Water leaks are the most common disaster in homes. Your home insurance includes water damage coverage. The extent of the guarantees is specified in the contract and may vary from one insurer to another.
Stop the Leak to Prevent the Disaster from Getting Worse
As soon as you notice the water damage, you must take action to stop the water leak and prevent the situation from getting worse: turn off the water tap, mop up, and protect your furniture. However, take some pictures that you can send later to your insurer if requested.
If the flooding is severe, also turn off the electricity to avoid any risk of short circuit or electrocution. If your house is completely under water, obviously contact the fire department to intervene. If you can’t find the source of the damage or you can’t fix it on your own, call a plumber. If you do not have the contact details of a plumber, and to avoid the risk of frequent scams in this situation, you can contact your insurer who will certainly have a recognized plumber to recommend to you.
Inform the People Involved
Even if the leak is located in your home, it may have repercussions on neighbors. This is why you must warn all the people potentially affected by the disaster: your neighbors, the syndicate of co-ownership or even your landlord if you are renting.
Make a Declaration of Water Damage to Your Insurance
Within 5 working days following the discovery of the water damage, you must declare it to your insurance company or to the broker who manages your home contract. Start by contacting him by phone or by going directly to the branch. Your insurer may ask you to notify them of the incident by mail or to make a declaration online, from your customer area.
Permanently Repair To Prevent Any Recurrence
The emergency repair, which you probably carried out on the day of the disaster, is not always sufficient to prevent any recurrence. Extensive work is often also a prerequisite for unlocking insurance compensation. Repair work is not covered by the insurer. It only compensates material and immaterial damage resulting from the claim.
Estimate the Repair Work on the Dwelling
Your insurer can pay you compensation if the leak, infiltration or flood has damaged your walls, floor, furniture or electrical installation. Relocation expenses or loss of rent for landlords what insurers call “intangible damage” may also be paid out.
The Passage of the Expert
For damage of a modest amount, expertise is rare. In this case, the insurer is satisfied with your declarations, photos, etc. On the other hand, it is almost systematic when the sums involved increase. Your insurer appoints an expert. Its role is then to assess the damage itself and to give, if necessary, indications on the origin of the leak. The expert can also ask you for supporting documents to certify the damage suffered. The photos taken, the invoices and other warranty vouchers are used to feed your file.
Payment of Compensation
Your insurer calculates the compensation to which you are entitled following any expert opinion or taking into account your declaration of loss alone. If you have had the amount of the repairs assessed by a professional, reimbursement on the basis of an estimate or invoice may be decided by your insurance company. If you accept the compensation offer, it will be paid within the time limits set out in the contract.