MSN Money Central posted a list of five things not to tell your insurer.
While prefacing the advice with a disclaimer that lying to your insurer constitutes fraud, the article says you should be careful the way you word things. The expert interviewed in the story is Allan Sabel of Sabel & Associates, an adjusting firm in Bridgeport, Conn. The first piece of advice is not to say you’ve suffered a flood if you haven’t:
Homeowners often use the word “flood” inappropriately, and it can trigger an alarm with insurers — since flood damage is not covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy. To an insurance company, “flood” means water from a nearby lake, stream, river or other body of water. This may seem like a minor distinction, but your insurer has a very narrow definition of flooding.
“Many people believe their house is flooded because it’s full of water — but it’s not a flood by the insurance definition,” Sabel says.
If your water damage did not come from an overflow of a nearby lake, stream, river or other body of water, don’t even say the word “flood,” says Sabel.
Other advice includes sticking to the facts and avoiding your opinion and not labeling any medical treatments you’ve had as “experimental.” I’d also add never labeling your occupation as “insurance fraudster,” when you’re a fraud investigator who works for an insurance company.