Scenario: John experienced water damage in his hall and dining room after the water heater pipe burst four months ago. It started in the middle of the night and continued till the next day until the arrival of the plumber. The plumber then turned off the water and got the pipe and the heater replaced. 3 months later John noticed signs of floor damage and that the tiles in his room began to move. This resulted in John hurting himself one day by falling down and now he is handicapped. His question here is can he make a claim now that it has been 4 months already since the water damage?
Solution: If you have home insurance and suffer any damage then report the damage immediately to avoid hassles in the future. Usually after damage is reported the insurance company sends in an adjuster to assess the damage and hence the compensation you will receive for it. After 4 months it might become a little difficult to convince the adjuster about the severity of damage. However, if there are genuine reasons the adjuster might be willing to come to a negotiation. A genuine reason might include depression from the damage incurred and breakage of mental strength resulting in failure to handle the situation.
What do you need to do immediately after an accident occurs?
Waiting for 4 months after damage is not a wise idea. Though there might be circumstances where you may not be able to report a damage, you could still take a look at the things to do right after a damage occurs:
- Immediately call your insurance company and give notice of a claim: Get in touch with your agent if you think you need to claim home insurance for any damage. Your agent will then let you know what steps you need to follow to make a claim and provide answers to insurance questions that you might have.
- Assess the damage caused: If you can then document the damage that has incurred. Take photographs of the places damaged along with any written document that you might have. Keep these handy when the adjuster visits.
- Make temporary repairs if possible: Prevent future damage by making temporary repairs. This is your responsibility and when you make repairs keep the receipts from the repairing company so that you can be reimbursed in future.
- Make a list of damaged items: Put in a list all the items damaged as well as missing. If you have replacement cost, you can use it here.
- Have patience: Keep in regular touch with your insurer and don’t lose patience if things go a little wrong. If there is a problem get in touch with an agent who will guide you through the entire situation.