April 17, 2014

South Carolina Flood Damage Insurance Claims

Flood damaged house

Do you know if you have flood coverage?

American Property Loss local South Carolina Public Adjusters are available to do a complete review of your South Carolina flood damage insurance claim.

From initial on-site South Carolina flood property damage estimates to reviewing your insurance company adjuster estimates for completeness, American Property Loss local South Carolina Public Adjusters are experienced and ready to get your life back in order after home flood damage.

Ninety percent of all presidentially declared natural disasters involve flooding. According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), floods cause billions of dollars in property damage in the U.S. every year. Even more alarming, if you live in a high-risk area, your home has a 26% chance of being damaged by flooding during the course of your 30-year mortgage, compared to a 9% chance of fire. Most property insurance policies exclude coverage for losses resulting from flood. So unless you purchase a South Carolina flood policy, you do not have coverage for flood losses.

Water damage to your home can be expensive and time-consuming to repair. The clean up could be worse if you don’t remove water or wait too long to clean up. In the case of widespread flooding damaging your South Carolina home near bodies of water, this isn’t often an option.

South Carolina Homeowners insurance policies don’t cover all types of water damage. For example, some policies may not cover damages caused by sudden and accidental water leaks or sewer back-ups. Companies might also require inspections and certifications after certain types of water damage is repaired. It’s important that you read your policy carefully to understand your policy’s coverage before submitting a Homeowners Insurance Claim for Flood Damage.

After the South Carolina flood

Any time you have water damage, it’s important to remove the water as soon as possible. Remove standing water and begin drying the area to prevent additional damage. If you can’t remove the water and dry the area quickly, consider calling a water extraction company. Keep any receipts from the clean up. Your insurance company may pay you back if you take steps to prevent additional damage.

Move wet items to a dry, well-ventilated area. Pull up soaked carpeting and wet rugs as soon as possible. If you must move items outdoors, place them in a secure area to protect them from theft.

Contact a American Property Loss local South Carolina Public Adjusters IMMEDIATELY even before the flood waters recede. Take many photos of your flood damaged home while the flood waters are still inside.

Flood Damage - The High Water Mark

Flood Damage - The High Water Mark

The following tips can help the South Carolina flood damage claims process go more smoothly:

  • Review your policy to make sure you understand what losses are covered and what losses are excluded by your policy. If you’re not sure, ask your agent or an insurance company representative for an explanation.
  • Have your policy number ready; you will need it any time you write or call your company. Be prepared to answer questions about the damage.
  • Take pictures or videotape the flood-damaged area and any damaged property before you make any repairs. This is important because it can help you document your losses, especially if you have to clean up or make any repairs before your insurance adjuster has seen the flood damage.
  • Don’t throw away removed or damaged materials until your insurance claim adjuster has seen them.
  • Make reasonable and necessary repairs to protect your home and property from further damage. Don’t make large structural or permanent repairs until instructed by your insurance company.
  • Keep an accurate record of all repair expenses and save all receipts.
  • Keep an activity log, including a record of everyone you spoke with at your insurance company. Note the time, date, name of the person you spoke with, and a description of the discussion. Keep copies of letters or other documents you and your company send each other.

What to expect from your insurance company

Your insurance company must start investigating your claim within 15 days after receiving written notice of your South Carolina flood damage.

Your insurance company will send a company representative or claim adjuster to your home to see the flood damage. If your damage was caused by a natural disaster or similar catastrophic event, it may be a while before the area is deemed safe and a claims adjuster is able to see your home. When the insurance claims adjuster inspects your home, it’s a good idea for you or a family member to be there to make sure the insurance claim adjuster knows about and inspects all flood damaged property, and to provide information or answer questions.