Although residents rely on their insurance policies to replace damaged property, many are shocked to discover that their insurance companies refuse to pay for water damage—or that the amount the insurer offers will not begin to cover their losses.
Water damage can be caused by flooding, burst pipes, storm runoff, or other sources, and in many cases will result in costly repairs. Consider the most common causes and consequences of water damage in Texas:
- Floods. Flooding can occur after days and days of rainfall, but also as a result of nearby property owners illegally diverting creeks or water sources from one piece of land to another. This runoff can damage the structure of your home. Flooding can also cause soil erosion and other potential complications for your real estate.
- Foundation damage. Water damage can pose a threat to the essential structure of your home or apartment building, also known as foundation damage. Cracks in the walls, broken bricks, creaking or uneven floors, or doors and windows that refuse to open are common signs of foundation damage after a flood. Even if it is discovered early, foundation damage is often incredibly expensive and time-consuming to repair.
- Mold. Flood damage must be treated very carefully to discourage the growth of mold and other bacteria in the wood and building components of the structure. Mold can release spores into the air that can aggravate respiratory systems and cause potentially fatal health effects. Residents should check carefully for discolored walls, stained floors, strange odors, or other signs of mold growth.
- Loss of personal items. Water damage doesn’t just ruin the structure of a building, it can ruin nearly all personal property, including electronics, furniture, rugs, books, photo albums, hobby equipment, and other items that can take years and thousands of dollars to accumulate.
The Cause of Water Damage Can Affect Your Claim
Residents may assume that any damage caused by water is covered under their policies. However, the wording of flood policies is often specific to cover only storms and natural events. For example, flood damage that causes standing water in your basement after three days of rain may be covered, but the same standing water caused by a broken pipe may not be.
Even if the damage to your property is clearly covered by your policy, many insurance companies will offer to pay less than the full amount it would take to repair or replace the damaged items. This is commonly known as offering “actual cash value” of your lost items, or the full cost minus depreciation, rather than the exact amount it will take to buy a new item at retail price. At Wayne Wright LLP, our attorneys will fight to get you maximum compensation for your losses, and we do not charge anything unless we win your case. Schedule your free consultation here. For immediate assistance, call us today at 800-237-3334 to have us explain your options at no cost to you!