El Niño is Coming: Are You Prepared with an Insurance Claim?
As a homeowner, it is important to pay attention to this kind of news. If the house takes a hit from impending El Niño storms, everything should be in order. Apart from safety precautions and storm-proofing the house, pay attention to your insurance policies, too.
The Rise in Claims
The weather changes brought on by El Niño makes water intrusion an issue. The scenario comes with increases in general liability claims; falling trees and land erosion will also result in more auto claims, slips and falls, and claims against the landlord. Flooding will also force tenants and homeowners out of their properties; entrepreneurs who are relocating will file for business interruption claims.
The growing number of claims, however, does not mean all applications receive approval. In some cases, denial happens.
Our catastrophic claims adjusters are no strangers to stories of homeowners filing for damage claim after El Niño. It can happen to anyone primarily due to two reasons: vague policy terms and failure to understand the difference between water and flood damage claims.
In most states, the homeowner’s insurance policy covers water damage. Most homeowners think that should floods and storms damage their home, the insurance will cover everything.
Water damage, however, only covers damage done before the water touches the ground. Any damage that allows water in your house (e.g. burst pipes, rainstorms, or hailstorm) qualifies. Flood insurance, however, covers flood damage to the home’s appliances, paneling, carpeting, and foundation. Properties outside the building do not fall under this category.
Denial happens when insurance agents insist the damage happened before the water entered your home or even touched the ground. Insurance companies also do not approve cases with easily reparable maintenance problems.
Prevent claim denial by maintaining a record of home repairs over the years. Also, make sure you understand all the policy’s coverage; read the fine print and know your responsibilities.
When disaster strikes, United States Adjusters is here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us at 1 (800) 872-0201 to learn more.