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Water damage could be more extensive than assumed

On Behalf of | Aug 16, 2023 | Property Damage Insurance Claims |

Water damage in a home can wreak havoc, causing not only immediate structural issues but also potential long-term health and financial consequences. The sources of water damage are diverse. A pipe could freeze and burst. Shingles could rip off in a storm. A plugged or broken drain line could back up and flood a house. No matter how water damage happens, the impacts are universally detrimental.

Say that you have an insurance policy to cover this type of damage. If you’re offered a settlement or a payout, will it really cover all of the damage in the home? It may be more extensive and much deeper than you initially realize, which is a reality that should be taken into consideration before you accept a settlement offer.

Hidden water damage

The problematic nature of water damage lies in its ability to silently compromise a home’s integrity. Dampness can penetrate walls, floors and ceilings, for instance, fostering the growth of mold and mildew. These influences will not only deteriorate the aesthetics of the home, but they may also pose health risks to occupants. Lasting exposure to mold spores can cause numerous respiratory problems. It can also trigger allergies or lead to other health complications, making early detection and remediation crucial.

Financially, water damage can lead to a cascade of expenses. Water leaks can result in costly repairs, requiring not only fixing the source of the leak but also addressing secondary damages like rotted wood, compromised electrical systems, cracked ceilings, peeling paint, damaged drywall and ruined insulation – just to name a few examples.

What should insurance cover?

Unfortunately, when homeowners seek compensation for water damage, they may be offered a low payment amount because the insurance company isn’t covering everything it should per the terms of the policy. Homeowners need to know what is covered in their insurance policies, as coverage for water damage varies. While standard policies might cover sudden incidents like burst pipes, they might not extend to gradual leaks or flooding. Additional endorsements or a separate flood insurance policy may be necessary, especially for homes located in flood-prone areas.

If you have proper coverage and your insurance company isn’t paying out accordingly in the wake of a water damage incident, that can be a major problem. It can terrifically devalue your home, it can cause health problems and it may lead to even more extensive damage because you can’t correct all of the issues right away. In a situation like this, seek legal guidance to explore your options, as there may be ways to effectively right this wrong.