What to expect when you file a claim for hail or wind damage

You will be working with your insurance company's adjuster if you report a claim for damage to your property. The adjuster would prefer to meet you face-to-face at the scene or ask if your contractor would like to be present. In either case, a skilled adjuster will help you financially recover from your loss, as directed by the terms of the policy you have purchased.


Read Your Policy
Your insurance policy is a very important financial management tool. It is the contract between you and your insurance company. It explains the amount of your coverage, what is covered, and how the loss will be compensated. It also outlines the steps to follow after a loss and how to settle a dispute between you and the insurer. Knowing what is in your policy is an important part of your financial planning.

Pay close attention to perils that are covered. Know exactly what property is being insured. Pay attention to the liability sections of the policy and what coverage are included there. Note the limits of coverage that are applied in some areas and pay very close attention to any exclusion.

What to do After the Loss

Notify the Insurance Company
After the loss has occurred, you should notify the insurance company as soon as possible. Many companies have 24-hour call centers that can launch the claims team any time day or night. Often you can reach the call center by calling your agent. If it is after hours you usually can reach the center by following the instructions on the voice mail system. Other companies have online notification systems and 24-hour toll-free numbers to call.

Protect the Undamaged Property
It is your responsibility to protect your undamaged property from damage. However, it is important to use some common sense. You should not endanger your life or health in an attempt to close up a wind-damaged roof or an unstable fire-damaged building.

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What Your Insurance Company Does After the Loss

Getting you a claims check
The goal is to make the policyholder whole once again. Insurance companies reach this important goal in different and individual ways.

Many claims will be assigned to a claim settlement expert, who is your adjuster. He or she may work directly for the insurance company, or may be an independent adjuster under contract with the company. Either one has the responsibility to ensure that your claim receives prompt attention. They are your contact with the insurance company for the life of the claim. Most adjusters work hard to be professional, courteous, and conscientious on every claim.

The company will assign a claim adjuster who will personally meet with you and your contractor face-to-face. You will be asked questions to determine the coverage available under your policy. The adjuster, who will often take pictures or a video, in addition to a written report, will document the loss.

You should not attempt to clean up or alter the condition of the damaged property before the adjuster inspects it. However, if it must be altered to protect the place from further damage you should ensure it is protected. If possible, photograph the damaged area before you alter it.

The insurance company will want you to submit an inventory of your damaged or destroyed items. The adjuster will help you obtain estimates to repair the damage. Top notch roofing and the adjuster may meet to discuss the repairs. You will be advised of the total estimated repair costs and any deductibles that might apply. The deductible is the owners responsibility.

During this process you will likely be required to complete a Proof of Loss. This is a requirement of the policy that itemizes your loss. It is important and should be carefully and completely filled out.

The claim is completed after you have reached agreement with your adjuster on the amount of the payment to be made to you by the insurance company. If you have a lien against your property, such as a mortgage, you may find your name and the name of the mortgage holder on the claim check. It is important that you clarify any escrow procedure for these funds with your mortgage company.

Resolving Differences
Insurance companies are in the business of providing you with protection from covered losses. There is a possibility that you and your adjuster may not completely agree on the value of a loss. The equitable, fair, prompt settlement of claims is a goal of insurance companies. The adjuster has the responsibility to work with a policyholder in the claim settlement process and to resolve any differences of opinion. This may require you to provide some additional documentation to substantiate the value of items or structures involved in the dispute.

Top notch roofing has experts to assist in solving disputes with the claim. In most cases the dispute can be resolved by submitting supplements to the insurance company with documentation to back the argument.

The policy also contains a provision to help resolve disputes. It provides for special arbitration or possibly mediation through a neutral organization.

Insurance is a state-regulated industry. All states have insurance departments to regulate the insurance companies doing business in the respective states. You can file a complaint with the state insurance department, if you are not satisfied with the service you are receiving. The state will investigate the complaint and provide you with an answer regarding your disputed issues.

The Claim Settlement Process Makes Good the Promise

The insurance company made a promise to you when you purchased the insurance policy. It was to help you recover financially following a covered loss. The claim settlement process is when your carrier makes good on the promise. The process is designed to promptly assist you with beginning your recovery. It is also formulated to ensure your claim is handled in both a fair and timely manner. Cooperation between you, the adjuster and contractor is the surest way to reach the goal of a successful claim settlement.


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