Water and Flood Damage Insurance Claims
Information and Resources
We are so sorry if you have experienced the negative effects from the August 11th rainfall. Many homes and businesses in Oak Park, Huntington Woods, Royal Oak, Southfield, and throughout the Metro Detroit area have sustained widespread damage from flooding. We understand that many of you have insurance-related questions; therefore we have put together some general information that will help you get through this difficult time.
Unfortunately, most insurance policies do not automatically cover backup from Sewers and Drains, or for surface water entering the residence through walls, etc. Coverage for backup damages is available through an additional endorsement that covers Sewer and Drain backup. Water infiltration through roof and walls requires extended coverage. Please review your policy very carefully to see if you have a water endorsement or other water backup coverage. If you have coverage, or are unsure if you have coverage, you should report your loss to your insurance carrier as soon as possible. If you do not have your insurance policy on hand, call your agent immediately to find out if you have coverage. If you are covered, ask your agent to fax or email you a copy of the page stating that you are covered for this type of loss.
Other Sources of Funding
In the case of sewer back-up due to the fact that the city’s sewer was unable to handle the rainwater, various cities may accept claims for damages. Please contact your local government office to inquire how to make a claim and/or the availability of assistance to you. There are strict time deadlines for filing claims.
In addition, you may be able to write off some of your loss as a non-reimbursable expense on your taxes. Please consult with your CPA or Tax Advisor.
At this time it is unknown what, if any, government assistance will be provided. However, if a state of emergency is declared as a result of the rainfall, some type of federal assistance may be provided to you. As we learn more we will keep our website updated.
There is little you can do until the water recedes or is removed from your home. If you have standing water, please do whatever possible to remove the water. Check to make sure your drain openings are not blocked by any obstructions. Take pictures of the damage to your structure and your contents for documentation purposes. Once the water recedes, you will need to dispose of items that can retain moisture, such as carpet, insulation and drywall. Remove all personal property items that you would like to save, such as books and clothing, from the basement to dry them as soon as possible as these items will retain moisture. When all wet materials have been removed, attempt to dry out the area with dehumidifiers and fans.
Talk to your neighbors. If the water is going down in their home but not in yours, you may have a blockage and will need to have your drains snaked. Even if your water has receded, it is not a bad idea to get your drains snaked in the next couple days as there may be some blockages caused by the backup. Local mitigation contractors are overwhelmed with calls and you may not get be able to get immediate assistance from them. When looking to hire a mitigation contractor, make sure they are IICRC certified. We urge you to take all steps necessary to protect your residence and business from further damage that may be caused by long-term moisture exposure.
Documenting Your Loss
Regardless of coverage or where you are going for reimbursement, it is important that you thoroughly document your loss through photographs and detailed inventories. The below documents can help you identify and track your damages.
We hope this information has been helpful to you. If you have any questions about your property insurance claim, you may contact us through our Contact Form, or call us at 800.445.1554.