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Filing an Insurance Claim

So you pay for homeowner’s insurance coverage but you don’t want to file a claim. I know, I know- I hear it all the time- “if I file a claim my premiums are going to go up, or worse yet, they will cancel my coverage.

 

Guess what? If the area in which you live has been affected by a significant storm, everyone in your area will see their insurance premiums go up. If everyone else files a claim and has their property restored and you don’t, two things have happened.

  • you have devalued your property relative to the homes that were restored
  • You have subsidized the premiums of everyone who did file a claim, to your own detriment

If you don’t file a claim when you sustain damage to your property, here are a couple of other “gotchas”

Deductibles go up as values increase with inflation, coverage on your roof tends to become more restrictive as your roof “ages out”- generally at about 10 years with most carriers, your out of pocket expense will always increase with time and the cost to restore your property will increase as well.

Now it is not uncommon for us to see an address- specific hail report on a property showing the insurance company the last time hail over one inch fell at the location. Generally accepted as the size required to damage roofs, gutters, and accessories, 1” hail must have fallen at your location within the time frame for you to notify your carrier of damage as stated in your policy conditions. If there has not been a storm event within that stated time period, your claim might be denied even though you have substantial damage and need a new roof or other restoration work.

If a professional has evaluated your roof and advised you to file a claim, you should do so promptly.

Warning- not all roofers are professional and have the integrity to put your interests in front of their own. A professional roof inspection is completed by a trained inspector, perhaps one with an adjusters license or industry credentials from a reputable company like HAAG engineering.

HAAG credentials are HAAG certified residential inspector, HAAG certified commercial inspector and HAAG certified wind inspector. These credentials require examinations, continuing education, and anyone possessing the credentials should be able to produce their inspector credential (badge) issued by HAAG.

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