Water damage affects thousands of Florida property owners each year. Flooding from hurricanes or other natural disasters, broken pipes, backed-up sewer lines, and leaks in hoses, water heaters, and roofs are just a few of the numerous causes of water damage. At best, the resulting damage is a nuisance, and at its worst, it is devastating to the property owner.
Water Damage Limits
One of the most frequent reasons to file a property damage insurance claim is, in fact, water damage. Unexpected water damage may be both inconvenient and outright disastrous for property owners, but you can be prepared simply by understanding the limits of your water damage coverage in your insurance policy.
There are various forms of water damage and it’s important to learn what is and is not covered by a typical property insurance policy.
Understanding Policy Limitations
In order to avoid surprises, it is imperative to evaluate your policy and understand what is covered. Your insurance claim's outcome will be influenced by the cause of the damage, whether sudden or accidental, or gradual over a period of time.
More often than not, coverage extends to sudden water damage. However, many property damage claims only receive a partial claim payment because the insurance policy has a $10,000 limitation within the policy.
With this limitation, mitigation of your damage is also included. It may be challenging to make repairs to your property when the damage exceeds that amount, yet you are still required to prevent further damage by protecting your property.
Sudden or Accidental Damage
Typically, insurance policies specify that covered water damage must come from an internal or unanticipated occurrence.
Rising water entering your property from the exterior is considered flood and not covered under your property insurance policy. I encourage and urge you to make sure you have a separate flood insurance policy.
Examples of other Causes of Water Damage
Damage that occurs gradually over time is not covered by standard insurance policies. Because of the range of complex systems with hidden plumbing, electrical wiring, and other intricate parts inside property structures, it can be challenging to spot a problem.
Your insurance company may deny your claim if the damage appears to have been going on over a period of time, but some policies have wording to protect policyholders and allow coverage if the damage is hidden and unknown and not visible.
Examples of Gradual Causes of Water Damage
Wear, Tear, Deterioration and Mold
Unless specific wording is included in your policy as noted above, wear, tear and deterioration are not covered by most policies.
Although mold is caused by moisture, it’s important to speak with your insurance agent to determine whether your policy has mold coverage, and if not, you must add this important coverage.
The first step to filing a successful water damage insurance claim is understanding your coverage and the type of water damage your property is experiencing.
Hire a Public Adjuster to Help
Your insurance company may miss damage and underpay or deny your claim. A public adjuster can help by reviewing your policy and explaining what is and is not covered, and help you navigate the complicated claim process.
At Reliant Insurance Adjusters, we ensure your best interests are top priority and treat every client’s claim as if it were our own. Contact us today for more information.
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