The most common type of insurance claim that we handle are storm-related property damage like hail and wind damage to roofing, siding and gutters. Here's how we make sure our homeowners get maximum coverage for their damaged homes so that restorations are paid for in full by their insurance company.
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Siding & Gutters Hail & Wind Damage
When people think of a property damage insurance claim they tend to think of catastrophic loss like in the case of hurricanes and tornados. The truth is, the majority of cases are much less dramatic, and most people do not know that even small, seemingly minor damage is eligible for payment on an insurance claim. See the picture above of a hail-damaged gutter. The dent, which is highlited with chalk by our public adjuster, is caused by hail. Therefore, it needs to be replaced and the insurance company has to pay for it. Where there is one hail-strike, there are likely more. At this home we found hail damage to the roofng and siding, in addition to gutters and downspouts, and these homeowners are getting a complete replacement of all roofing, siding and gutters paid for by their insurance company.
Match Clauses & Patch-Work Repairs
Sometimes, replacing only damaged pieces of siding or shingles on a roof will result in a mis-matched appearance. Most insurance companies don't care about this. If only one or two sides of the house are damaged by hail then they will only pay for those sides. Additionally, if your home's siding is still in production then it is possible to replace a few pieces of siding in order to restore the property to its pre-loss state. If there is no match clause in your insurance policy, and if there are no state laws requiring insurance companies to pay for uniform matching, then you will have a hard time getting an insurance company to pay for more than they have to. Having a public adjuster helps fight the insurance company's decision.
Get the Most for Your Claim!
If you have a claim for storm damage and your insurance company is only paying for patch-work repairs, contact a licensed public adjuster today for a free consultation to see if you are entitled to more.
Roof Damage from Hail & Wind
The majority of homeowners do not truly know the condition of their roof. And, just like siding, it only takes a couple missing shingles, creased shingles, or shingles that have significant granule loss and damage to the matting from hail, to get a full roof replacement paid for by your insurance company. Check out these photos of hail and wind damaged roofing in Frederick, Maryland. We got these homeowners a full roof replacement, complete siding replacement (top-to-bottom) and new gutters and downspouts, all for the price of their deductible!
Roof Damage Claims for ACV vs. RCV Insurance Policies
There are differences in the insurance payout depending on whether you have an ACV or RCV insurance policy. For ACV, you will only get the Actual Cash Value of your roof - which is the market value minus the depreciation, which is calculated based on the age of the roof. If you are like most homeowners and you have an RCV insurance policy, you will receive a first check for the Actual Cash Value of your roof, same as above. But then, after you get your roof replaced, you will receive a second check for the recovered value of the roof. In addition to this, your roofer will be able to install and bill for items like ice-and-water shield, etc that are required by code. Most insurance companies pay for code coverage. The handling of these details, and making sure you get a quality roof replacement, is why having a public adjuster is so important.
Sit Back, Relax, and Let a Pro Handle Your Insurance Claim
Hiring a roofing contractor that is comfortable handling insurance claims is very important. They can help with the insurance process, but it will still be on you to negotiate the claim and communicate with the insurance company. Roofers are NOT legally allowed to file or handle a claim on your behalf. That's where a public adjuster differs. We work WITH the roofer, but FOR you and AGAINST the insurance company. And our fee is paid by the roofer, not you, so in the end you only pay your deductible (plus any upgrades or additional work you choose to get done).
How to Get Roofing & Siding Damage Restored by Insurance
The process for getting your claim approved and damaged home restored...
- First, hire a licensed public insurance adjuster like Chateau. Our contract is contingent upon us getting the claim approved. There's no risk to the insured homeowner. One of two things will happen. Either we will get the claim approved, in which case our contractor will execute the approved work for the approved price, and you will only pay your deductible. Or we will fail to get the claim approved, and you won't pay anything.
- Allow the public adjuster to file the claim and handle all correspondence with the insurance company. This is important, because the slightest misstep can result in a denial. For example, failing to identify an appropriate date of loss. Homeowners might say something like, "Yeah, last week some shingles blew off the roof, and a couple months ago we had a hail storm". This tells the insurance company that there were two different dates of loss, or the homeowner was negligible because he didn't do something about the damage sooner. Just let your public adjuster use their expertise to ensure things go smoothly.
- Document damage and present a case to the insurance company. Your public adjuster will meet with the insurance company's adjuster and inspect the property. Using the same estimating software that the insurance company uses, the public adjuster will build out a scope of work that the insurance company needs to pay for to adequately restore the damaged home. The insurance company will have their own estimate, and from there it is a matter of negotiating a fair settlement. Your public adjuster will fght to get work approved, because they are paid a percentage of the claim, so you can rest assured: your best interest is our best interest.
- Get the work executed. In our contracts, we waive the public adjuster fee if the homeowner hires our affiliated contractor. That's because our contractor pays our fee for the referral of the work, and you'll only have to pay your deductible. We trust our contractors and we know that they will do excellent work so that our clients are happy.
Public Adjusters Challenge Insurance Denials of Roof Claims
If you and your insurance company disagree about the extent of damage and the extent of repairs or roof replacement needed then there are certain steps that will need to be taken. These are often technical and require the services of an experienced public adjuster. First, the insurance company will send out a "third party" engineer. But the engineer is hardly a third party - they are hired by your insurance company. When this happens, many homeowners think that the engineer has the final say. Public adjusters know that if they don't like the engineer's determination of damage they can invoke the appraisal clause (click here to learn more about appraisals). When a public adjuster invokes a policyholders right to appraisal, a truly disinterested third party, chosen by your public adjuster, will appraise the roof damage and compare that with your insurance company's appraisal in order to reach an agreement. We have won many appraisals for our clients, including just this last week for a roof damage claim (October 18, 2019 - we'll be writing about it on our blog soon!).
Thanks for Reading! Want to Learn More?
Visit our blog page for more information about property damage, public adjusters and insurance claims. If you live in south-central PA or northern Maryland contact us today for a free consultation and property inspection!
Our Service Area
We serve the entire south-central Pennsylvania and Northern Maryland areas including all towns and zip codes in the following counties:
- Cumberland, Lancaster, York & Adams Counties in Pennsylvania
- Frederick, Baltimore & Carroll Counties in Maryland