Exterior Property Claims

With summer just around the corner and hail and thunderstorm season soon upon us, we thought it may be helpful to provide you with some information on what to do in the event of an exterior claim on your property.

 

In the event of a claim, we always recommend giving our Office a call.  One of our knowledgeable Brokers will take down the details of the claim and report it directly to the insurance company on your behalf.  If you are signed up for our online portal and/or mobile app, you may also submit your claim details to us electronically.  In the event that the claim happens after hours, or you are unable to get through to our Office, you can contact your Insurance Company’s 24/7 claim line directly.  Please visit our website for a list of after-hours claim numbers.  As a friendly reminder, you have two years from the date of loss to report your claim.  We recommend reporting your claim to our Office as soon as possible to avoid any delays.

 

If the damages to the exterior of your home resulted in any leaks, emergency repairs should be completed right away.  In extreme cases, hail damage can break windows or skylights resulting in water entering the home. However, in most cases, leaks are a result of wind damage blowing shingles from a roof.  Our Brokerage can put you in contact with a reputable and insurance company approved contractor who can assist you with completing the temporary repairs as quickly as possible to minimize further damage.

 

Once your claim has been reported, the insurance company will send out an adjuster  to inspect your property.  The adjuster will then confirm what repairs will be covered under your insurance policy and an estimate will be provided for the cost of repairs.  Adjusters are the individuals who can make policy and coverage decisions, and they use their best judgement to assess your claim.

 

The selection of a contractor is up to you, the property owner.  You have the right to choose your contractor, however, most insurance companies do have a list of Preferred Contractors which they like to use. The benefits of these Preferred Contractors include:

  • Additional warranties (included by some contractors)
  • Their workmanship and performance has been verified
  • Their worker’s compensation and liability insurance coverage has been verified

 

Once the contractor is selected, the estimate will be double checked.  Written authorization will then be provided by the insurance company adjuster so that repairs may be completed.  At this point, you will work with the contractor for the duration of the repairs.  In addition to choosing the type of products and colors, you can also discuss with your contractor about upgrading the products on your home.  For example, if you are having your roof redone, you may choose to upgrade to a longer-life shingle or different type of roofing material.  Any additional costs for the upgrade that are over and above the insurance settlement would be your responsibility.

 

it is important to note that most exterior property claims will result in some costs to you, the homeowner.  These costs include:

  1. The Deductible
    • The deductible is a specified amount of money that you must pay before an insurance company will pay a claim.  When it comes to homeowner’s insurance, the standard deductibles range from $1,000 – $2,500, but could be higher depending on customer preferences or claims history.  Your deductible amount is shown on your policy declaration page.
  2. Deprecation and ACV
    • Depreciation is defined as a reduction in the value of an asset with the passage of time, due in particular to wear and tear.  Many insurance companies have a limitation on the settlement of exterior property claims.  Instead of settling on a Replacement Cost basis, the claim takes into account depreciation and is settled based on Actual Cash Value.
    • Below is an example calculation as provided by our friends at Epic Roofing & Exteriors:
      •   $12,000   (replacement cost on 17 year old roof)
      •   – $7,200   (depreciation of 5% per year after 5th year)
      •    $4,800   (actual cash value)
      •   – $1,000   (deductible)
      •    $3,800   (insurance company settlement)

 

For more information about exterior property claims or if you would like to do a review of your policy coverage, please do not hesitate to contact our Office and one of our knowledgeable Brokers would be happy to assist you.

 

Thank you,

The Costen & Associates Team

 

*Thank you to Epic Roofing & Exteriors for providing us with information from their “Exterior Claims for Brokers” handbook.