Flooding can be a devastating loss that affects your mental and emotional well-being, even by minor flooding. On top of navigating the loss of your home or belongings, you must ensure you and your family are safe when dealing with contractors, adjustors, and insurance claims. You want to do everything possible to provide the best outcome, whether caused by groundwater, rainfall, storms, or system malfunctions.
Report the Flood to Your Insurance Company
The first thing you need to do after your home floods is to report the losses to your insurance company. If you are renting, you’ll want to work with your landlord in addition to the insurance company. The insurance company will go over the details by specifying an excess amount or deductible, which will have to be paid before the insurer pays for the damages. The insurance company can also send a loss adjustor to your home to review and assess the damages.
Begin Documenting Damage
After your home floods, you may have to find temporary housing until your home is considered safe to return to or during construction to repair the damages. It can be a stressful experience managing the paperwork, insurance claims, and locating your valuables. You will need to collect documents and pictures to track all the damages to your property, furniture, appliances, and more. It will help you accurately estimate what you’ll need to repair and recover. If you can collect receipts of your damaged items, it can help ensure the accuracy to reduce delays and get you back in your home to begin the process of cleaning up.
Submit a Proof of Loss (POL)
Once you’ve completed documentation of the damages, you need to submit the Proof of Loss within 60 days of the event. If necessary, you’ll want to be detailed and attach all receipts, photos, documents, and a licensed engineer report. When the insurance company of unsure of the extent of the property damage claim, you can submit a supplemental claim to help cover the additional costs for repairs or replacements.
Hire a Public Flood Adjustor
You can work with a public flood adjustor to alleviate much of the undue stress by having someone to help work with your insurance company on your behalf. These professionals have extensive experience managing flood loss. They can help ensure you get the settlement you deserve and need by thoroughly assessing your property and valuables and managing communication with all parties.
Begin the Cleanup Process
After a flood and you are cleared to return to your home, you will want to begin the cleanup process as soon as possible to minimize additional damage. Standing water, damp furnishings, and fixtures can be breeding grounds for mold and mildew growth. If you can’t remove the water yourself, you can hire a water damage company to help. You can contact your insurance company through a 24-hour hotline to help you manage the cleanup process by providing recommendations and local professionals who may assist.
Purchase Additional Flood Insurance
If the National Flood Insurance Program does not cover you, you can purchase separate flood insurance through private insurance companies or the federal government. The policies allow coverage up to $250,000 in flood damage. These insurance companies can help pay for temporary repairs with high-quality materials to help you get back in your home safely before permanent repairs begin. Before hiring a contractor, wait until you have the final price approval from the insurance adjuster. Save receipts throughout the process to submit to the insurance company to be reimbursed.
Dealing with the aftermath of a flood is never easy. You have to sift through your belongings, document damage, and manage the claim, which requires a lot of patience and time. By diligently following these tips, you can move through the complex claims process efficiently and get your home back so you can move forward with your life.
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