Understanding Property Damage Mitigation

Home insurance  helps protect your property and possessions in the case of a loss. If you’ve suffered a loss, damage mitigation (preventing additional property damage) is one of the most important steps you can take when filing a claim.

What is property damage?

To understand damage mitigation, it is also important to know exactly what is property damage. Property damage occurs when there is damage or destruction to personal property due to negligence, resulting in a loss of use of that property. In other words, property damage means there was destruction to property caused by an inattentive act and now it is no longer able to be used.

What is damage mitigation?

Managing property damage is called mitigation. Failing to mitigate (prevent additional damage to your property), may reduce or eliminate your insurance coverage, depending on the circumstances. That’s why it is important to understand the answer to the question, “What is damage mitigation?” and know the steps to take to help prevent additional damage.

Some common types of property damage mitigation include:

  • Removing fallen trees or branches from your home
  • Covering the damaged area(s) of your home with tarps to help prevent further wind or water damage
  • Turning off your water and stopping a leak
  • Drying out your home

Depending on the extent of the damage, you may need to hire an expert to assist you with damage mitigation. Often, a plumber, restoration company, contractor or other professional can help.  If so, your claims representative can offer suggestions for a recommended professional.

Home Insurance Claims: How do I know what mitigation is needed?

We’ll work with you to help mitigate the property damage to your home. Here are the steps to take:

  • If you have a home insurance claim, contact your insurance provider right away.
  • If it’s an emergency, clarify that with your claims representative.
  • Your claims representative will help you understand what to do to prevent further damage.
  • If you need to hire a professional or contractor to help you, save your receipts so they can be reviewed for possible reimbursement as part of your claim.

Mitigating the damage to your property may not be top of mind if you’ve suffered a loss. That’s why it’s important to talk with your insurance claims representative about what is required. Check your insurance policy and your state’s insurance laws to find out more about the consequences of not mitigating property damage.

Preventing Property Damage

The need for damage mitigation extends beyond emergencies. In fact, some of the most important property damage mitigation to help prevent a loss is just basic maintenance. For example, if you have an old tree in your backyard, one you know that has a disease or is dead, and it falls on your neighbor’s house, you could be liable for the damages caused because you did not mitigate, or prevent damage, by removing the tree before it fell. If you have questions about your home insurance coverage, contact a Claims Representative to ask for help.