Wind and hail damage are vagaries of nature that can affect you in unexpected ways. They cause damage to property, humans, crops, animals, and even aircraft. Since we do not have any control over natural calamities, it is always better to be prepared for the worst. Besides securing your windows with storm shutters, anchoring outdoor furniture, trimming the trees around your home, installing storm-resistant shingles on your roof, make sure that you purchase a good homeowner’s insurance policy.
When you’re scouting around for a homeowner’s insurance policy to suit your needs and budget, you will find that wind and hail insurance coverage depends not only on the state where your property is located but also on the insurance company you choose. If you live in a coastal area like Florida or a windy state like Texas, you may need to pay a higher premium to get wind damage coverage in your insurance policy. Further, a percentage deductible may be required instead of a fixed dollar amount in some states, which varies between 1 and 15 percent of the home’s insured value. Standard homeowner’s insurance policy covers damage loss from fire, windstorms, hail, theft, vandalism, etc and the cost of alternate living arrangements (ALE) while your home is being repaired or rebuilt.
As per the Information Insurance Institute (III), wind, hail, and flood losses associated with tornadoes made up 39.9 percent of total catastrophe insured losses from 1997 to 2016. If wind or hail damage is part of the exclusions, you may need to buy a separate State-run policy for it. Inclement weather events have become so regular that insurance companies have started feeling the pinch of dishing out large claim settlements. Consequently, insurance companies have started excluding ‘cosmetic damage’ from wind or hail damage coverage. Damage to the exterior portion of your house, like walls, roofs, doors, and windows, affecting the look but not the functioning of these parts is called ‘cosmetic damage’. Check all these details with your insurance agent before you purchase the homeowner’s insurance.
What steps should I take if I face wind or hail damage on my property?
- The first thing to do is to call a good public adjusting firm like Experienced Public Adjusters, as they will guide you with the correct information.
- Take as many photographs of the areas that are damaged. Start noting down stuff that you think is important, like the time the hail or wind started, the size of the hail, etc, as these first impressions are important when proving your point to the insurance adjuster.
- Locate your insurance policy document and contact your insurer. Tell them what has happened and ask them what to do next. You may need to fix the time of your appointment with their insurance adjuster.
- Remember to let us know the scheduled appointment so that we can be present on-site for the preliminary inspection. We may ask a roofing specialist to be present if required so that a proper assessment is done.
- The claims adjuster representing your insurance provider will inspect your property to identify the cause of the damage and to estimate the total cost. At this juncture, the presence of a knowledgeable public adjuster from a reputed firm like Experienced Public Adjusters, is critical. Besides looking at your notes, and photographs the insurance adjuster will ask questions, and we shall be of assistance in this.
- The insurance adjuster will create a detailed report for the insurance company, which forms the basis of your claim pay-out. Being present on the spot, we ensure that all possible areas of damage are noted. We are fully cognizant of the ways insurance companies work and the tactics they employ to reduce claims, so we are always alert. Further, we keep ourselves updated with changes in state statutes and building codes which is a definite advantage when dealing with insurance companies.
Wind or hail damage claim processes can be pretty complicated. Read your policy clauses and endorsements carefully, as your policy may have an anti-concurrent causation clause in it. This means that if two natural calamities, one a covered peril like wind or hail and another an earthquake that is not covered under your insurance policy, cause damage to your property, then the insurance company will not entertain your claim. In such situations, the services of Experienced Public Adjusters prove to be invaluable. We explore all possibilities and prepare a strong claim showing that the damage loss was due to the covered peril being the predominant cause of the loss.
Insurance companies always try to find the cheapest solution, so they first try to deny your claim based on frivolous reasons citing lack of documentation, the claim is time-barred or ignoring some parts of the damage etc. If your policy contains a clause for repair or replacement of the roof, then they will opt for the cheapest option. With our assistance, you can find good reliable contractors to do the repairs. Some important aspects to check would be (i) reviewing the background of the contractors (ii) making sure that they are licensed. Usually, your insurance provider pays in advance half of the total cost so that you may begin the repairs. The balance amount minus your deductible is normally sent once the repair or replacement has been completed.
Experienced Public Adjusters has a team of well-trained, skilled, and knowledgeable public adjusters who keep themselves abreast of all the latest developments in the insurance industry as well as in matters related to property. You are the center of our focus, we represent you, and all our actions are directed towards the successful completion of your claims process. We are transparent in all our dealings and include you in all communications that we have with your insurer. Commencing with compiling your photographs, notes, documents, and required paperwork, we continually liaise with your insurance provider until a fair settlement is reached, within your overall policy limits.
For any wind or hail damage claim, contact Experienced Public Adjusters today.