Tips for cold weather insurance claims - CBS 5 - KPHO

Tips for cold weather insurance claims

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

The weather still hasn't stopped bringing freezing cold temperatures night after night and the headache of insurance claims from busted water pipes.

Plumbers have been making repairs for days and now the insurance claim process is in full swing.

"We've seen a spike in claims in the last couple of days," said Vice President of Insurance and Financial Services for AAA Brad Oltmans.

He said most of the claims have been from water damage. So, if you have found yourself in the middle of the mess and need to make a claim he says technology is your best friend and probably the quickest way to do it.

"A website is always the first place to go today. Some companies have smartphone apps," he said.

Oltmans advised that an adjuster should get back with you within 24 to 48 hours and if they do not he recommends to call your agent.

He also recommends having some information ready for the adjuster.

"Take pictures, obviously of the damage, and make sure you can tell them in general when you found the leak," he said.

If some of your damage needed a quick fix before the professionals could mend it, you'll want to keep track of those expenses too.

"Make sure you keep all of your receipts if you have to replace something in advance of the adjuster getting there so they understand what you did," said Oltmans.

Most home insurance policies will cover water damage like from a busted pipe. Oltmans said if you have damage to a pool pump, you may want to check and see if your home warranty will cover those repair costs.

Oltmans also said you might not know that you have damage yet, because things like a pool pump, water heater or sprinkler can have a slow leak. He recommends watching those things closely.

AAA also recommends calling your HOA to make sure you know if it's your insurance or theirs responsible for any damage costs.

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