While most homeowners have insurance to protect them if their home is damaged, few truly understand their policy. At RestorePro Inc, we have been helping local home and business owners deal with their insurance company and water damage restoration for nearly 20 years. With all this experience, we’ve learned a few things, and we are here to share it with you.
Different Types of Water Damage
The first thing to understand is that there are several different types of water damage. While to the average person, they all seem the same, to your insurance company and your property restoration specialist, they are different.
- Catastrophic Water Damage – This comes from a single sudden event that can’t be predicted or prevented. A pipe bursts after a sudden freeze, a toilet overflows, a tree crashes into the home during a storm, or the water line to your refrigerator breaks.
- Roof or Window Leaks – A roof or window leak can develop over time due to a deteriorating roof, or it can be the result of sudden damage during a severe storm.
- Slow Leaks – Tiny cracks or poorly sealed joints inside the walls can lead to slow leaks that go unnoticed. Over time this can cause serious damage or lead to mold growth.
- Flooding – Rainstorms or spring thaw can cause rivers and streams to overflow. Without adequate drainage you can end up with water in the lower levels of your home.
- Firefighting Efforts – Water is often used by both homeowners and fire departments to extinguish accidental fires. It can leave a wet mixture of water, soot, and ash behind.
What Insurance Covers
A typical insurance policy usually covers water damage that can not be prevented, but most exclude flooding. Water damage due to storms, roof leaks, or the aftermath of a fire is usually covered. Slow leaks are often not covered because proper maintenance can prevent them. If your home is located in a floodplain or close to a river or stream, you should consider purchasing a special flood policy.
Even if you experience a covered event, you will have coverage limits and exclusions. There are different categories of losses that may or may not be covered. Make sure to read your policy and understand what it says about these issues:
- Main Structure
- Secondary Structures
- Actual or Replacement Value
- Additional Living Expense
Your main structure is, of course, the subject of the policy. In addition, secondary structures such as storage sheds and detached garages are usually included, but it’s a good idea to check your policy just to make sure. Contents coverage often needs to be purchased separately. This will repair or replace your belongings, such as appliances, furniture, clothing, decor, and possibly vehicles. Your coverage will be either for actual or replacement value. Actual value is generally lower due to depreciation and everyday wear and tear. Another type of loss is often known as “additional living expense.” These are the costs for a hotel room or apartment rental if you aren’t able to live in your home during repairs.
The experts here at RestorePro Inc have been helping homeowners here in the MAssachusetts area since 1997. Our highly trained crew has the skills and experience to tackle your water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, or mold remediation project. Give us a call at 1-800-847-0114 and let us help you!