Filing A Hail Damage Insurance Claim: 8 Mistakes To Avoid
It’s another stormy day in Colorado, and hail has once again pummeled your neighborhood. Colorado often gets random hail storms and sometimes they leave behind a good deal of hail damage to roofs and siding.
Even though damage doesn’t happen all the time, Colorado residents will eventually have to face some kind of hail damage to their property. Hail damage repair is covered by homeowners insurance policies, but it’s important that you know well in advance how to handle your claim so you’ll be prepared when hail damage happens to you.
In our 20+ years of experience in the field, we’ve realized that there are several common misconceptions about hail damage insurance claims. One piece of wrong information or a carelessly handled claim can result in reduced compensation or no compensation at all.
To help you handle hail damage roof and siding repair insurance claims the right way, we’ve gathered eight common mistakes and the information you need to know in order to avoid them.
Mistake #1: Assuming Your Property Is Safe Because You Don’t See Any Damage
Not every hail storm will damage your property—after most hail events, your house will be perfectly fine. Still, you should always pay attention to signs that point to a storm being out of ordinary.
Check the size of the hailstones, note the duration of the storm, and look for trees that are heavily damaged, dents on cars or neighboring houses with damaged roofs or siding. These may be indications that the storm was heavier than usual.
On first inspection, your house may look fine; however, hail damage is not always easy to detect or even visible at all, especially if you don’t have experience in the field or don’t know what to look for.
Damage to your roof or siding may reveal itself up to several months after the event. When that happens, you’re dealing with a serious problem. At this point the damage may be highly expensive to fix, and filing a claim months after a hail storm will make getting your money an uphill battle.
If you are unsure about the condition of your property after a storm or if you just want peace of mind, call a professional roof inspector to dispel any doubts about potential hail damage.
Mistake #2: Waiting Too Long Before Filing Your Claim
Most homeowners insurance companies have a one-year period for policyholders to file a claim.
This is the general rule, but you must make sure this is the policy of your insurance company. Call your insurer immediately or carefully read your contract to find out how much time you have to file your hail damage insurance claim.
In any case, even if you are allowed a full year, go ahead and file your claim as soon as you can. This is a good strategy for several reasons.
For instance, right after the storm, you will easily remember the date and time of the event, which are important for proving when the damage occurred. Failing to provide this critical information may leave you with a denied claim.
Second, the longer you wait, the more extensive the damage may become. Your roof and siding are the most important shields protecting one of your most important investments. After any damage, big or small, your priority should be to make your house 100% functional again as soon as you can.
Mistake #3: Spotting Hail Damage But Believing It’s Not Big Enough To File A Claim
Even minor hail damage to your roof must be taken seriously. When you spot a damaged area, it’s likely there are other hidden problems that could in time ruin your home. A minor leak you can’t see could eventually rot the frame of your house, compromising its stability, or cause severe damage to the interior of your home.
Insurance companies are willing to cover minor hail damage to your roof or siding. Even cosmetic issues are often covered by your homeowners insurance policy. For instance, your damaged siding may not lead to a water leak, but it may affect the curb appeal of the property, causing a drop in value. That’s the kind of cosmetic problem your insurance company might pay for.
Bottom line: In the event of hail damage, always submit your claim. If the cost of repair is less than your deductible, simply do not proceed with your claim, and your relationship with your insurance company will not be affected.
Mistake #4: Not Filing A Claim Because You’re Afraid The Insurance Company Will Raise Your Rate Or Cancel Your Policy
This shouldn’t be a concern for you if you file a claim that is honest and supported by evidence. You paid for repairs, and it is your right to receive compensation.
Sometimes insurance companies raise their rates after a very serious storm that causes extensive damage for many customers. If this happens, everybody will pay a higher rate. If you didn’t file your claim, you may end up paying more as well—but without getting any compensation.
Mistake #5: Filing A Frivolous Claim
It is critical to not file a frivolous claim. If you file a claim when one is not warranted or when your house didn’t suffer any hail damage at all, you may put your relationship with your insurance company at risk.
Before filing a claim, always contact a professional and trustworthy roof inspector to assess the nature of the damage. This serves several purposes.
For instance, our insurance coordinator, Daniel Koski, has 20+ years of experience in the industry. Identifying even latent signs of hail damage is fairly easy for such an experienced roof inspector.
After the inspection you will have a complete picture of your property’s condition, and the claim you submit will be extremely accurate in order to cover all your roof and siding repair expenses.
At the same time, if there is no hail damage, a trustworthy inspector like Daniel will never advise you to file a claim that might be considered frivolous by your insurance company.
The professional roof inspection will preserve your relationship with your insurer and help you receive maximum compensation if you suffered hail damage to your house.
Mistake #6: Assuming The Shingles Or Siding Manufacturers’ Warranties Will Cover Hail Damage
If the hail storm hit your house while your roof or siding was still covered by a manufacturer’s warranty, you might believe they will pay for the hail damage repair.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. Natural events are usually not included in these warranties. The manufacturer is usually responsible for production defects, and the company who installed the materials is responsible if the job was not done properly.
A hail storm is an event beyond either party’s control and therefore is not covered under warranty.
At any rate, if you choose quality materials and a top roofing company, your house will have a greater chance of withstanding even serious storms with minor or no damage at all.
5280 Creative Construction Solutions’s team is made up of some of the best roofers in Colorado. We are all Colorado natives or local residents and we have over 20 years of experience in repairing hail damage and replacing roofs and siding.
Mistake #7: Giving Up When Your Claim Has Been Denied
Even if your hail damage insurance claim has been rejected, you may still have a chance to get it revised and approved.
The problem may rest with the insurance claims adjuster who came to inspect your roof. If the adjuster is not an expert in the field, hail damage that is hidden to your eyes may be hidden to the adjuster’s as well.
In other cases, it may be that after a severe hail storm the adjuster had to inspect so many properties that the task easily became overwhelming. If the adjuster was in a rush or just very tired, the inspection may not have been as accurate as it should have been.
Whatever the case, if you have good reason to believe you have been treated unfairly, you have the right to appeal the decision. You can call a professional roof inspector to examine your property and prepare a detailed report. The roof inspector may be able to provide enough evidence that your house has been damaged to convince the claims adjuster to reconsider your claim.
Mistake #8: Believing You Can Easily Handle The Insurance Company By Yourself
In some cases, you might be right, but never underestimate how daunting the task can be.
It is always advisable to have an expert like 5280 Creative Construction Solutions on your side for several reasons.
We know how to spot minor or even hidden signs of hail damage. We will examine every inch of your property and prepare a report that’s as detailed as possible for your insurance company.
We have over 20 years of experience in handling insurance companies . We know how they think and how to avoid common pitfalls. We will be on your side through the entire process until your claim is approved.
Our roof inspector Daniel Koski will walk around your house with the claims adjuster and bring to his or her attention all the details that might otherwise be overlooked.
With our help, all the hail damage to your home will be repaired—no potential problem areas will be left behind. Plus, we will increase your chances of receiving maximum compensation. The entire process will be stress-free for you.
The Best Way To Handle Hail Damage Insurance Claims In Colorado
5280 Creative Construction Solutions is the best partner when dealing with hail damage insurance claims and repair.
We’ve been in the industry for 20+ years and we have built a strong reputation among our clients for honesty, trustworthiness and reliability.
We can assist you in repairing your house and returning it to full functionality. If your roof is heavily damaged, we can replace it using the best roofers and materials in Colorado.
Most important, we will help you handle your hail damage insurance claim, ensure your claim is approved and secure you the highest compensation possible.
We can serve residents of all major areas in Colorado, including:
- Denver, Colorado
- Boulder, Colorado
- Fort Collins, Colorado
- Parker, Colorado
- Plus many other cities and towns!
Just call or text Daniel Koski at 720-724-6862 or fill out our form by clicking the button below, and Daniel will be in touch.