With the start of summer, come summer rainstorms. The rain is welcome in crop fields and gardens and nourishes lawns. But when it keeps coming, harder and faster, the welcome can turn into dread. For anyone who has ever wondered when the last time they checked their sump pump, this concern is all too real: will the storm outpace my home’s ability to stay dry?
Flooding can occur in spite of all the best intention and preparation. Power goes out. Pumps fail. Sometimes the rain just falls too rapidly. In recent years, as summer storms grow in their frequency and intensity, these minor disasters seem to be picking up as well.
If you find yourself stepping off that last basement step and hear that *splish*, that feeling of your stomach sinking is unavoidable. Panic over how much higher the water might rise (and what furniture and keepsakes you need to evacuate from the basement for salvage) is natural. But once the immediate emergency passes and the water begins to recede, you need to act quickly to protect your home, your health, and your pocket book.
First, you should check with your local government. As the Sun-Times helpfully laid out, the City of Chicago encourages calls to 3-1-1 to report flood damage. This creates an official record of your report. It also helps with Step 2: report the claim to your insurance company. You should do this as quickly as possible. If you are dealing with property or health emergencies, then you need to resolve those first. But once you have a moment, call your company. The quicker you call, the less hassle you will encounter.
In the wake of disaster, furniture and household items that have been destroyed must be removed from the house to prevent the moisture from lingering. Eventually, any mold or water damage must be removed and remediated to protect your family’s health. All of this will cost money. So, making the claim right away will help expedite processing.
Insurance for water damage only helps if the claim is paid in a timely fashion. You do have rights against your insurance company if they fail to honor valid claims. But litigating takes time and time does not replace your basement furniture or pay to replace waterlogged drywall. However, if you find yourself in a dispute with your insurer, please contact our office. You deserve your claim to be processed quickly and painlessly, getting the financial protection you paid for.