WaterDamageLeakImagine a spring day, the flowers are just beginning to bud, the last of the winter's snow is melting and the past 2 days have been steady rain showers. As you head downstairs to the family room you discover 6 inches of water covering the carpeted floor. The sump pump you installed last year when you finished the basement has stopped working. You quickly call your insurance agent for help. But your agent informs you that you never updated your home owner's insurance policy with the renovations and you do not have sump pump coverage to pay for the water damage restoration. Now, what do you do? All hope is not lost! In our 23 years of disaster restoration experience, we have seen it all. Most homeowners do not carry additional flood insurance unless mandated. At ServiceMaster Dynamic Cleaning, we work with you to get your home back to normal quickly while keeping costs down.

Why your water damage claim may be denied.

A traditional home owner's insurance policy will cover accidental water damage. For example, if you have a sudden pipe break, this would typically be a covered loss. Unfortunately, there are quite a few reasons why your insurance will deny a water damage claim.

  • Flood or groundwater is not covered by traditional homeowner's insurance policies. Water from below, such as ground seepage from heavy rains or snowmelt is included in this. Flood insurance requires a separate policy and can take 30 days to go into effect.
  • Sewage backups are also an add-on to a traditional policy. Water damage from a backup can be caused by a blockage in the plumbing or even tree roots obstructing the pipes in the yard. 
  • If you live in an area with a high water table, a sump pump may be necessary to help pump out the excess water before it enters your home. However, if the sump pump fails or becomes clogged causing water to back up, the claim may not be denied if you do not have sump pump coverage. Also, sump pump coverage oftentimes only covers up to a limited amount.
  • If you are selling your home and have already moved out, you may need a vacancy policy. The same goes for summer homes.
  • Improper maintenance or ongoing damage can cause a claim to be denied. For example, if you turn your heat off while on vacation and have a frozen pipe burst, the insurance may not cover your claim. Additionally, if the source of the water leak is ignored for too long, the insurance company may deny the claim because of negligence. 
  • Some additional tips: Be aware of your deductibles and coverage limits.

Related: 7 Signs That Your Home Has Water Damage

How we help restore your home while keeping costs down.

  • Our project managers will perform a site inspection and work with you to find the best solution. They will discuss alternatives and make cost-saving recommendations.
  • We offer the option to rent equipment only such as air movers and dehumidifiers to help dry out.
  • If we feel demolition is required for proper mitigation, we can suggestions to help. In the past, we have had customers remove wet carpeting themselves and we will come in to complete the job using our specialty cleaning and sanitizing procedures.
  • If you have a large amount of standing water in an unfinished basement, we can pump the water out for you.
  • Content manipulation adds a lot of man-hours. You can move items to another location yourself, and leave the professional drying techniques to us.

DIY tips to keep the water damage from getting worse while we are on our way.

  • Turn off the water at the main shut-off valve.
  • Mop up as must standing water as possible.
  • Use fans to assist with drying.
  • Lift curtains from the wet floor and drape them over the curtain rod.
  • Place aluminum foil or small wooden blocks under furniture to keep wood from wicking up water.
  • Remove wet area rugs, books, photos, or paintings to a dry location.
  • Spread out wet items to dry.
  • Open closet doors and cabinets to assist in drying.
  • Do not throw anything away until your adjuster has instructed you to do so. 

Related: How to Deal with Water Damage in Your Home

Be prepared for any disaster by making sure you have the proper insurance coverage for your property. Keep water damage from happening by performing routine maintenance and check for leaks regularly. You can also install sump pumps and leak detectors to help catch the water early. Odds are, you will experience a water damage loss in your lifetime. When you do, we can help whether the claim is covered by your insurance or not. We understand that disasters are a time of uncertainty. Since we've experienced it all before, we're proud to help guide our customers through these unsettling times. Our project managers provide support from beginning to end, helping customers to navigate the solution that's right for them. Contact us anytime, 24/7/365.