Simple Tips for Home Owner Insurance Claims

Recently, there was a major storm that came through our area, and delivered baseball size hail to our property. Yes, I said baseball size hail. It was a serious storm cell that produced a tornado about 15-20 miles south of us. Now, our house is somewhat protected by two massive live oak trees, but even with those trees over us, we still had hail hitting our roof. Now, I don’t know what to look for in hail damage (unless it is so obvious that shingles have been torn off the roof, or there are giant holes in the roof, etc), but I did see some of the shingles on our main roof had curled up corners.

Now I think a lot of people might have just disregarded this, and considered that the roof was fine, and no need to call the insurance company. But knowing the preexisting conditions of certain areas of our roof, combined with the recent storm, I felt compelled to ask for an adjuster to come out and look at the roof. Now, I know what you are thinking here, that I just made up a bunch of stuff about the roof and blamed it all on the recent storm. That is just not true. When I was asked questions about leaks into the house, etc. I was completely honest and mentioned that there were previous problems with the roof.

Even if a person is a good liar, these insurance adjusters are not idiots. You aren’t going to convince them that they are wrong. So I had the adjuster come out, and concluded that there was significant damage to the roof, and he came up with an estimated cost to repair, less our deductible, and we are waiting on the first check.

What to Do When Considering to File a Claim with Your Home Owner’s Insurance 

Now, I want you to see a couple of things here. Number one is, don’t be afraid to file a claim, even if you are unsure that there is any real damage. I was totally off in my assumption that there was only minor damage. The home owner’s insurance adjuster knows his stuff, and will be able to tell you the real extent of the damages, or lack thereof. So it is in your best interest to go ahead and get a professional to take a look, and tell you if you actually do have any problems. Just call up your insurance company, and ask to file a claim for the damages. Even if there is no payout, the insurance company should not hold it against you, you are doing your best to take care of the property – and they like that, because they are insuring it, and don’t want to have to pay out more later.

The second thing is this – be honest. Again, you are not very likely to pull a fast one on the insurance company. They are highly trained to see what is new damage, and preexisting damage. So just be honest with them, let them know of any prior issues, and you will receive a much better welcome from your insurance company. In my case, they are going to be paying for the full cost of demolishing of the old roof, and installing a new roof, combined with some sub-roof repair, less my deductible.

And last, make sure you are there when the adjuster shows up. You want to make sure that they will be able to see the inside and outside of the house. This will make for a much more thorough investigation of the damages, and you could end up with a more favorable payout. I was asked if I wanted to have the adjuster take a look inside the home, and I said yes. I am not sure if it affected the final outcome, but I am definitely pleased with a full replacement of the roof!

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