Disaster stikes at home–water damage, fire or mold–should you tell your insurance company?

Let’s face it, S. Florida homeowners, the cost of homeowner’s insurance is already high in our area, and there are strong indications it will get much higher.  This creates a dilemma: what is a homeowner to do when a disaster strikes?  Perhaps a plumbing pipe burst in an interior wall and your living room is 2″ under water.  Maybe your sizzling fajitas got a little out of hand and you had a small kitchen fire.  What if you see black spots appearing on the walls in your bathroom?  Should you report the incident to your insurance company or should you try to fix the problem yourself ?  You figure if you report the problem to the insurance company, your premium will surely be increased.  Then, in order to afford to insure your home for the same coverage and keep your premium down, you’ll have to raise your deductible. This creates a real “catch 22” situation.   

When I’m faced with a quandary like this, I look to experts in the field to help me out.  I presented the scenario to Adam Greenstein of ServPro (954-445-4264) and this is what he had to say: 

Are property insurance rates increasing?  Are your insurance deductibles decreasing?   Most people would answer “yes” and “no” to the questions provided above.   The insurance market in S. Florida is making living a challenge.  If you wanted to lower insurance premiums for your home or business you would limit or lower your coverage or increase your deductibles. 

 As an owner of Servpro of E. Davie /CooperCity/W. Tamarac/ N. Lauderdale I’m faced with these decisions each day.  My insurance company increases rates each year and I’m forced to raise my deductible to $5,000 for any covered incident that may occur in my home.  I can afford to do so because I do own a restoration company but most people aren’t in my situation. 

 In 2010, the average cost for one of my clients for water damage was $1500.  That doesn’t include the price for build back or replacement costs to damaged property.  SERVPRO’S (of E. Davie /CooperCity) goal for homeowners and insurance companies is to restore vs. replace items so build back cost could be limited to a minimum.  Say your insurance deductible was $1500 or $2500, what would you do if you had a minor water damage situation?  Would you report the claim or would you try to handle matters on your own?  How would you know how much damage you currently have on your hands? 

 More property owners aren’t filing claims when water, fire or mold strikes.  Instead they are mopping up water, covering up mold or cleaning up fire and soot themselves due to the fear of paying high deductibles.  In most cases this leads to mold damage from water in undetected places or the smell of fire and soot left behind for years.  Say the wrong thing or report an old claim to your insurance company after water, fire or mold strikes can result in claim denials.

 What to do?  To avoid filing unnecessary claims or doing nothing when disasters strike, call SERVPRO of E. Davie / Cooper City and let our team of trained professionals give free scopes and estimates to determine the right solutions to your problem.  Call us 24/7/365 and my team will provide free scopes and estimates (during business hours if non-emergency).  My company goes above and beyond the call of duty to make your loss “Like it Never Even Happened”.

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