One of the most common causes of property damage in South Florida is water damage. Culprits include broken pipes, leaky showers, AC leaks. This is a massive issue that can affect homes, condos, and commercial properties, but what about water damage cases that come from sources outside of your property? This problem may be particularly relevant for condo owners who may need to file claims from condos above theirs. Suppose you notice a significant leak that’s coming from upstairs. What you do next will determine your success in solving the issue.
Identify the source of the water damage
Now that you’ve noticed the problem, it’s essential that you identify where it’s coming from and notify the condo owner upstairs right away. The damage to your ceiling could be coming from anything, so the upstairs condo owner must know what’s going on so you can address the problem expeditiously. Doing so quickly lowers the chances that the water damage leads to more complicated issues, such as mold.
Prevent more damage to your property and the one upstairs
Now that you’ve identified where the damage is coming from it’s time to limit the amount of damage to the properties. Work with the upstairs owner and apply these emergency precautions:
- Get rid of any excess water: in order to prevent later mold growth, keep the area dry. A public adjuster may have direct contact with the water remediation company and be able to get the water damage company to your property swiftly
- Remember to shut off breakers if you need to remove any electrical devices in wet areas: depending on the extent of the damage that maybe something that you’ll need to deal with
- Make sure furniture and other personal belongings are safe to prevent further damage
- Remove wet fabrics, papers, documents, and other items off of floors or carpets to avoid mold
- Do not remove water with a dry vacuum
- Do not use electrical appliances while in contact with wet surfaces, and particularly not on wet concrete
Double-check your condo laws and your insurance policies
The next thing to do is check what’s covered on your insurance. In order to do this, it’s essential you determine which party is responsible. For example, if the leaky water affecting your ceiling is actually coming from the upstairs property, the question becomes who is responsible, and who should be filing the insurance claim. The rules for this will depend on your condo and condo association.
In Florida there are specific condo laws that cover condo associations and insurance policies – Statute Section 718.111(11). The law states that the condo association is responsible for repairing any portions that were insured by said association and that were damaged by an insurable event.
Additionally, the law states “the coverage must exclude all personal property within the unit…appliances, water heaters, water filters…or replacements of any of the foregoing which are located within the boundaries of the unit and serve only such unit. Such property and any insurance thereupon is the responsibility of the unit owner.”
Contact a public adjuster
Once you’ve figured out who’s responsible for the damage, whoever is responsible files the insurance claim. This is the part where you should reach out to a public adjuster. Before doing this, make sure you have all the necessary information at hand:
- Name of insured
- Contact number and email
- policy number
- A description of the damage: date of loss, location of loss, detailed description of what was damaged
- notify authorities, fire department, police, etc.
- Contact emergency service companies and damage mitigators: let them know who you’ve contacted and whether you’ve reached out to emergency service companies or taken any measures to limit damage
If you aren’t informed about water damage issues it’s easy for companies to exploit this. Reaching out to a public adjuster is the best thing to do, a good one will be able to identify all types of damage, short and long-term. This will ensure that you get the maximum value out of your insurance. Get in Contact with Platinum Public Adjusters in Miami, FL Today!