to drain effectively
- Only 13% of all households in the state of Florida are covered by flood insurance
- By 2030, $69 billion worth of coastal property will be at risk for the high tide that is currently not at risk
- Florida was amongst the top three states that have seen the most hurricane landfalls since the year 1851
- The Everglades city and the historical coastal fishing was destroyed as a result of the tropical storm Fay in the year 2008
- As a result of the typical patterns of high tides, major flooding attacked the state of Florida in 2013
The NFIP requires Florida to obtain flood insurance due to the high percentage of floods
- Between 1,500 to, 3800 Floridians died after one of the most disastrous events in the state of Florida. A 150-mph hurricane struck communities alongside lake Okeechobee which dragged water out of the lake and onto those communities
- 2% is the average increase in water claims every year in Florida
These facts and statistics show just how prevalent Florida is at being a victim of floods and water damage.
Being Stuck by Water Damage
As mentioned before, it could happen at any moment. The damages that can arise from water damage could be of an abundance. Learning what homeowner insurance does and does not cover is vital for anyone who does not want to face unplanned expenses. Paying a small fee each month allows them to put their worries to rest. When water damage results from problems inside the home, homeowner insurance will usually pick up the bill. On the other hand, homeowner insurance does not cover damage related to a flood or natural disaster.
Each person must check the policy to see what to expect if an emergency occurs. In many situations, people who want flood protection need to buy additional water damage coverage to reach their goal. No matter the threat with which they are faced, people should always speak with a public adjuster to get the best possible results. Don’t forget about gradual damage. This could reduce and even cause your claim to be denied. Maintain your homes and ensure that your coverage is specific to the needs of your home. For example, if you live in Florida, you may want to purchase flood insurance.