- Because water claims can be stressful
- Because you want your claim to run as smoothly as possible
- Because you want your property to be habitable or fit for business
Being a commercial claims handler, I see many and varied claims - from water damage to catastrophic fire damage with much in between. Making a claim against your insurance policy can be stressful, my job is make that journey as smooth as possible by liaising with insurance companies, loss adjusters, clients and other interested parties.
Escape of water can be caused by various means including a leak from a pipe, tank or apparatus or structural damage. It is important to remember that most insurance policies cover the resultant damage and not the repair to the actual pipe or apparatus where the leak has come from. Gradual deterioration or wear and tear will not be covered in most cases – the cover is intended for sudden and unforeseen damage.
First things first – getting the basics right can help your claim proceed much more quickly and efficiency. When I am notified of a claim it is usually an emotive time – a business may have to be closed and naturally this can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. There are certain procedures that most insurers will require you to follow: -
- Notification as soon as possible after the event (some policies state a time frame for notification to be made).
- Provide details of the damage that has been sustained.
- Most Insurers would expect you to appoint a plumber to come along to locate the leak to stop it which will mitigate the loss or a builder to effect temporary repairs to a leaking roof.
- Is the property still fit for business or habitation?
- A minimum of one estimate is often needed in relation to the remedial work necessary to put the property back to the same state as prior to the incident.
- Photographs of the damage will be required (a picture paints a 1000 words), or a video clip showing the damage.
By providing this information promptly you can speed up the claims process which can involve site visits from a loss adjuster, representative from the insurance company and installation of specialist drying equipment before repairs can proceed.
Communication is always key to keeping things on track – records of conversations and reports should be maintained for quick referral along with direct dial numbers for important people within the claims process.
It is in everyone’s interest to resolve a claim as quickly as possible. If you need help you should, in the first instance, contact your insurance broker. If you don’t have an insurance broker make sure you speak to the right people at the insurance company and try to get a contact you can speak to each time you call them.