What to Do During a Water Damage Claim

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Charlie Cutler


Water Damage Claims Adjusted

Discovering water damage in your place of worship can be a daunting experience, leaving you wondering about the next steps. At ChurchWest, we understand the urgency of getting back to your mission with minimal disruptions. That’s why I’m here to guide you through the process of handling a water damage claim, ensuring your ministry is well-equipped to manage risks and recover quickly.

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Step 1: Immediate Action to Mitigate Damage

First and foremost, if the water hasn’t been shut off yet, do so immediately to prevent further damage. Begin removing water by opening doors and windows, using brooms to push the water out, and employing a shop vac if available. Being proactive in these initial stages is crucial. If you believe you can manage the cleanup and repair on your own, it’s still wise to consult a professional to assess and prevent potential mold damage. We’re here to connect you with professionals who specialize in these situations.

Step 2: Filing Your Claim

Should you decide that the scope of damage is beyond your ministry’s capacity to repair, it’s time to turn in a claim. While you can directly contact your insurance company, we recommend reaching out to us at ChurchWest first. By doing so, we can gather all necessary information from the start, allowing us to better prepare the adjusters for a more streamlined process.

Step 3: Documenting the Damage

When turning in your claim, detailed documentation is your best ally. Photos and videos of each affected room can significantly help. Try to capture the extent of the damage, including how many rooms are affected and the size of the impacted area. Remember, adjusters might not have the context of your situation, so your documentation helps paint a clearer picture.

Step 4: Preventing Further Damage

Before an adjuster is assigned, you’ll likely need help drying out the affected areas. This step is critical; however, choosing the right restoration company is equally important. Unfortunately, not all restoration companies are created equal. Some may inadvertently cause more harm than good. At ChurchWest, we can recommend trusted vendors who have a history of successfully working with ministries and insurance companies.

Step 5: Preparing for Repairs

The real work begins once everything is dry. The restoration company and insurance need to assess what’s salvageable, what needs cleaning or repairs, and what should be replaced. This process takes time, but you can start by inventorying damaged items and estimating replacement costs. If the water damage affects your ministry’s activities, consider finding an alternative space, and inform the adjuster as extra expense protection may cover these costs.

Step 6: The Road to Recovery

An insurance adjuster will be assigned to prepare a repair estimate, a process that may involve both company employees and independent adjusters. With the estimate in hand, it’s time to engage contractors to start the repairs. Should any unexpected issues arise, communicate these promptly to the adjuster for a swift resolution.

Communication is Key

Throughout this process, clear and prompt communication with your insurance adjuster is paramount. Detailed updates, quick responses, and thorough documentation can significantly ease the claim process. Remember, most claim delays or issues stem from communication breakdowns. By maintaining open lines of communication, you ensure a smoother journey towards restoring your ministry’s facilities.

Patience and Persistence

Recovering from water damage is a marathon, not a sprint. While we all wish for swift resolutions, reality dictates a timeframe that includes drying, assessing, and repairing. Your dedication to the recovery process and responsiveness to your adjuster will pave the way to a successful claim.

At ChurchWest, our mission is helping your ministry manage risks so you can focus on what truly matters. If water damage has impacted your facility, remember, you’re not alone. We’re here to guide, support, and ensure you can return to your mission as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Charlie Cutler

Charlie Cutler is the President of ChurchWest Insurance Services, a California-based agency that specializes in providing insurance solutions to churches and related ministries. Charlie has been with ChurchWest for over 20 years and has extensive experience in the insurance industry, with a particular focus on the unique risks and challenges facing Christian organizations. Charlie is a sought-after speaker and has presented at numerous conferences and seminars on insurance and risk management topics.

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