What Steps Should I Take After Experiencing Hail Damage?

Hail season is officially upon us, and many are already experiencing hail damage. As hailstorms persist, property owners face a pressing concern: how to address the aftermath of hailstorms effectively. Hailstorms can inflict severe damage on properties, necessitating swift and informed action to protect investments and ensure timely restoration. This comprehensive guide outlines essential steps for property owners to navigate the aftermath of hailstorms seamlessly and expedite the claims process. 

Assessing Hail Damage

After a hailstorm, the first step in restoration is to assess the extent of the damage to your property. Assessing your property after experiencing hail damage initiates the claims process in an attempt to ensure that your property is restored promptly and effectively. Documenting the damage thoroughly with photographs and videos from different angles is essential. This documentation will be invaluable when filing an insurance claim.

Exterior Damage

Inspect the exterior of your property for visible signs of damage as dented or cracked surfaces, broken windows, and damaged roofing materials. 

Roof Damage

Pay close attention to your roof, as it is particularly susceptible to hail damage. Look for dents, punctures, and missing shingles or tiles.

HVAC Systems

Check HVAC units and other outdoor equipment for any signs of damage, as hail can cause dents and impair functionality.

Documenting the Damage

Proper documentation is key to a successful insurance claim. Make sure to record the date and time of the hailstorm, as well as any relevant weather reports. Focus your attention on the areas that appear to have the most damage. Include close-up shots to capture the extent of the damage accurately. Keep all documentation organized and easily accessible for when you need to file your claim. 

Photo & Video Evidence

Take clear and detailed photographs of all visible damage to your property from multiple angles. Be sure to capture close-up shots as well as wider shots to provide context.

Written Documentation

Make detailed notes describing the extent of the damage, including the date and time of the hailstorm, the areas affected, and any observable structural issues. 

Gather Supporting Documentation

Collect any relevant documents such as maintenance records, previous inspection reports, and receipts for repairs or upgrades.

Contact Your Insurance Carrier

Initiating the claims process promptly by notifying your insurance carrier of the hail damage on your property is essential. Be thorough in providing all relevant details, including the date and location of the hailstorm, along with a comprehensive description of the damage and any documentation you’ve gathered. Collaborate with your insurance adjuster to arrange a thorough inspection of your property. This inspection allows them to evaluate the extent of the damage and decide the best course of action.  A licensed & reputable public adjuster will conduct a thorough damage assessment of your property to streamline the claims process with your insurance carrier.

Additionally, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with your insurance policy, ensuring that you comprehend the coverage limits, deductibles, and any specific requirement or exclusions pertaining to hail damage. To have your policy thoroughly reviewed by our team of licensed professionals, submit your policy here: Free Policy Review

Preventative Measures

While hail damage is often unavoidable, there are some preventative measures you can take to help minimize the impact of future hailstorms on your property. 

Roof Maintenance 

Regularly inspect and maintain your roof to identify and address any potential vulnerabilities or weak spots that may be susceptible to hail damage. 

Protective Coverings

Consider installing protective coverings such as hail-resistant roofing materials, window shutters, or awnings to mitigate the impact of hailstones. 

Trip Trees and Shrubs

Keep trees and shrubs on your property well-trimmed to minimize the risk of falling branches and debris during hailstorms. 

Enlist the Help of a Public Adjuster

Consider enlisting the expertise of a public adjuster to assist you with your insurance claim. Public adjusters are licensed professionals who work on behalf of policyholders to negotiate fair and equitable settlements with insurance companies. At Premier Claims, our team of Licensed Public Adjusters can advocate for your best interests and fight for you to receive the compensation that is rightfully owed to you.  To learn more about the value a public adjuster can bring to your claim and your peace of mind, read our blog: What is a Public Adjuster? 

Navigating the aftermath of a hailstorm can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone. Premier Claims is here to support you every step of the way, from assessing damage to negotiating with your insurance carrier. Our team of experts is committed to providing you with the guidance and assistance you need to restore your property and regain peace of mind. 

Ready to take the next steps after a hailstorm? Connect with Premier Claims today to speak with one of our experienced public adjusters and get the support you need to navigate the claims process with confidence. 

Hurricane Insurance Coverage for Policyholders

When owning property in a hurricane-prone area, being prepared is a necessity. As policyholders with properties in these areas, you have the means to safeguard your investments and set yourself up for a smooth recovery process. Here are five key things to look for to ensure that you have the proper hurricane insurance coverage:

 

Windstorm and Hurricane Coverage: Your Essential Defense

When considering your insurance policy, start with Windstorm and Hurricane Coverage. This coverage is your essential defense against the destructive impacts of hurricanes. Make sure your policy includes protection against wind-related damage, such as roof damage and shattered windows. This coverage not only shields your property but also provides you with peace of mind. 

 

Flood Insurance: Comprehensive Protection

In hurricane-prone zones, flooding is a major concern. While Windstorm and Hurricane Coverage are crucial, they may not cover flooding resulting from storm surges or heavy rainfall. To address this gap, think about adding a separate Flood Insurance Policy. This comprehensive coverage takes care of both structural damage and your belongings in the event of flooding.

 

Additional Living Expenses (ALE) Coverage: Your Support System

After a hurricane, your home might be uninhabitable due to extensive damage. This is where Additional Living Expenses (ALE) Coverage comes into play. ALE ensures you have support for temporary housing, meals, and other necessities while your property is being restored. This provision in your policy can greatly ease the challenge you face during the post-hurricane period. 

 

Named Storm Deductibles: Know the Details

Understanding your policy’s deductibles, including Named Storm Deductibles, is crucial. These deductibles apply specifically to damage caused by named hurricanes or tropical storms. Keep in mind that these deductibles are often higher than your standard deductible. Knowing these details can help you avoid unexpected financial setbacks.

 

Timing is Key: Act Before the Storm

One must remember that once a hurricane is named, you cannot modify an insurance policy. Taking a proactive approach and reviewing/updating your coverage before a hurricane approaches becomes essential. At Premier Claims, we dedicate ourselves to equipping policyholders like you with knowledge and foresight, ensuring you prepare well in advance.

 

We have partnered with the Merlin Law Group to provide extra insight on the importance of hurricane coverage. Anthony Pinot of Merlin Law Group stated, “as The Policyholder’s AdvocateTM, Merlin Law Group knows it is essential for policyholders to take the time now to make sure you are prepared for hurricane season and are not caught off guard. Merlin Law Group has created guides specifically for assisting policyholders in preparing for hurricane season. For residential policyholders, they have a Hurricane Checklist with tips on safeguarding your home and reviewing your insurance policy. They also have a Condominium Hurricane Preparedness Guide for multi-family properties.”

In conclusion, as industry leaders, we’re committed to supporting you not just as policyholders, but as individuals seeking security and recovery after a hurricane. Premier Claims is here to guide you every step of the way. For a complimentary policy review, fill out the form below. Your peace of mind is our ultimate goal.

 

FEMA Extends Deadline for Hurricane Ian Proof of Loss

Hurricane Ian Damage

After delivering the deadliest storm Florida has seen since the Labor Day hurricane of 1935, FEMA has issued a directive that extends the deadline to submit the Proof of Loss (POL) for a flood claim.

The FEMA announcement detailed which states are eligible for the extension, including Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.

The usual time frame for submitting a sworn Proof of Loss is 60 days. However, FEMA extended this deadline to 365 days from the loss date. It’s important to note that FEMA has also implemented a significant adjustment in its procedures. They’ve authorized NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) to accept an Unsigned Adjuster’s Report instead of a signed Proof of Loss for claim evaluation and payment. This change aims to streamline the process and provide more flexibility for policyholders in the aftermath of property damage.

While FEMA has allotted insureds this extension to file their Proof of Loss with their insurance company, it is still vital to file your claim as soon as you possibly can. Your insurance company must inspect the property before you proceed with any repairs. However, you must mitigate the damage, meaning you need to protect the property from any further harm.

The claims process is difficult enough, don’t navigate it alone. Premier Claims experts guide you through the process, handle daunting tasks, and fight for your maximum payout.