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  • Writer's pictureBrady Grewe

Navigating Claims: Assessing and Documenting Water Damage for Insurance

Updated: Jul 7

Water damage can strike unexpectedly, leaving homeowners with the daunting task of not only restoring their space but also navigating insurance claims. In this guide, we delve into the essential steps of assessing and documenting water damage, underscoring the significance of thorough documentation, especially through the lens of your camera. 

A few years ago, before I was in the restoration industry, I had a water loss in my basement. I called my insurance agent, and he told me to take lots of pictures of everything. I am so happy we had that conversation. Otherwise, it would have been very hard to prove that the water loss had occurred after I cleaned it up myself. 

I worked for a client that was not so lucky. He was trying to do the right thing and get the mess cleaned up right away. When he submitted the claim, it did not get fully covered because he did not have documentation. So sadly, he got stuck with part of the bill to put things back together. I am passionate about educating people on this topic so that this does not happen to you or other people. 

1. Safety > Documenting Water Damage for Insurance

Before diving into documentation, prioritize safety. Ensure the affected areas are safe to access and take necessary precautions to avoid hazards. Once safety is assured, begin the assessment process. If you are not sure if it is safe, call a professional. 

2. Comprehensive Visual Inspection:

Conduct a detailed visual inspection of the affected areas. Look for visible signs of water damage, such as stains, discoloration, and peeling paint. Pay attention to flooring, walls, ceilings, and structural elements. Identify the source of the water damage and note its extent. Shut off the water supply if it is a pipe burst. 

3. Utilize Your Camera:

Your smartphone or camera is your most powerful ally in this process. Document every detail meticulously. Capture wide-angle shots to provide an overall view, and then zoom in to highlight specific damage. Focus on both the affected areas and any contributing factors, such as leaking pipes or compromised roofing. Keep all of these photos throughout the entire process until everything is completed and your claim has been closed. 

4. Close-Up Shots:

Take close-up shots of individual items or sections where damage is evident. These shots can serve as valuable evidence, especially when it comes to assessing the extent of damage to personal belongings and structural components. If the event is covered by insurance most policies also include coverage to your material items which means you can get them replaced so do not just throw them away if you think they are damaged, document it with pictures and notes. 

5. Capture the Timeline:

Document the timeline of events. Include photos with timestamps to chronicle when the water damage occurred, how it progressed, and any remediation efforts undertaken. A chronological visual record can strengthen your insurance claim. Documenting the steps you take to stop the damage is important as it is your duty to stop the damage as quickly as possible, insurance may not cover something if it was due to you leaving it for a long period of time before getting it fixed. 

6. Detail in Writing:

While visuals are paramount, complement them with written documentation. Provide a detailed description of the damage, including affected materials, causes, and your immediate actions to mitigate further harm. This may seem tedious at the time but you want to ensure no doubt with your claim. 

8. Consult Professionals:

Engage professionals for a thorough assessment. Their expertise can uncover hidden damage and provide additional documentation to support your insurance claim. If you call a professional right away, they should complete the documentation to ensure a smooth process with your insurance.

9. Prompt Reporting to Insurer:

Once you've compiled a comprehensive documentation package, promptly report the water damage to your insurance company. Provide clear and organized visuals along with your written account. Timely reporting is crucial for a swift claims process. You want to get your home back to its original glory as quickly as possible so make sure to get everything submitted as quickly as possible. 

Empowering Your Claim with Visuals

In the realm of insurance claims, a picture truly is worth a thousand words. Thorough documentation, especially through visual means, is your strongest ally in securing a fair and comprehensive settlement. As you navigate the process, remember that Renew by Grewe Restoration is here to offer guidance and support. From assessing the damage to documenting it, your diligence ensures that your home's story is heard and restored with precision.

Water Damaged Basement
Water Damaged Basement- Floating Sandal

Warm regards,

Brady Grewe


Renew by Grewe Restoration


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