Wind Damage and the Insurance Claim Process
Wind—While it sometimes comes as a cool breeze upon our face, it can also present itself as strong gusts which can wreak havoc upon our personal property. Thunderstorms, gusts, tropical storms, nor’easters, tornados, and hurricanes can all bring unwanted damage to our property, even if they aren’t accompanied with rain or hail.
Have you found yourself stuck in a wind related incident that has caused damage to your home or business? You’re not alone. This article is here to help walk you through the insurance claim process, give you information on important items you should be aware of, and explain the options available for moving forward.
Signs To Be Aware Of
Being that wind is one of mother nature’s four elements, it’s something that we have no control over. Wind will blow in when we least expect it, and cause damage that isn’t always visible at first glance. Yes, you might notice some of the more common forms of wind damage such as:
-Garage Door Off Tracks
But these more obvious items are only a small part of your possible worries. Wind damage can also bring:
-Lifted Shingles — When wind lifts shingles, they may not re-seal properly. This will prevent the roof from performing as the water-tight barrier it was designed to be, which can lead to further damage such as water leaks.
-Racking — When wind causes a property to twist, vibrate, or contort itself to absorb an impact, there is a large possibility of cracking on the insides of wall surfaces. This movement can also cause the screws used to secure drywall to “pop out”, causing drywall and paint damage in the affected areas.
When these, or any other wind damage instances happen upon your home or business, it’s time to take the necessary steps to repair these damages. The longer you wait, the more damage will occur.
Frustrations With Filing a Claim
First things first, you will most likely find that you need to file a claim with your insurance to get the funds needed to repair your property. This however, is just the beginning.
If you choose to file a property damage claim, your insurance company will assign you an adjuster who must first inspect the property. This may take days, or even weeks depending on the adjusters schedule. The more time you are required to wait, the more time there is for additional damages to occur to your property due to the damages brought forth from the wind.
At the time of the inspection, the adjuster often only inspects for damages obvious to the eye. This means damages such as lifted shingles and racking go unnoticed, and don’t get paid for. If by chance the insurance agent does notice these damages, they may confuse it with “settling” which is often excluded in insurance policies.
After the property has been inspected, you might find yourself in another waiting period, as insurance adjusters tend to drag their feet since they often operate on a 30 day reporting cycle. This leaves plenty of time for your claim to languish while the adjusters attention is elsewhere. So while your claim is drawn out for months at a time, you are left with an unlivable house/un-functional business, and a property that is now susceptible to even more damage as it sits unfixed.
Receiving Your Claim
When your claim money finally comes in, you may be disappointed to see that the amount you received is significantly less than the amount you need to restore your property to its pre-loss condition. This is most likely due to the fact that many insurance companies have developed internal estimating guidelines that systematically undervalue claims resulting in smaller claim payouts for policy holders.
These smaller claim payouts for policy holders squeeze contractors, making it difficult to find a contractor to repair the property. If you decide you need additional funds, the adjuster will have to re-open the claim and you will have to go through this process all over again.
If you are reading this and are starting to feel stressed out, you’re not alone. The claims process can be very overwhelming for policy holders.
Help is Here and On The Way
Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Our public adjustment firm specializes in helping New York policyholders successfully navigate through the often complex and difficult property claims process.
Our team will manage your entire claim to help you achieve a maximum claim settlement. We know your time is valuable. We will work had to achieve this goal in the least amount of time possible, allowing you to get on with your life.
Our services include:
-Claim Advisory Services
-Final Settlement Negotiation
Give us a call to get a free, no obligation consultation with a licensed, public adjuster. We will review your claim, discuss options, and provide our professional recommendations for moving forward.
We’re here, and we’re on your side. So don’t forget; when you sustain property damage:
Contact Claimly First!