Water damage is almost always a sudden emergency that leaves us flustered with what to do next. Because timing is so sensitive when it comes to water and flooding damages, it’s crucial to act fast and take the right steps as soon as possible. ServiceMaster Advantage in Houston has the answers for what to do next when your basement floods, a storm overtakes your home or a bad sewage backup puts you in a biohazard cleanup situation.
Who Should I Call?
The first two calls you should immediately make is to your property insurance agency or your own personal agent and then to ServiceMaster Advantage. After you’ve informed your insurance company of the issue at hand so they can begin the claims process and you’ve called in the professionals to start the restoration process, you can start documenting the damage and keeping record of what needs to be replaced.
What Should I Be Documenting?
Take as many photos and videos of the damages as possible BEFORE any type of cleanup or restoration has occurred. Your insurance claims adjuster will want to see how severe the damages were before restoration takes place. It is best to NOT throw anything away even if those items seem unsalvageable due to the extent of water damage. Your claims adjuster will likely need to inspect these items as a part of their claims process. The following items are also important to include when documenting your claim:
- Date and cause of flooding or water damage
- All areas of the home affected
- Cleanup and restoration estimates from ServiceMaster Advantage
- Receipts for cleanup, repairs, or other related costs from ServiceMaster Advantage
- Receipts for hotel stays or other related expenses as a result of your disaster
- An inventory of all personal items lost, damaged, or destroyed by the flood or water damage
- Detailed records of all communications with the insurance company including but not limited to: phone logs, emails, names of representatives spoken to and date/time of interaction.
How Do I Know What My Insurance Will Cover?
Go over your homeowners or renters insurance policy. If you cannot find this paperwork or it was damaged in the flood, your insurance company or agent can provide you with another copy. Pay special attention to the declarations page, as it will give you important information regarding your particular policy’s water damage coverage, deductibles, limitations and exclusions. Make sure you are also aware of any claim filing deadlines.
Unfortunately it’s rather common for homeowner insurance to not cover flooding or water damages. If you live in a flood prone area, research what flood insurance policies can be purchased as an add-on to your property insurance.
When you experience water damage or severe flooding, you need help – fast. That’s why ServiceMaster Advantage in Houston has restoration technicians on call 24/7 so that you can get the help you need when you need it most.