FRIDAY, JANUARY 6, 2017
One could say it’s a little cold outside. Everyone’s toes are in a constant state of almost-frostbite, heaters are on blast, and if you’re like me, you have a pallet that is a permanent fixture next to the fire place that your husband silently judges. Baby it’s cold outside is an understatement when the weatherman says it feels like 5 degrees. With the freezing temps, our phones are flooded with one of the most common winter claims—pipes bursting. This occurs when the water running through the pipes freezes, expanding the pipe and causing the pipe itself to break. Loss of water is one thing while everything is frozen, but once it all starts to thaw water damage can be costly. Just ask the countless woman on The Bachelor that have cried on national TV over a man they met 15 minutes ago. Water damage to your home or your face is no joke, y’all. Don’t let this cold weather freeze your heart though. Just follow these directions to get through the trauma and possibly light some sparks.
If you come home from work and find 6 inches of water in your basement due to a pipe bursting you might think the first answer is to call your agent, but that’s incorrect. Firstly, cry a little bit. That’s just not a fun way to come home. Remember, do not cry outside because it’s cold and water freezes and causes problems.
Secondly, turn off the water valve. Find that water key that has cobwebs in that random corner and shut that sucker off. Sometimes the covering is heavy so you may need to ask for some help. True story, a good friend could not lift the covering off the line where her shutoff valve was as water was pouring out of her garage door. Out of panic, she ran across the street to the handsome neighbor who could help. They’re now married. Opportunity comes at inopportune times, but make sure the tears in step one don't have you looking a hot mess when you knock on Mr. Opportunity's door.
Once the water is turned off, call your agent and start the claims process. The insurance company or your agent should be able to help you get a water restoration company on the job ASAP. Ask your agent for a local company that you can trust. Why water restoration? They deal with these claims day in and day out and know how, when, why, and where to start with water damage. It’s important to mitigate your loss and start this process immediately. The faster a water restoration company can get out there and start getting everything dried, the less risk you have for mold after the fact. Also, the faster they get out there the quicker you could meet the love of your life. An agent told a story about how he recommended a water company to an insured. When the water tech arrived, sparks were aflyin’. The agent received a wedding invitation in the mail a year later ... aww.
As the claim progresses, the insurance company will investigate this to make sure that it’s a covered loss. If you left to go on vacation and turned the heat off to save a few dollars then they may decline the claim. As a homeowner, you do have a duty to make sure your house is taken care of. If you’ve left the home vacant then there’s a high likelihood that the clam will be declined. Once the company determines that your insurance policy provides coverage it will determine the repair costs. If you have a contractor, the adjustor will usually work with the adjustor on this aspect. This is another reason to use a water restoration company as they can usually handle the claim from the water damage portion all the way to reconstruction if need be and know how to deal with insurance companies. Sometimes being able to deal with one person through a claim process can make it easier. Depending on the extent of damage, you may not be able to stay at your home for an extended period. Most policies provide coverage for additional living expenses like renting a temporary home or staying in a hotel and let’s be honest, who doesn’t like room service?
Claims and dating can be frustrating, but a good insurance company, contractor, agent, and a little luck can make it all go smoothly. If you have questions regarding your Oklahoma home insurance, ECI is always here.
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