Recently the country has experienced devastating hail storms. Hail storms generally occur from early to late spring. This latest storm that hit the Dallas market is believed to be one of the most expensive in many years. The scope of damage is extensive and insurance companies are soon to be very active in settling claims in Dallas.
An experienced insurance claims attorney like Bill Voss can help you through the insurance process. The Voss Law Firm, P.C. works with policyholders every day so our clients have the opportunity to realize what they are truly owed from their insurance company. We are experts at the insurance process and can help you maximize your policy results.
Hail and Storm Restoration:
Restoring your home to its original condition is a process of determining what is damaged and what needs to be replaced. With the assistance of experts, The Voss Law Firm, P.C. is able to estimate any damage you may have suffered. From roof replacement to siding to windows and gutters - we can help get your home or business back to as it was prior to the storms.
You have probably had several public adjusters and other companies approach you to evaluate your loss and do work on your home. BE CAREFUL. There is much for you to consider when it comes to choosing a company to work with on your loss. At The Voss Law Firm, P.C. our experts are the best in the country and we move through the process of damage assessment and restoration in a timely manner, but not so quick (much like other firms) we miss any of the fine print and available coverage you may have in your insurance policy. Before you choose anyone to be involved in your claim, call us. Get a free, no obligation opinion from a highly qualified policyholder attorney well versed in current insurance law.
Hail Damage Step By Step Procedure
Step 1: Document Your Home And Belongings
In the worst case scenario, your home is flattened or swept away and there isn’t enough left to identify the remains, but in most cases, most if not all of your home and belongings will survive, but may be damaged beyond repair. We all buy home owners insurance in the belief that when the unthinkable happens, the “Goodhands” man will swoop in on a helicopter with a bag of cash and sweep us away to shop for new stuff, leaving the mess to get cleaned up by the crew from Extreme Home Makeover.
A good insurance adjuster will have your back, up to the limitations of your policy, but even the good ones need your help. In cases where the quality of goods and materials in your home cannot be established, a minimum replacement cost is often given in place of the actual cost to replace your carpet, furniture, or electronics. By documenting the condition of your home, the materials in it and your belongings, you can help the adjuster take care of you like they hopefully want to.
Start with a list of items that may be expensive, or difficult to replace. List serial numbers, descriptions and other identifying factors. Then use a digital camera, or video camera to record images of each individual item or material. Photograph each room of the house, and its contents. Especially expensive items such as flooring and window treatment. Once you have captured the images, email them to yourself and your insurance agent for safekeeping, along with the list of items, serial numbers and descriptions. Then save a copy onto a thumb drive or other portable media.
While this won't prevent a hurricane, tornado or flood from invading your home, it may be the key to making a quick and full recovery in case of disaster.
Step 2: Don't Get In a Hurry and Make a Hasty Decision with Hail Damage.
A lot of people get into too big a rush and fall prey to hustlers, or those so-called professionals (often called Storm Chasers within the industry) who follow the destruction that are too often only interested in making a quick dollar when compared with taking good care of an individual or business.
If your roof is seeping, call us and we can have our experts perform an emergency roof restore to get you dry until maintenance tasks can be completed in full. Most insurance providers will allow up to 12 months.
Step 3: Contact Your Insurance Company and Turn in Your Hail Damage Claim.
Holding out too long can certainly & will result in a delay in processing your claim. For example, the roof damage could eventually be concealed of any warning signs of actual hail damage. Consequently, you could potentially have your claim rejected from your insurance company.
If you feel uncertain as to how to properly file your hail damage claim, call us and we will walk you through the process and make certain your insurance company treats you fairly.
Step 4: Evaluate How Your Claim is Being Handled.
Once the insurance adjuster inspects your home or business to determine if there is hail damage, as well as as the extent of the damage, the adjuster should then declare your claim is legitimate. Your assigned adjuster should then provide you a number in the form of a dollar amount. This number is then published to the insurer. Prior to this happening contact a qualified insurance policyholder attorney like Bill Voss for a free evaluation of the damages. Mr. Voss’ team of attorneys and experts will develop their own report and will be able to tell you right away if the insurance company is treating you fairly - all at no cost to you.
Storm Damage Assessment Checklist
- First of all, don't climb on the roof. Leave that to a professional.
- Look for obvious signs of torn, curled or blown-off shingles, dented vents, dented gutters, skylights, etc.
- Are there any tears in your window screens?
- Are there cracks in the windows, or visible damage to caulking or beading around the windows?
- Check your HVAC unit for damage: dents/dimples to exterior casing, fins, etc.
- Is there any broken glass inside the house? Make a note of where it is located.
- Is there any damage to lawn furniture or outside decorations?
- Is there any damage to porch screens, hot tub covers, etc.?
- Inspect fences, swing-sets, decks and patios for marks, dents or scuff marks.
- Do you have outside lights? Do they still work?
- Check the swimming pool for floating debris or other damage. Did you have to clean out the pool?
- Check trees for broken limbs and/or fallen limbs.
- Did you lose your electricity? Did you have food spoilage?
- Look for water stains on the ceiling, particularly in corners, around light fixtures, and around the chimney.
- Check the attic for water seepage or wet insulation.
IMPORTANT - Protect Your Property From Further Damage.
If you find signs that hail has battered your property, take immediate steps to protect it from further damage. Cover any broken windows and holes in your roof so that no water can enter and damage your home's interior.
Storm Damage Claim Filing Checklist
Call your agent or company as soon as you notice damage. Practically all insurance policies cover hail damage.
If your agent or company requests you to do so, follow up your call with a written explanation of what happened.
Save receipts for what you spend and submit them to your insurance company for reimbursement.
Select a reputable law firm, such as The Voss Law Firm, P.C., to evaluate what repairs need to be done and to help negotiate on your behalf with the insurance adjuster.
Allow only the insurance adjuster and law firm expert you have selected to get up on your roof. Each time someone walks on it, more damage can occur.