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how to handle insurance claims
Old 06-20-2019, 05:42 AM   #1
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how to handle insurance claims

I was wondering how the folks on here would handle an insurance claim. my son had his basement sustain water damage last spring. he called me and we went to his house and cleaned up the water, wet carpet got removed, and the floors in the basement were scrubbed down. The adjuster show up a few days later and made out an estimate they thought should cover the damage. They allowed very little for the work that was already done {removing wet carpet, sucking up flood water, and cleaning up the floors}. the estimate they gave was way below what he could have hired it done for and the insurance company refuses to negotiate a fair estimate for cleanup and repair. my question is, If your basement had rain water intrusion how would you handle the claim? start the cleanup to avoid further damage or wait for the adjuster to show up and take care of the claim? do insurance companies have the obligation in a similar situation to send out someone to take charge and make sure things are taken care of? this is not just a question for flood mitigation, but for any claim.
do you start to do something to mitigate the damages or touch nothing until the insurance company sends someone out to handle the situation? thanks

frank
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Old 06-20-2019, 06:25 AM   #2
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Not had the pleasure of such a damage claim but my first reaction would be to mitigate further damage and document the heck of whatever had/is occurring with photos. I get the urgency to remove water and prevent mold and further damage, but as soon as possible I'd call the insurance company and put them on notice to come out ASAP; that I was considering initiating mitigation but would not proceed without their inspection and approval. You have my sympathy, DS's in laws live in Chicago area and they just had sewage back up in basement, second time in five years. Unpleasant.
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Old 06-20-2019, 07:10 AM   #3
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How much money are you haggling over? Not trying to minimize your efforts, but how many hours did you spend mopping up the water and pulling out the carpets?
May not be worth the effort to argue?
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Old 06-20-2019, 07:31 AM   #4
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do you have coverage for this type of damage? What are the limits? You used the term flood water... so you are dealing with flood insurance and not home owners?
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:53 AM   #5
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My question is why there was water damage? Flood? Misdesigned gutters? Any recent grading changes i.e. by neighbor? Failure in sump pump system? Stoppage in plumbing system?

I've had some minor basement water problems in my lake house. But it was my father's fault--a galvanized metal cap on fireplace chase rusted through. And I didn't do a claim. I put a stainless cap on the fireplace, vacuumed the water and glued down some of the luxury vinyl flooring.

Times like these is when you'll find out about the quality of the claims services of insurance companies. They are not all created equal.
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:57 AM   #6
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it was homeowner insurance. 10000 limit. the damage was supposed to be covered. my question initially was whether a person should initiate the cleanup or wait for the insurance company people to handle the whole process. I am thinking my interference might have somehow changed the way the claim was supposed to be handled.
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:04 AM   #7
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Costs spent to mitigate damage are covered by most (all?) HO policies. Most likely, though, that is defined by actual dollars expended. You could try negotiating by pointing out how much a remediation company would have cost, and maybe get them to pay you a portion of that figure.
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frank View Post
my question initially was whether a person should initiate the cleanup or wait for the insurance company people to handle the whole process.
Read your policy. It will tell you what your responsibilities are to mitigate damages, do nothing until the insurer inspects the property or something in-between. Taking photos of the damage before any cleanup or repairs plus saving all receipts is always a good idea.
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:50 AM   #9
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it was homeowner insurance. 10000 limit. the damage was supposed to be covered. my question initially was whether a person should initiate the cleanup or wait for the insurance company people to handle the whole process. I am thinking my interference might have somehow changed the way the claim was supposed to be handled.
That's a good question but water inside your house is an emergency and the longer you wait to remove the more problems you have. If this flooding was in the general area you could have sat there forever waiting for someone to help you...
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frank View Post
it was homeowner insurance. 10000 limit. the damage was supposed to be covered. my question initially was whether a person should initiate the cleanup or wait for the insurance company people to handle the whole process. I am thinking my interference might have somehow changed the way the claim was supposed to be handled.
I think perhaps had you called the insurance and asked for their "should i or not" input before you'd have been in a better spot. Perhaps they could have had an adjuster out the same day, or at least had you take pics and stuff, and provided guidance on what would jeopardize a claim or not.

And since you appear to have done the initial clean up with out actual expenses/receipts, then I can see why that isn't included. Had you hired someone to do that, then maybe.
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