By Lorie Ham
We all purchase insurance hoping that we will never have to use it, but what is it really like when you do? Mennonite Insurance agent Yolanda Hernandez recently found out when she had to file a water claim for her kitchen over the holidays.
“The housing part (below sink) of the kitchen sink came loose and water was leaking I think for at least a full day or two before I realized it,” shares Yolanda. “I realized something was wrong when I was washing dishes and heard a gushing sound. I opened the cabinets and water was over flowing everywhere. The bottom portion of the cabinet was totally wet and so was the cabinet next to it. My mom always kept a large bowl or container under the sink in case of a leaky faucet. So I have always done this too, but the container was completely full and over flowing. It was overwhelming to see so much water everywhere.”
As a diligent homeowner, Yolanda acted quickly and cleaned the water up right away, preventing more damage. She also called out a cleaning and restoration company to help dry everything up. “The insurance adjuster stated that if I would have waited until the next day to call ServiceMaster, the cabinets most likely would have been a total loss.”
Next, it was time to file a claim. These were the steps Yolanda followed to open a claim:
- Call your insurance company
- Let them know date and time of the event
- A brief description of what happened
- If you have photos, those are always helpful
- If you have done anything to prevent further damage it is always good to let the insurance carrier know
After you file a claim, an insurance adjuster goes out to assess the damage and reports the information, along with photos, back to the insurance company. They also include an estimate of what the damages would be minus the deductible.
“As a homeowner you have the option of getting multiple estimates and going with a repair company of your choice,” continues Yolanda. “It is always recommended that you use a licensed contractor to guarantee the work. If your repairs will be more than the deductible, then you would receive a check for the remainder.”
Yolanda has Homeowners (Hazard) Insurance with a $1000 deductible. If you don’t know what kind of insurance you have, talk to your agent so you can be informed and prepared just as she was. “As a homeowner, we should always try to be vigilant and aware of our property condition. Checking sink areas for leaking pipes or broken parts every once in a while is a good way to avoid this type of loss.”