Spring and summer often bring random storms with thunder, lightning, flooding, hail, and high winds. If you are one of the unlucky property owners to experience damages due to hail or storm activity, knowing what to do after the damage can help you get your life back to normal faster. It is usually evident that your home needs repairs following a significant hail or wind storm. Broken gutter spouts, cracked windows, scarred or dented siding, and missing or torn shingles are just some of the damages you may face from hundreds of hailstones battering your property. Our public claims adjuster in Central Florida offers the following tips for handling hail and storm damage claims:
It can be surreal and intimidating when a storm causes extensive damage to your property, but it is not the time for inaction or panic. Instead, call your insurance company right away to start the claims process. You should make the next call to a local trusted contractor to estimate your property damages. These calls are essential when the storm has affected a large area because most insurers and contractors work on a first-come, first-served basis.
It is critical to document the situation entirely. Take pictures of hailstones next to a ruler or other familiar item to show the size of hail you experienced. Then take note of the date and time the damage to your property occurred. Take plenty of videos or pictures of any damages to your home’s exterior and interior, plus any property surrounding you. Always focus on signs of loss, like torn shingles and dented siding. Next, examine exterior elements like doors, gutters, windows, siding, and roofs. Finally, do not forget to inspect your household equipment, like your HVAC unit, for potential damages.
Arrange to meet your insurance adjuster and contractor in person. This meeting is essential so that you and your contractor can bring up any issues with the insurance adjuster when they come to inspect your property. Remember not to throw away any damaged items until this meeting to ensure that you get reimbursed for any damages. The adjuster will document the damages and let you know about everything they need from you to process the claim moving forward.
It is critical always to get multiple estimates for repairing your damage. This puts you in a better position to negotiate with your insurer. In addition, sometimes a second contractor will notice problems that the first one didn’t, so doing so may allow you a more comprehensive view of the work that needs to be done.
You are not required to accept the first offer or check sent by your insurer if it fails to recognize the scope of damages to your property. They always hope you will accept their initial offer without questioning it because they want to pay the least amount possible to settle your claim. Never deposit a check from your insurer until you have reached a satisfactory agreement with your insurance company. Doing so may trigger them to close your claim without any way to fight them.
Follow these tips to manage your hail or storm damage insurance claim. And if you need assistance with your claim, contact our public claims adjuster in Orlando for a free consultation. We are here to make the process easier, negotiate on your behalf, and get you the best settlement available according to your policy limits.