When dealing with water damage in your home or business you really need to find a company that will respond quickly to your needs and not try to run up the bill. In some cases that means that the total damage may cost less than or possibly just over your deductible. In these cases you shouldn’t file the claim with your insurance company.
Some of you may be thinking “why do I pay for insurance if I shouldn’t use it?”. Here’s why: insurance is really protection for your financial well-being from a significant loss. These events are never planned so you really don’t know when the next loss will occur or how large it may be.
A good friend of mine suffered a water loss at his home due to a washing machine supply line. It caused nearly $20,000 in damage to their downstairs. He filed the claim and got it repaired. Roughly 6 months later, a vacation property he owns was flooded by a water loss at an adjacent property. The damage was extensive and again he needed to file a claim. About a month ago, he had another plumbing issue that was a lot smaller in scale and flooded his crawl space. In that event he didn’t file the claim and paid out of pocket to dry the area.
When it’s time to renew a policy, most insurance companies look at the number of claims filed over the last few years, some may look as far back as 5 years. Generally speaking, if you have 3 claims on record it’s a red flag even if they are “no pay” claims. Those are claims where coverage was denied or damage was less than your deductible. Some carriers may not renew the policy and some will significantly raise your premiums.
By paying out of pocket on your smaller losses you will likely save money versus the increase you could face in premiums while that claim shows up in the records. It’s no guarantee but when you suffer a loss you need to work with a contractor who understands how the event can affect you over the long haul and not simply see your loss as a pay check.
Triad STOP Restoration is that kind of company. We work with most carriers in the state and are often asked to look at a property before the claim has been filed because we’ve developed a reputation of integrity and most carriers know that we are going to do everything we can to help their customers and not take advantage of the situation.