Am I Eligible To Make A Water Damage Claim?

Am I Eligible To Make A Water Damage Claim?

Am I Eligible To Make A Water Damage Claim?

Many people will experience unwarranted water in their home at some point, be it burst pipes from the inside, or mass flooding from the outside. Either way, the water damage that these can cause are less than ideal and, in many cases, extremely upsetting to accept and deal with.

If you are fortunate enough to have avoided such an incident thus far, you should at least familiarise yourself with the potential reasons for water damage, the extent of the damage they could cause and how to go about filing an insurance claim if such instances were to happen to you.

We explore all of this in our helpful guide; read on to find out more.

Water Damage: From Flood Insurance To Water Leak Insurance

There are different types of water damage and lots of potential factors that could cause these in your home, such as loose roof tiles or broken gutters. These can cause damage to your ceilings and walls through no fault of your own, so it is important that your insurance company covers you for this.

Below are two, more specific, causes of water damage that you could be more likely to experience.

Flood Damage

Being a country that experiences plenty of wet weather, flooding is definitely a natural hazard you should be protected against – especially if you live near a water source or on low-level ground. Thankfully, most insurance companies offer flood protection as standard.

Flooding can affect your house in many ways, causing minor to devastating damages.

As well as damaging items in your home, flooding can cause structural damage to your house itself. This can include:

  • Debris
  • Water marks
  • Damaged flooring and walls (e.g. cracks)
  • Contamination

In making a claim from your insurance for flood damage, it is important to let them know first and foremost that your home has been flooded. They will be able to tell you the next steps you need to take in making your claim, which we will outline for you here.

Once you have been told that it is safe to return to your home (in some cases, your house flood insurance policy may entitle you to alternative accommodation whilst your property is being cleared of the damage), then you will need to make a record of all the damage that you have incurred.

Taking pictures of damaged items before clearing them out of your house and making an inventory of them (noting what they are, their make, size, colour, etc.) will provide clear evidence to your insurance company of their damaged state. If you have receipts for any of these items, then this will mean your insurer can offer you appropriate compensation for them. It may be worth keeping some of these items (especially if they are expensive) until a loss adjuster has seen them, as your insurer may require.

Likewise, you should note down and take pictures of any damage to the property itself.

Once you have done this, you should get back in touch with your insurance provider, who will move the claim forward and send a loss adjuster to review your evidence and the damage you have experienced before offering a settlement value for your claim.

Burst Pipes and Water Leaks

Every home contains multiple pipes throughout its framework – in the ceiling, in the walls, in the floor – it’s no wonder that they are one of the main culprits of water damage in many homes. Since they tend to be concealed, a burst pipe is not always noticed straight away, so it is vital to act quickly when you do discover one in your home.

A burst or leaking pipe can have numerous damaging effects. These include:

  • Damage to your furniture and belongings
  • Mildew and/or mould (which may impact yours and your family’s health, also)
  • Electrical damage/danger

There are a number of causes that could be to blame for broken pipes that aren’t a result of human error. Some of the most common of these include the following:

Freezing Temperatures: In the colder months, frozen pipes are a regularly occurring issue. If you are away and do not set your heating to come on (even just at a low temperature) or have pipes with poor insulation, then you are at risk of the water in your pipes freezing. As the water freezes into ice it expands, putting pressure on the pipes from within, likely causing it to break.

Clogs: Certain foreign objects or substances can get stuck in pipes, causing an increase in water pressure the more they are blocked, which can result in a burst pipe after continuous strain. These blockages can be caused in various ways, such as oil down the sink, hair down the drain, wet wipes down the toilet, or general dirt and mineral build-up.

Age and Corrosion: Over time, pipes will begin to wear down or corrode, especially if they are exposed to oxygen or your water has high oxygen levels, since this means they can develop rust. This causes your pipes to weaken, making them more susceptible to cracks and leaks, which will lead to more damage if gone untreated.

Tree Roots and Soil Shifts: These are two external factors that may impact your underground pipes. As tree roots grow, they may obstruct pipes in the ground, putting high pressure on their exterior and causing cracks or holes. Similarly, soil shifting can also impact your pipes, whether it be through seismic activity, local construction work, or geological factors (such as erosion), resulting in pipes imploding or breaking.

Filing an insurance claim for a burst pipe or water leak is very similar to how you would do so in the event of a flood, though if anything it is a faster process (unless the damage is so severe that your house is uninhabitable).

Contact your insurance as soon as you notice a burst pipe or serious leak; many insurance providers have a 24-hour helpline should you need to get ahold of them during unsociable hours in emergency situations such as these, allowing you to start your claim as soon as possible. A loss adjuster will be sent to your house promptly to assess the damage and offer a settlement.

Like with a flood, it is a good idea to photograph and note any evidence of damage you believe will be useful to mention in your claim.

Can I Make A Claim?

Knowing if you can make a claim for water damage in your home is all dependent on your specific insurance policy. Most policies will cover your for water damage caused by natural flooding, however things can get a bit more complicated when it comes to damage caused internally. Even more so when you’re not 100% sure of the root cause.

If you experience water damage due to a faulty boiler system, shower system or compromised pipes, then your insurance will likely cover you for this subject to a few conditions.

Typically, you will only be covered if the leak/damage was caused by inexorable factors and not human error. However, it is worth checking with your insurance provider if your policy includes accidental damage, which means you will be able to make a claim even if you are to blame for the fault.

Some policies will also note that you will not be able to make a claim if the water damage came as a result of negligence to any warning signs. By this we mean any slow leaks or abnormal characteristics (such as discoloured water) whereby you could have acted sooner to prevent further damage.

Even if you are unsure whether you should make a claim or not for your water damage, it is always worth speaking to your insurance provider to see if there is any compensation you could be entitled to and what this would be. Alternatively, speak to us here at Water Damage Repairs – we put you first to ensure that you get the support and recompense you deserve.

Insurance Claim Help

Submitting a claim can be stressful when dealing with water damage in your home, especially if it is severe. If you need support and security in this situation, Water Damage Repairs are here for you.

We understand how difficult and confusing this process may be, which is why we will act on your behalf to settle your insurance claim successfully. Our specialist team will liaise with your insurance provider, obtain builders’ repair quotes and deal with water damage restoration, reporting back to you every step of the way.If you need help making a claim, have water damage you can’t trace, or simply need someone to take care of it all, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *