Hailstorms and Tornadoes have certainly taken a toll on the USA thus far in 2016. Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri are just a few states that have been hit hard, reporting several billion dollars worth of damages (primarily, roofing, siding gutters, & windows). For many of the new homeowners, dealing with damages and insurance claims will be a new experience.
Here are 7 tips to help you through the process
1. Be sure to contact your insurance company straight away. Insurance companies can be hard to get a hold of with so many claims coming in at once, that you will want to reach out to them in as many ways as possible. Call and text your agent. Send an email to your agent and directly to the insurance company. If you have any additional contact email addresses be sure to carbon copy them on your initial email.
2. Once contact has been made, be patient. It can take several weeks to a month before you hear back from your insurance provider. When you do hear from them, they will schedule for an adjuster to come assess your damages. The adjuster will take photographs and document the details in a report that will be given to your insurance company for an assessment. Insist that your contractor of choice is present to assist with the assessment. When choosing a contractor for your home repairs, it is best to have a reliable referral, or get 3 separate quotes from 3 local service providers. If you don’t have a reliable referral, do your research on each company before selecting a contractor.
3. Waiting for your assessment results requires patients and possibly more follow up. Depending how many claims are being made in your area, you could be contacted in a few weeks, with an approval for specific damages to get repaired or replaced. It is also possible for you to receive a denial when certain damages are not covered by your policy.
4. Often times victims of a hail storm or tornado do not have time to wait for insurance companies to approve and replace damages. Leaking roofs, shatter windows, and sliding doors require immediate attention, so your best bet is to contact a reliable contractor who can help you make some temporary fixes. Protecting your home from further damages should be a priority.
5. If you receive a denial letter, don’t give up just yet! According to the Nation Storm Damage Center, if your insurance claim gets denied, you are entitled to meet with 3 adjusters. They also state that “Even a small amount of damage should result in an approved claim. Any type of damage can devalue your home and should be fixed immediately before it leads to greater damage down the road.
6. If you receive an approval letter for your claim, you will also be receiving a check for the cost of materials required to complete your approved home repairs. This initial payment is referred to as the “materials deposit.” Be sure to connect with your contractor to get the appropriate materials ordered and scheduled for delivery.
7. Now it is time for your contractor(s) to get to work. If your in area that was really hit hard by hailstorms or tornadoes, contractors can get really spread thin and bogged down with multiple jobs. It is important to stay on top of your contractor ensuring that they meet deadlines agreed upon during your negotiations. On the flip-side, you should also be patient with your contractor(s) as they are helping to rebuild a distressed community, not just a single home or business.
Bonus Tip - Roof Replacement:
If you're thinking about installing a more storm resistant roof, consider this: All of Brava Roof Tile’s products are Class 4 impact rated, the highest in the roofing industry (UL 2218). Our synthetic slate, cedar shake, and Spanish barrel tile can withstand 2” hail falling at speeds of over up to 150mph (depending on the type of roof selected). In areas subject to extreme weather conditions, Brava Roof Tile is the way to go.