If a water leak happens should I file an insurance claim?

When a water leak occurs, the initial reaction is to stop the leak. Once stopped, most people will attempt a quick clean up by themselves. They sop up all the water and notice some damage to the floors, walls, base moldings and doors. They review their insurance policy and see it has a $1,000 deductible and wonder, “how much will all this cost to fix?” They call their insurance agent for advice, and luckily their agent is knowledgeable and committed to high levels of customer service, and recommends that they call in a trusted restoration contractor for a free consultation

The recommended restoration contractor arrives and tests the affected floors, walls and finishes for signs of trapped moisture with a moisture meter. He explains that even though the puddles are gone, the water has soaked up in-and-behind the sheetrock and trim. Without proper water mitigation and de-humidification, this trapped moisture can rapidly start dangerous mold growth within the unseen walls.

The estimate for the mitigation is $3000 to $5000 and the repairs including replacement of the ripped-out floors and walls is $10,000 to $12,000. If all this wasn’t traumatizing enough, the restoration contractor explains that most homeowners’ policies won’t cover mold growth unless the mold condition was created by a “covered” water loss. He says, “I’ve seen this a countless number of times, there is a profound trapped moisture condition that people don’t feel they need to start a claim for and try to mitigate it themselves…unsuccessfully. Months later, they discover the presence of mold and can’t get coverage because they never started a claim for the water condition. They should have started a claim immediately, got it covered as a water loss and with this “covered loss” status, they would have had mold coverage protection.

The motto of this story is had they first called in a full-service restoration contractor who did the complete job from start to finish it would have only cost the homeowner their $1,000 deductible. Also, they would have been no fear of mold growth because the job was done correctly from the beginning!

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