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Water or flood damage to your property can result in a significant and rapid deterioration of your valuable assets. In such instances, a multitude of factors come into play, shaping the outcome of your insurance claim—whether it’s accepted or denied by your insurance provider.

  1. Type of Policy Purchased:

The insurance policy you’ve chosen plays a pivotal role in determining the extent of your coverage. Different insurance policies encompass varying degrees of protection, and understanding the specifics of your policy is paramount.

  1. Cause of Damage:

Identifying the precise cause of the damage is crucial in the claims process. Insurance providers distinguish between water damage and flood damage, and these two terms carry distinct definitions in the insurance world.

Water Damage:

Water damage, within the context of insurance policies, typically pertains to sudden and unexpected events. For example, it may cover damages resulting from a burst plumbing pipe or a malfunctioning appliance that causes a leak. Most policies also extend coverage to instances of water damage stemming from roof or wall leaks, as well as winter ice back up damage. Nevertheless, certain policies only provide interior water damage coverage when there is a direct breach in the building’s structure, often caused by external factors like wind damage.

Flood Damage:

Flood damage, on the other hand, is defined by entities like the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as the result of specific natural disasters. This includes events like hurricanes, tsunamis, overflowing rivers, and excessive rainfall. It’s important to note that standard property insurance policies typically exclude flood damage. To gain coverage for flood damages, policyholders must secure a separate flood insurance policy, typically through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

  1. Gradual vs. Sudden Damage:

The nature of the damage also plays a significant role in the claims process. Insurance providers often differentiate between chronic or gradual damage and sudden or accidental damage.

Chronic/Gradual Damage:

Chronic or gradual water damage, which arises from issues that have been ignored or overlooked over time, is typically not covered, regardless of the underlying cause. Property owners are expected to address and rectify issues promptly, and failure to do so can result in a claim being denied.

Sudden/Accidental Damage:

In contrast, sudden or accidental water damage, arising from unexpected events, such as a broken appliance hose, is more likely to be covered by insurance. While policy terms may vary, non-flood-related water damage resulting from sudden and accidental incidents is generally eligible for coverage.

When faced with water or flood damage, seeking professional advice, especially from a Public Adjuster, Like Hooten and Associates can be a prudent choice. We possess the expertise needed to navigate the claims process effectively and ensure you receive the coverage you are entitled to.

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