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QUESTION: Hi, my condo is flooded from a heavy rain, I have a Insurance, what step should I take so I don't lose money?

ANSWER: This requires urgent action otherwise all your contents plus the fabric of the condo may be damaged by the water or the growth of mold if the water and dampness are not cleared up quickly.

1. Take pictures of the condo as it stands. It is very important you have an accurate record of what happened and how you dealt with it.

2. If you can move any of the contents out of the condo, do so. This particularly applies to anything of particular value. The insurer will be critical of you if you sit by and do nothing while all your more valuable possessions are slowly destroyed by the water or its consequences. The insurer may reduce the payment out.

3. Can you personally, the managing committee of the condo block or a reputable local builder take emergency action to drain the water out of the condo and prevent it from returning? The longer the water staying inside the building, the more damage will be caused, particularly if the water is contaminated with sewage or anything else unpleasant.

4. Contact the claims department of your insurer and ask for a claims assessor to come round fast. Ask if the insurer will authorize emergency payment to move all your contents out, dry them out and store them. Now is the time to be completely familiar with all the terms of the policy. Know and understand what all the terms mean, particularly those affecting flooding and water damage.

5. Keep good notes of who says what when talking to the claims department. Consider keeping recordings of conversations if the insurer gives you promises and undertakings.

6. Once the condo is cleared out, you need a full structural survey of the damage to your condo and to any common parts that affect you. You should also get detailed information on the source of the water. You may be looking at litigation to recover loss and damage if the arrival of the water was due to someone's negligence.

7. Agree a comprehensive package of measures with the claims adjuster to reinstate the condo, replace whatever contents are beyond repair and move the other contents back in. again keep very good notes of what is said.

8. Take great care if the insurer offers you a quick check in settlement. Do not accept any payment in full and final satisfaction of all claims unless you are satisfied there are no other possible losses to consider and the amount offered is adequate. It is usually better to wait until the builders have finished any repair work before closing a claim. It is often surprising what builders find when they start looking behind damaged plaster on walls and under floors.

Hopefully, this answers the question.

Best wishes


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