Insurance companies play an important role in the lives of millions of U.S. citizens. Your homeowners insurance policy is designed to protect your house from any unexpected occurrences, thereby protecting your family as well.
Nothing is more disappointing than being let down by your insurance company when you need them most. Unfortunately, this is what often happens to many homeowners when they file hail damage claims.
For a long time, insurance companies were operated like semi-public trusts; however, things changed dramatically in the mid-1990s. Insurance companies started to have a less of a customer-focused approach and instead zeroed in on increasing their profits.
As you can guess, that didn’t result in better customer service. The new approach has made filing your hail damage claim more challenging. Receiving adequate reimbursement is now more difficult.
Let’s see what’s changed in the insurance companies’ approach to handling claims and what you can do to protect your benefits.
The New Software-Driven System To Estimate Damages
When a hail storm hits your property and your roof or siding is damaged, you need to file a claim with your insurance company.
If this is the first time you’ve filed a hail damage insurance claim, you might expect a claims adjuster to come to your house, inspect your property and give you an estimate for the repair costs. It should be that easy—but unfortunately it’s not.
Nowadays, insurance companies use automated software to estimate the damage. The software is designed to offer you what they claim is adequate compensation. Your claim may be rejected altogether. But even if it’s accepted, you may discover that your reimbursement is enough for the insurer’s pockets but far too little to cover your real damage.
Why is that?
The short answer: It’s a smart business strategy. Insurance companies have replaced professional claims adjusters with untrained and inexperienced ones. The latest have been equipped with automated systems that calculate the compensation for the adjuster.
This new approach leads to two main problems. First, the adjuster does not have enough expertise to understand the extent of the damage. Second, he or she doesn’t have any latitude to serve the customer.
What is the reason behind this new approach? It is a way to generate more profits for the insurance companies. Here’s why it works:
If an insurance company offers low compensation for (or flat-out denies) claims by 100 policyholders, statistics say that close to 99 will accept the offer.
Why? When an insurance company offers you low compensation, if you accept it anyway, you will receive service straight away. If you reject the offer, your claim will be delayed and you may even have to resort to lengthy and expensive legal action to demand your benefits.
That is why the majority of customers will go for a lower offer or, even worse, will submissively accept a denial. Only a few will fight for their benefits.
In fact, the majority of insurance customers do not have the necessary knowledge and experience to determine whether their compensation is enough based on the damage they suffered, or whether a denial is fair. The majority do not even know or fully understand the terms of their insurance policy and what they are entitled to. Bottom line: Most customers will just trust the insurance company and accept whatever they’re given.
Additionally, even if homeowners perceive that they are not being treated fairly, not many have the time, money and guts to start a lawsuit. Most will give up and submit to the insurance company’s decision.
Even if once in a while somebody decides to defend their benefits, and the insurance company ends up paying a larger reimbursement, it’s no big deal—the money they saved on all those smaller claims has already generated such a large profit that the insurance company doesn’t mind paying extra to a few customers.
What Happens If You Receive Lower Compensation?
Receiving lower compensation may have a big impact on your property and your finances.
Most of the roof damage caused by a hail storm is difficult to spot . Only trained, expert eyes can really see what needs to be repaired and to what extent. Sometimes the damage is so extensive that you may need a complete roof or siding replacement.
The effects of hail damage to your roof may not reveal themselves until months or even years after the storm. So after a severe hail storm, a thorough inspection of your property and comprehensive repair are pivotal in protecting your most important investment—your house.
When you receive compensation that’s inadequate, you may find yourself facing several problems.
If the damage is extensive and the money from the insurance company is not enough, you may end up paying the difference out of your own pocket. Since you have always paid your premium in full, that would be a very upsetting—and unfair—outcome.
Alternatively, if you don’t have room in the budget, you may decide to go for a quick fix of your roof and siding. Or you may even decide to save on the materials by buying lower quality products. That would solve your problem in the short-term, but the poor quality work will not last long. In time you will have to fix your house again, and this time all the expenses will be on your shoulders.
How To Protect Yourself From Low Hail Damage Compensation
If you don’t want to be among the vast majority that receive low compensation or even a denial from the insurance company, you need to be ahead of the game.
At the start of the claims process you need to have a professional roof inspector assisting you. That will play to your advantage in several ways.
For instance, our roof inspector and insurance coordinator team led by Daniel Koski have over 20 years of experience in this industry. We can spot even small signs of hail damage to your roof and siding.
Our report will give you an overall picture of the condition of your house and a fair estimate for the hail damage repair costs. You won’t need to rely solely on your claims adjuster but will be in the perfect position to understand whether the compensation you’re offered is fair.
A roof inspector will even assist you when the claims adjuster visits your property, walking with the adjuster and bringing to his or her attention to all the signs of hail damage that might otherwise go unnoticed. A professional roof inspector will also make sure that the claims adjuster’s estimate includes all repairs needed to return your house to full working order.
Here at 5280 Creative Construction Solutions we have over 20+ years of experience in the roofing and siding business. We have been dealing with insurance companies for over two decades and have acquired unmatched skill and experience in this area.
We will assist you in filing your claim from the beginning of the process until its conclusion. We know how to read and understand your homeowners insurance policy and will advise you on the benefits you’re entitled to.
Thanks to our assistance, many of our clients have successfully received maximum compensation. You could be next if you take advantage of our experience and get ahead of the insurance company’s game.
Just call or text us at 720-724-6862 or fill out our form by clicking the button below and we will be in touch.