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Did You Recently Get Hail or Storm Damage?

By Larry Kinsey

Did you recently get hail or storm damage? Let us explain in layman's terms how your insurance actually works - here are some common questions and answers:

When I look at my roof, I don't see any hail damage. What's all the fuss about?

Hail damage can't be seen very easily most of the time. You usually will never see actual holes or indentations. Hail will drastically shorten the life of your roof. If you have damaged siding, damaged vehicles, or have noticed neighbors getting work done, you can be 99% sure that you will need a new roof and may have other damages also.

Hail Damage:

Hail can damage your roof without any visible signs from the ground. Hail normally has to be the size of a golf ball before it will break through your roof or cause bruising. Sometimes these damages do not show up quickly or are easily overlooked. The integrity of the shingle may be damaged: do not take a chance on it. If hail is driven by high winds or if it lasts longer than a few minutes, even small-sized hail can cause your roof to suffer severe damage and the loss of their protective granules, which will GREATLY reduce the life of your roof. Loss of granule layers on the shingle will cause the organic based center of the shingles to be exposed to the suns UV rays. This will cause serious deterioration of the shingle in a short period of time. Have it inspected, just to be safe.

Hail and high winds can cause serious damage to your roof and exterior of your home. An evaluation by a trained hail damage inspector can verify the extent of your damages and outline the means by which to get them repaired. A trained inspector has taken the same extensive training courses that your adjuster has taken (the adjuster must take these courses to be certified).

What about my siding?

Most people can inspect their own siding by checking their exterior walls closely, preferably when the sun is a little lower in the sky (morning or evening). This will make it easier to see the denting. Old aluminum siding will show the damage more than wood or vinyl unless the vinyl actually has holes.

Does my insurance company know if I had large hail in my neighborhood?

Most insurance companies subscribe to different tracking and hail reporting services. These services can track the hail size and the exact location it fell. If you had damaging hail, they already know it. It is your legal right to have someone represent you during the inspection. Your adjuster cannot enter your property without your permission.

The inspection:

The adjuster will look at your property during working hours, so you probably won't be home when the adjustment is taking place. The adjuster will inspect your roof and exterior of your home for visible signs of damage only. For the roof, he will measure out a "test square" (10' x 10') on different sections of your roof. If he can find a sufficient amount of bruises or breaks for each "test square", the insurance company will buy you a new roof.

My adjuster said no damage:

It is possible that your roof was the only one on the block that wasn't damaged. However, you are entitled to a re-inspection by another adjuster within the same firm. So if you're not completely satisfied with the results of your claim, don't settle: ask for another inspection.

Discrepancies:

Most discrepancies occur when the adjuster has not assessed the same amount of damage as the contractor, whether it is for the roof, gutters, siding or other exterior or interior damage. So if you have interior damage or other hard-to-see damages that can be easily overlooked, chances are the adjuster will probably miss it. You are entitled to have your contractor of choice represent you during the adjustment process to expedite the settlement of your claim.

How the insurance companies pay on claims:

In most cases, about a week after the adjuster has estimated your property, you will receive your first check. This is most commonly called the ACV (Actual Cost Value). This check should represent the actual cost to repair or replace the damaged property, minus depreciation. This is commonly called the RCV (Replacement Cost Value). The age and condition of the property is taken into account when calculating this depreciation. When work is completed, the insurance company will issue a check for the recoverable depreciation amount only if the total expenses are equal to or greater than the total settlement.Many people never get the depreciation amount back because they do not understand the process or the contractor they chose didn't understand the proper procedures.

Is the excess money mine?

Absolutely not: you are not allowed to profit from a loss. Insurance fraud is a class 3 felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and fines up to $5,000.00. This is a state law.

Do I need to get two or more estimates?

No! Your insurance company has created their own price list and will only pay actual costs for repairs (according to their price list), regardless of what prices you may get.

Will my insurance company give me more money if I spend more than they have given me?

Maybe. Your insurance company will only pay supplements on items that you can prove they overlooked. Your insurance company will pay a reputable contractor a fair market price; we recommend choosing a reputable contractor who will use superior quality materials rather than concentrating on price, since all you are required to pay is your deductible in most cases.

View the Texas state insurance fraud laws on our website: www.allstateroofingandconsultants.com.

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Serving Dallas and Ft. Worth Roofing Customers Since 1981

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