How long do I have to file a hail damage claim?

house imageThe best time is now; most insurance companies answers are simply too ambiguous

insurance claims process

Property Insurance Claim

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File the claim immediately

The best time to file a claim is immediately after a storm in which you suspect there is damage to your roof. I recently interviewed over ten different insurance claims offices specifically to notate their cut off dates. What I found was that most companies did not have a specific number of months or days in which to file the claim, but wanted the insured to call them “as soon as possible.” They wanted their insured to mitigate against further loss to protect their investment as well as the homeowners. However, from our experience if you wait more than a year you might be in danger of loosing the replacement cost value of the claim. This will lead to a financial burden for the property owner.

Searching for the right answer

As we’ve contacted one company after another over this issue, it appears that no one is ever willing to answer this question. There may be a legal issue to answering the question so no one at an insurance company seems to knows the correct answer. I’ve never seen an answer to a question that is so easily avoided. Our biggest piece of advice is don’t delay. The smartest thing to do is to file a claim immediately after the storm.

Claim denied because property owner waited too long

Again, we don’t have a specific number of months or years that would equate to, “you waited too long’, but what we have is experience. Hail damage becomes more difficult to see and pay for as it ages. Let me explain what happens to the hail bruised shingle over time. The fractured area begins to turn gray over time. The issue for the adjuster viewing the old hail damage is whether or not it was a recent enough storm to where the insurance company could assume the fiduciary responsibility for damage. If the hail damage is old it may be outside of the underwriters limits of willingness to cover the damage. What I mean is, you waited too long to file a claim in which you would have been paid, if it was timely. Yep, it’s ambiguous. No one really knows how much time you really have. Of course, now that I’ve updated this blog post with this information someone might be so kind to provide me with the precise information.

Insurance cut off date for depreciation is so vague and ambiguous just like the timing to report a claim

There is a cutoff date by which to complete repairs in order to recover the depreciation. Some companies clock starts clicking once the damages are assessed by the insurance adjuster. Other insurance companies clock begins from the date of the occurrence, while others start from the date of the adjuster visit and still others use the date that the first check is released. In order to recover the depreciation, the vast majority of companies could not give me a set number of days in which to initiate a claim. From experience we know that some companies give 180 days, 365 days and two years. Even when you call the insurance company most staff members are unable to give you a date. Here’s a big problem if you fall into this category. This is a real time example. June 2016 we had multiple clients that called us from a hail storm that took place in June 2015. The insurance carriers were called and the property owners filed a claim. One of our project managers met with each individual adjuster from different insurance companies. Each company representative was concerned that the homeowner took a long time to report the claim and consequently our present day issues is whether or not the insurance carriers will pay full replacement value for the roof replacements.

First step is to have the roof inspected

The longer a roof or home goes without an inspection, the more exposed it is to the deterioration caused by hail penetrations and or high winds.  Roof leaks can lead to expensive interior damages even months after a storm. The visible markings of the hail or wind that the insurance adjuster uses to document roof or siding damage can become less prominent over time. It becomes more difficult, but not impossible, to document actual storm damage when one waits to file a claim. If interior damage occurs and a property owner didn’t have a storm damaged roof inspected or repaired the insurance company may hold the property owner liable. It doesn’t seem fair, but the property and casualty insurance policy states that the property owner must mitigate against further damage. Time is of the essence after a major hail storm and it would be pertinent to have the roof inspected. If a qualified roof inspector deems it necessary to file a claim than it would behoove a property owner to be diligent in this matter.

Don’t delay, now is the time

It is a good idea to have the roof inspected by one of the roofing companies in Colorado Springs. Before filing the claim it’s important to confirm function damage and than file the claim. If the storm is large scale, it can take weeks to even months to get an inspection from an insurance adjuster scheduled.
If your home was hit by a hailstorm in 2014 most likely it is too late to file a claim? If your home was hit by a 2015 storm, there is still a very good chance hail damage will be readily visible to your insurance adjuster. We are getting calls daily and replacing roofs weekly regarding damages from last summer’s haiI storm. No matter how old the damage is, it is better to have representation (in the form of your roofer) at the meetings to go over the damages with the adjuster and discuss specifics with the insurance representative at the time of the inspection.

USAA insurance

Years of experience working with USAA have endeared us to their supreme customer service to men and women who served in the armed forces. Unofficially, i’m hear to tell you that this company has allowed property owners to file claims from a storm that occurred many years in the past. These guys are the best.

Roof inspection from Integrity roofing and Painting

If your looking to work with one of the most qualified roofing companies Colorado Springs has to offer than contact Integrity Roofing and Painting. We Make roof replacements easy!

Blog post updated on June 28, 2016