If Irma has punched a hole in the roof of your home or business, you may be tempted to call your insurance agent and tell them it has rained so much that your house is now flooded.
BUT DON’T DO IT!
Even if you are standing in your living room in water above your ankles – you need to know that, in the world of property-insurance claims, this is technically not a flood.
The term you want to use when reporting this type of insurance loss to your insurance company is “WATER DAMAGE.”
Believe it or not, using the word “flood” when you report property damage may improperly prejudice your insurance company’s adjuster against your claim.
The easiest way to distinguish floods from water damage is this:
• If you have water coming into your house or business from the ground up, from below – this is flood damage.
• Whereas, if you have rainfall entering your house from above, this generally causes water damage, and more often than not, it IS covered by your standard non-flood Property Insurance.
Need help sorting this out? You should be aware that your insurance company will assign one of its full-time professional adjusters to handle your claim. But, even though technically assigned to you, this type of adjuster’s allegiance is to the insurance company, not to you.
To level the playing field, you do have the option of hiring your own adjuster, a Public Adjuster, who represents only your interests – not those of the insurance company – to help level the playing field. For further information on public adjusters, go to the National Association of Public Adjusters (NAPIA), where there are state-by-state listings of PA’s for you to choose from.
But regardless of whether you choose to add a professional to your team or handle your hurricane insurance claim on your own, don’t be calling your agent and reporting that you have suffered a flood.
Policyholder advocate Wes Baldwin founded the first ever Public Adjusting Firm completely based in the Carolinas, 41 years ago. Headquartered in Charlotte NC, The Baldwin Company is retained by both business owners and homeowners across the nation to assist them in putting together and presenting their insured property claims to their insurance carriers, making sure that the property owners receive everything their insurance policies entitle them to. Baldwin is past president of the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters, with whom he’s been instrumental in helping state legislatures enact specific licensing laws for Public Insurance Adjusters. He was selected as NAPIA’s national Man of the Year in 2008.
For more information, visit: www.thebaldwinco.com
Company Name: The Baldwin Company, Inc
Contact Person: Wes Baldwin
Phone: (704) 335-1111
Address:6707 Fairview Rd, Suite D
State: North Carolina
Country: United States