There is some confusion about what constitutes ‘water damage’ as far as insurance policies go. So many claims on mold are denied, leaving homeowners scratching their heads at what they did wrong. With so many innocent mistakes made, it seems time to clear up some of the mysteries surrounding water damage.
What will my insurance cover?
Standard homeowner policies do not cover flood damage. This may come as a surprise to some, but it’s vital that you take out separate flood insurance, especially if you live in a high risk area. But other types of water damage will be covered. Policies will generally pay for damage caused by rain coming in through a hole caused by a storm. But if you have a leaky pipe inside the building and water damage occurs over time, you won’t be covered. If problems are caused by your own neglect or carelessness, it’s unlikely you’ll be covered, but if it’s not a maintenance issue, and was caused by a covered peril, you’re ok.
For home insurance cover that includes water damage, look at the Santander website – follow the link for their dedicated Santander home insurance pages.
Clean up water damage immediately
Regardless of how it got there, you must take immediate steps to clean up water damage. If you fail to do this, mold will collect, which can cause further damage and – alarmingly – health problems such as coughs, colds, nosebleeds, congestion and sinusitis, as well as having a negative effect on people suffering from bronchitis or asthma. So widespread is the problem that many insurance companies rule out covering mold damage altogether – though you may find some companies who will cover it if it can be directly attributed to a covered peril. In short, look after your own house, and fix any leaks as soon as you discover them.
If sudden water damage occurs following a storm, it’s important to dry all the wet areas as quickly as possible, and to open doors and windows (once the storm has receded, of course!) to allow air circulation. Covering, drying and dehumidifying wet areas will minimize the chances of mold developing. After doing this, contact your insurance agent to start the claims process.
If you do discover mold that appears to have been developing over a long period of time, you should get an expert to analyse it, as it could be seriously detrimental to your health.
This has been a guest post. I hope you enjoyed it!
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.