Looking to make a water damage insurance claim for your wood flooring?
You’re not alone! Water damage is among the most common insurance claims and affects roughly 1 out of every 50 households every year. You’ve understandably got questions about what’s covered, repairs, timelines, and insurance.
Let’s review the process of repair and insurance claims so that you can get back to enjoying your beautiful flooring.
Repairing Water-Damaged Hardwood Floors
Now that the damage has been done, repairs to your hardwood flooring are likely the first thing on your mind. There are a few necessary steps to make sure that repairs and the insurance claims go as smoothly as possible. A key step is documentation.
First, take photos of current damage to include in your insurance claim so that you can get the compensation you deserve.
Next, if your insurance company agrees to cover the damage, they will generally hire a leak detection service or plumber to spot the leak and repair. Suppose your insurance company agrees to cover repairs for your hardwood flooring. In that case, they will generally pay for repairing only the area where the leak is located and not the entire house or piping system.
Emergency drying is also generally covered. Specifics should be covered in your policy and your insurance company can cover additional details with you.
Your insurance company may recommend a water damage restoration company to complete the drying, repair, and replacement process on your flooring. It’s a good idea to contact a professional flooring company since the insurance company’s vendors may lack the specific expertise necessary to tackle hardwood floors or cut corners to save insurance companies’ money.
A professional contractor not affiliated with or beholden to your insurance company is more likely to leave you with a repair that you are satisfied with.
With the estimate from your insurance company’s claims manager, you can negotiate with the contractor to get a repair that fits that budget!
Length of Time for Water to Damage Hardwood Floors
Removing all traces of moisture from your damaged hardwood floors is a lengthy and time-consuming process, and, in the end, you will likely need to replace the damaged flooring. We recommend that you contact an expert in water damage restoration as soon as you notice the water damage so that the damage and the repair timeline is shorter.
This is especially important because additional time often means additional water damage, cost, and restoration time. Overall, contacting the experts will reduce the time that water is present to damage the hardwood floors.
How Much Insurance Coverage Can You Expect?
Insurance coverage for flooring varies depending on your current company and policy. However, one point to note is that insurance companies are generally concerned with their bottom line, reducing their own costs.
This means that it’s in your best interest to research and document every step in the process and negotiate with your insurance company to ensure that you’re not taken advantage of.
A contractor not affiliated with your insurance provider can often ensure that you get a better deal.
Developing a knowledge of the repair process and the language of your policy is also helpful!
Will Insurance Cover Hardwood Flooring Water Damage?
Insurance Coverage A, also known as “Dwelling Coverage,” is designed to cover home rebuilding expenses due to damage considered due to perils. In many cases, water damage can be considered a peril.
This means that, under Coverage A, insurance can cover the cost of rebuilding or repairs to features considered attached or a part of your home’s structure, including water damage to hardwood floors, after you submit a water claim. Insurance will generally pay for floors to be repaired or replaced with flooring of a similar type and quality. Weather-related damage, spills, leaks, overflows, and seeping can be covered in many cases.
While insurance will often pay for water damage to hardwood floors, your claim may be denied in the case of damage due to “long-term” leaks, leaks that have lasted more than 14 days. Mold growth is a common sign of long-term leaks.
Although it can take only 24 hours for mold to grow, this can often inhibit your insurance claim. It’s essential that a licensed plumber inspect the area and get documentation of the damage so that you can ensure that your insurance knows the true timeframe and pays for the water damage if it occurred within a short time frame.
A few instances that may not be covered are damage due to floods and lack of maintenance. Make sure to consult your specific company and policy to find out what is covered!
Water Below Engineered Wood Floors
Water under engineered wood floors, because the flooring is glued down, is a special case. Water below the surface can cause buckling, discoloration, and delamination. If the floors are beyond repair, they should be taken out and replaced.
After removing flooring, the subfloor needs to dry according to industry recommendations before installing new flooring. Be sure to consult a contractor to ensure proper removal, drying, and reinstallation.
Insurance Claims for Laminate Flooring
Whether or not your insurance covers laminate flooring depends on how your claim is decided. For example, in the case of floods or other excluded water damage scenarios, your laminate flooring insurance claim may be denied.
However, if your claim is due to wind, hurricane, or another weather-related disaster, you will likely be covered up to the amount decided by your insurance company and policy. These are just a couple of likely scenarios.
Be sure to consult with your insurance company and inspect your policy to determine what may be covered for you!
Insurance Coverage for Subfloor Water Damage
In some cases, you may find that the water damage is so extensive that drying the subfloor after flooding is difficult. This can interfere with repairs, and wet wood is quickly susceptible to mold that can affect drywall and framing.
In such cases where the entire subfloor needs replacing, homeowners’ insurance will often cover subfloors’ replacement due to water damage. Be sure to consult with a contractor and your insurance company to determine the necessity and coverage of subfloor replacement for you.
If you’re facing insurance claims for water-damaged hardwood floors, you’re not alone. This is one of the most common insurance claims every year. Navigating the claim, repair, replacement, and negotiation process can feel daunting.
However, educating yourself on your options, your coverage, and lobbying for yourself in your claim can pay off in dividends and leave you with a new floor you’ll love!