Experiencing property damage following extreme weather conditions can be devastating. Homeowners who are properly insured against such damage often run into problems when they attempt to collect on an insurance claim that is denied by their insurer.
Common Problems Related to Damage Claims
Even if a property owner has covered their bases by insuring their property with all types of insurance related to weather damage, insurance companies may be inclined to deny a claim. Whether tornado, hurricane, windstorm, rain, snow or hail damage devastates a property, the following problems are commonly encountered.
- The specific type of damage is not covered by an insurance policy. Remember that flood and hurricane insurance policies are separate from homeowner’s insurance. Verify coverage before a weather event occurs.
- Evidence of damage is insufficient for insurers to pay out the amount needed to replace personal items. Take pictures of personal belongings and the condition of your home periodically to retain proof for insurance purposes. Damage can be photographed after severe weather and compared to the original pictures.
- Not filing a claim in a timely manner. Insurance companies are less likely to provide reimbursement for a claim if it is not made immediately following severe weather.
Hiring a Contractor for Property Damage Repair
It is important to use a licensed contractor for property damage repair to ensure that your insurance company will pay for the repairs. In order to understand the total costs of repair, ask for a written estimate that includes all repairs that need to be done. Ask about taxes and additional fees that may be charged prior to agreeing to an amount.
Leave a paper trail by paying with a check instead of cash. Checks paid to contractors can be used as proof of the cost of repair when insurance companies need to calculate reimbursement amounts for a claim.
Getting Help From a Property Damage Lawyer
A hailstorms attorney or a property damage lawyer specializing in damage related to weather should be consulted immediately following severe weather in order to make the insurance claim process goes smoothly. Insurance companies have their bottom line in mind when handling claims, so it is not uncommon for an insurer to attempt to deny a claim in any way possible to avoid paying out. Attorneys are able to help property owners collect evidence, file a claim and understand how to hire a contractor to repair weather related damage.