Will Your Insurance Policy Pay for Damage Caused by Wind?
Constant exposure to the weather wreaks havoc on the exterior of your home. Storms blow through Oregon year after year, pelting your home with rain, lightning, snow, and ice while you’re safely sheltered inside, worrying about the damage caused outside—and how you’ll pay for it. After the storm passes, will you survive the economic storm of recovery? Will your insurance cover the cost of missing shingles, the havoc fallen tree branches cause, and other possible damage?
Insurance Policies and Wind Damage
Most homeowner’s insurance covers storm-related damage (except for flooding). Your policy explains your exact coverage, including the details regarding damage caused by hail, wind, and wind-driven water. For example, if wind-driven rain enters your home due to storm damage to your roof or exterior walls, your policy may provide compensation for damage to the interior of your home. Or if a storm causes a tree or a branch to damage your home, your homeowner’s policy may cover this as well. The type of damage your policy covers depends on many factors. Examine your policy carefully and contact your insurance provider to understand exactly what your homeowner’s insurance covers—and what it doesn’t.
How Much Will You Receive from the Insurance Company?
Your insurance company and your specific policy will determine the amount of compensation you’ll receive. Some insurance companies pay to repair the damaged area fully or to replace a roof completely, while others consider your roof’s age and level of maintenance before writing your reimbursement check. Such companies may lower your compensation based on the depreciated value of your roof, particularly if it’s at least 10 years old. More than a few policies list specific exclusions for a roof’s wear and tear, based on its age and lack of maintenance, that allow the insurance company to deny all claims and refuse to pay for any resulting damage.
Receiving Compensation from the Insurance Company
Documentation. All insurance companies require it, and today’s technology makes it easier to obtain, safeguard, and submit this essential information.
First, if you haven’t already, walk through your home as soon as possible, using your smartphone to take pictures of everything of value (appliances, electronics, furniture). Remember to include the physical features and architectural details of your home and its exterior (roof, gutters, siding), as well as landscaping, hardscaping (fences), and all auxiliary structures (barn, gazebo, garage, shed). Better yet, video this visual evidence of your valuables, describing when you purchased each one, and how much it cost. If you’ll email this inventory to yourself and a trusted friend or relative, you’ll be able to retrieve the documentation even if disaster strikes your home.
Second, track your repairs as proof that your property is properly maintained. Again, an electronic record is best. Use your smartphone to take photos of all repairs, including the incurred expenses, and email this documentation to yourself and a trusted friend or relative. Instead of frantically searching for hard copies while dealing with a traumatic event, you can easily search your email to find the information you need.
After disaster strikes, promptly photograph or video all the damage to your property that you can see from a safe distance. To avoid injury, let a roofing contractor take pictures of your roof damage while he inspects it. Enlist this trusted expert to give you a professional estimate of all the repairs your roof needs instead of relying solely on an insurance inspector.
Gather and record the estimates and invoices for all your property’s needed repairs, including expenses for temporary fixes to prevent further damage, such as covering holes in the roof and securing windows and doors. The key is to stem the damage quickly—and safely—while leaving the evidence of damage undisturbed.
File your insurance claim as soon as you can, submitting photos of all estimates, invoices, and expenses as well as a copy of the before-and-after property images you recorded. If you need help dealing with your insurance company, consider contacting a public adjuster or the state insurance regulator.
Following these steps will facilitate receiving the funds you need to restore your roof and other property after a storm. Contact NW Quality Roofing today so we can help with all your roofing needs!
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