Hail Damage Claims Myths/Facts
Myths about Hail Damage
Myth: I looked at my roof and didn't see any problems, or my roofer inspected it and there are no problems.
Fact: Roofing systems must be physically inspected by some one who has training and experience to determine if there is actual hail damage. Insurance companies send their adjusters too special training so they can properly identify hail damage to property, unfortunately there is not much ongoing training for the roofing or home inspection industries.
Myth: I'm not missing any shingles so I must not have damage.
Fact: Missing shingles are related to wind damage claims and can happen during a hail storm if the winds are high enough. However hail damage is insidious in nature and may not physically cause leakage for years after a hail storm.
Myth: I only have 1 year to file my insurance claim.
Fact: Many insurance companies do have a one year time limit and some even less, however due to the nature of hail damage they may pay claims past the deadline. This usually happens if a hail storm is widespread geographically.
Myth: My roof is new so it's covered by the manufacturer's warranty, home builder, or contractor.
Fact: Manufacturer's specifically name hail as an exclusion to their product warranty, so do home builders and roofing contractors. Newer roofs can actually be more susceptible to hail damage versus older roofs due to the time it takes a new roof to cure from exposure to the elements.
Myth: I was told my roof has minimal or very little damage and therefor I don't need to file a claim.
Fact: If your roof has any damage what-so-ever you have a valid insurance claim and should file with your insurance company. Damage might not cause your roof to leak for years. This is why it's important to have a qualified person inspect your roof.
Myth: My insurance company will cancel my policy if I file a claim.
Fact: Most states prohibit insurance companies from canceling policies for filing claims arising from severe weather related events. Check with your state however and your policy language as well.
Myth: If I don't file my claim, my insurance company won't raise my rates.
Fact: After a disaster, insurance companies may raise every one's rates. By not filing your claim, your personal rate increase is paying for every one else's damage except yours.
Other Storm related insurance issues to consider.
Inquiry: Does a homeowners policy cover loss by windstorm even after the storm is classified a tornado or a hurricane?
The homeowners policy covers loss caused by windstorm regardless of how the windstorm is classified, i.e. hurricane, tornado, cyclone, etc.
Inquiry: Do all homeowners policies have wind deductibles?
Some property owners may have a separate windstorm, hail, or hurricane deductible. Because there are a variety of deductible endorsement options, when there is a property claim involving a loss due to wind, hail or hurricane, it is important to review the deductibles that are indicated on the declarations page of the policy as well as any specific deductible endorsement forms.
The deductible can be either a flat dollar amount or a percentage of the Coverage A., Dwelling limit. The deductible may be applicable only for designated hurricanes or when wind speeds reach specific limits.
Inquiry: Does a homeowners policy cover loss by windstorm even though the storm is an "Act of God".
The homeowners policy covers damage to the homeowner’s property caused by events even though the cause is described as an "Act of God." On the "all perils" form 3 policy, all perils are covered unless the peril is specifically excluded. On the form 2 policy, the covered perils are named in the policy.
Inquiry: My house is not fit to live in due to storm damage. Does the company pay for my motel and restaurant bills?
Answer: The HO policy includes coverage for "additional living expense" in the event you cannot live in your home due to a covered loss. This includes the cost for motel rooms, a food allowance (remember normal food bills stop) and other living costs in excess of what would have existed had the home not been damaged, such as increased transportation.
Inquiry: If my tree is blown over by the wind and damages my neighbor’s property, does my policy pay to fix the damage? What if the tree damages my house? What if the tree is blown over but no structure is damaged?
Answer: The policy does not automatically pay for the neighbor’s property. The neighbor should file a claim with his own insurer. If the owner of the tree is sued by his neighbor, the liability section of the homeowners policy will respond with defense coverage, and payment if the owner is found negligent. This is where the "Act of God" phrase applies. The tree owner is legally liable for the damage only if his negligence caused the tree to fall. Otherwise, it is an "Act of God" which would be covered under the neighbor’s Section I Property Coverage of the homeowners policy.
If the tree falls on your own house, damage to the house is covered. The insurance policy covers the cost to remove the tree from the house. Generally, the cost to remove the tree from the premises is covered up to $500 so long as the tree damaged a covered structure.
If the tree is blown over and does no damage to structures, there is no coverage for the tree and no coverage to remove the tree from the premises.
Inquiry: The stream in back of my property overflowed the banks. My basement is flooded and furniture is damaged. Am I covered?
Not unless you have a Flood Insurance Policy. The homeowners policy excludes damage caused by flooding, such as the overflow of streams, rivers and lakes, etc.
Flood policies are subject to rules established by the Federal Government. Normally you cannot purchase a Flood policy immediately before or after a flood or hurricane.
Once again be aware that these are typical claim issues.Always contact your insurer for a complete list of necessary actions taken by you and your insurer in the event of a catastrophe.
Don't wait to find out your coverage the hard way when its too late..Make sure your coverage best suits your families needs if a storm should cause minor or catastrophic damage to your property.
Are these also myths
1. There are roofers who only do hail damage repair. Somehow they always "just opened shop" after a hail storm.
2. Is a hammer a proper hail damage inspection tool?
I understand your point.But the post was intended for homeowners who might be a little confused about the claim process.Alot of storms resulting in property damage are occurring.
I feel that if the homeowners have access to reliable information pertaining to storm claims they can enter the claim process a little more educated about the process.
My goal is/was to help homeowners NOT be swindled or taken advantage of by fast talking fly by night contractors.
Everyone knows after a storm multiple roofing contractors materialize.The cities/towns roof force triples or quadruples with "New" contractors.That is old common news IMO everyone knows that.The internet and local papers print that information once the roofing begins.
The fact is homeowners are being scammed.If these homeowner inquiry sites contained more scam prevention education then IMO its a very good thing.Educate the customer.
And the hammer comment I can only assume that either your implying intentional damage or something else which I care little about.
It was more in jest. I did not mean any offense or to imply you are an insurance scammer. It just reminds of my friend who had a guy knock on his door and say a hail storm came through a week earlier (this was true)and asked did he have his roof inspected. The guy inspected and said he needed his 8 year old high quality roof replaced. The insurance adjuster came out and said it was OK. The guy went up again the next day, but this time with a hammer. Then called the adjuster out, "conferred" with him in private, and wholla....the adjuster changed his mind. My friend was no dummy and knew what was going on. He was part of the problem.
I am just jelous because I spent $25K 10 years ago for a new roof, siding, and windows. Then a year later a massive hail storm came through and many people got some big checks. Naturally I got the good stuff and had no hail damage at all.
:thumbsup: No worries.B.D :thumbsup:
On a more thorough note.
It would amaze alot of people who have contractor-phobia that homeowners are neck and neck with crooked contractors filing fraudulent claims against insurance companies.
The term fraud is much more than filing a frivolous claim.
You commit fraud when you cover deductibles.Homeowners are as equally guilty IMO by allowing it and siding with a contractor who throws the idea on the table.Homeowners throw it out just as quick if not much quicker than contractors.
It is also fraud to fall into the category of what I call "Cash-back Contracting".Giving the homeowner some cash for accepting a proposal.That is fraud.
Also throwing a sign in your yard and inadvertently deducting portions or all of your deductible.If it were done 100% legal the contractor should 1099 the homeowner.
Fraud is also using the deductible up under services rendered and still submitting a final as if ALL repairs are made to claim the REC DEP
A/C unit $500.00 taken from the Deductible leaves $500.00. (Not Repaired)
Remove/Replace Damaged fencing $250 from the deductible leaves $250.00.(Not Repaired)
Remove/Replace damaged Skylight $250 that eats the last $250 of the deductible.(Not Repaired)
Then the homeowner and contractor submit the final to receive all of the REC/DEP.
Homeowners have been put under the microscope for fraud at a very fast rate.If you the homeowner have been involved in these fraudulent practices then its a good chance you will be caught.And sometimes the homeowners are left holding the bag so to speak.
Fraud is also knowingly taking part in or knowingly allowing someone to cause intentional damage to your property for financial gain by defrauding your insurer.It takes a complete moron to do that IMO.
And sometimes Karma is a bit**.I believe you get what you give.
Choose your contractor by;
References,Referrals,Reputation and Angie's list.IMO the BBB is a money racket.You can have really poor marks but with some money they will disappear of the radar.
Pay your deductibles,refuse anyone offering any fraudulent practices and have your property damage repaired by a true pro.
When a relationship of any kind whether it be business,personal etc. is formed with deceit being the main ingredient it is doomed to fail.IMO of course.
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