Water damage is one of the most commonly misunderstood topics when it comes to homeowners insurance policies. Even though the policies you sell to your customers list damages that are covered and other situations that are excluded from coverage, many of your clients may still have misconceptions about the coverage they purchased.
As an insurance agent, it’s your job to assist in answering questions as needed and educate customers about complex terms and conditions. If you haven’t been talking about water damage with your policyholders, then it may be time to begin. Here are a few major myths clients tend to believe about water damage and how you can help them in the event of a water claim down the road.
Myth No. 1: “I can clean the water damage on my own.”
In this day and age of do-it-yourself projects and online tutorials, many of your customers may assume that they can clean and repair any water damage simply by renting equipment and replacing furniture. While they can (and should!) assist in doing temporary repairs to their home post-water damage, there are many lingering effects that are best handled by professionals brought in by the insurance company. Suggest to your clients that the most efficient and thorough way to keep the home from obtaining mold or other hazardous situations is by hiring an expert.
Myth No. 2: “My insurance covers mold and flood.”
In nearly all cases, mold and flood damage are both not covered by standard homeowners insurance policies. Yet, countless homeowners still believe that this is not the case. Although people can have extra coverage for water damage, flood endorsements and flood-specific policies are not included and are purchased in addition to homeowners insurance policies. Make sure your customers understand this distinction and consider offering flood insurance to all of your clients, even when not required.
Myth No. 3: “I can clean my sewage- and water-damaged carpets.”
Just because people can doesn’t mean they should. Carpets that have been soaked in floodwaters or sewage backup can lead to a variety of health hazards, even if they seem like they’ve been cleaned thoroughly. Sewage contains many bacteria and contaminants that can lead to stomach problems, inflammatory issues and respiratory problems. Talk to your clients about the importance of having an expert clean or replace fabric and carpets inside their homes after water damage.
Help Clients by Providing Resources and Facts
Many policyholders do not understand the best steps to take or the best person to contact initially in the case of a water claim. Sometimes, former agents, friends or family members may try to guide your client but will unknowingly provide incorrect information when it comes to figuring out loss.
At ASI, our Claims Department can assist you and your clients with finding the best point of contact for each water claim situation. Our team at ASI strives to guide our independent agents and policyholders in the right direction every time.
We are here to offer our resources to you and our policyholders first and foremost. If your client uses ASI, give us a call at 866-ASI-LOSS. We have a preferred vendor list we can share with you and provide suggestions on how to proceed with water claims procedures.
Learn More About ASI
ASI is one of the largest homeowners insurance carriers in the United States. Through a network of independent agents, the company offers home, condo, renters, dwelling fire and flood insurance in over half the country, with plans to cover the rest by 2017. Find out more at AmericanStrategic.com.