Hail rained down on many parts of Omaha and the surrounding areas a few weeks ago, leaving property damage for many home and building owners. Storms like these can cause a great deal of damage and be very frustrating for any property owner. If an insurance claim needs to be filed, it is important that it is handled properly. Here are a few steps to follow after a storm.
1. After a hail storm it is a good idea to find out if you have hail damage to your roof or property. Signs of hail damage include broken shingles on the roof or ground; puncture marks on the roof; dents or dings in the gutters; cracks or holes in the siding; any other destructive marks to your trim or surrounding property. Flat roofs often suffer more damage during hail storms than sloped-roofs. Also, older roofs are more susceptible to hail damage than newer ones.
2. If you are experiencing a bad leak or missing shingles from your roof, you should contact McKinnis Roofing right away to inspect the damage and perform an emergency repair.
3. If you have obvious hail damage, call your insurance company and inform them so they can start the insurance claim process. The following procedures are recommended:
- Take note of the date that the damage occurred. Inform the insurance company of the damage and that you will be working with a qualified roofing contractor to do the temporary repair work.
- The insurance company will ask you a few simple questions about your claim. They will also assign an adjuster/claim number to you. It is important to take note of the claim number and when the adjuster will be out at your property.
- If you wish for your contractor to be available when the adjustment is done to your home, let the insurance company know who you are working with and let the adjuster and contractor schedule a time to meet at your property.
- Document and take pictures of any other damage to personal belongings or interior damage and make the adjuster aware of these items.
4. On the other hand, depending on the size of a storm, damage can often be difficult to notice. It may not look like your roof has been harmed to the untrained eye, but even small sized hail has been known to cause roof damage. Hail damage to a roof can weaken the material, which can shorten the life of your roof and cause leaks over time. If you think you may have sustained storm damage from wind or hail but you are not sure, contact McKinnis Roofing to do an initial free inspection before contacting your insurance company. This will save you from having to file an unnecessary claim.
5. McKinnis Roofing will assign you a representative to handle your insurance claim from beginning to end. If there is damage from the storm, our representatives are trained to recognize it and assess it properly. We will do a full inspection of your roof, gutters, siding, windows, metal wraps, and the perimeter of the property.
- Once the inspection is complete, your Mckinnis Roofing representative will sit-down with you and explain his assessment in detail.
- If there is evidence of storm damage, the next step is to fill out an agreement form with your McKinnis Roofing representative. This is just your promise to us that you’ve chosen our company to assist you with your insurance claim and that you will allow us to work with you and your insurance company to properly complete the repairs to your home or property.
6. It is important to use a reputable company who has experience with the insurance claims process. One that you have checked out through an organization like the BBB. This will assure that you get your home or business repaired properly with the highest quality products. Do not use a contractor who is not locally owned and operated, otherwise known as a “Storm Chaser”. Many of these companies are unqualified and are nowhere to be found when you need warranty service. Never work with any contractor that cannot provide proof of the following things:
- Up to date Workers’ Compensation and Liability Insurance. If a worker gets hurt while working on your property and is not properly insured, you are ultimately responsible for the injured worker.
- Full manufacturer and workmanship warranties.
- Membership with the Better Business Bureau and at least one Trade Association.
- A valid contractor’s license for your state and city.
- Length in business under their current name.
- A list of client references.
- A permanent and legitimate place of business.
- Any sub-contractors up-to-date insurance certificates.
7. During a hail storm, many good contractors will be backed up with a waiting list of customers. Unless you are experiencing a leak, there is no immediate rush to have the repair work done. It is better to wait for an experienced and qualified contractor to perform the work. Be wary of the low bid contractor. Many of them are operating without necessary insurance and will cut corners or use an inferior product in order to do the job cheaper. You as the homeowner can select any contractor you wish. It is not mandatory to go with the contractor the insurance company recommends. Some insurance companies would rather have you choose the lowest bid contractor instead of the one that you trust to do the work correctly at a fair price.
8. It is a bad idea to receive an initial check from your insurance company and then try to find the cheapest contractor to do it for under that amount. There is more to the insurance claims process. For instance, to protect your mortgage/insurance companies, your insurance company holds back a recoverable depreciation amount which is not paid out until the repair work is completed. They do this to verify that the work is actually being done. It is a better idea to hire a qualified contractor like McKinnis Roofing to work with your insurance company. This will assure that you receive enough funds to properly repair your home with professional installation and the best materials available.
9. Once McKinnis Roofing has worked with your insurance company and has come to an agreement about the cost of repairs, there should be no out of pocket expense to you other than your deductible (Unless you choose to upgrade your home – The insurance company will only pay for repairs that are equal in worth to your existing roof, siding, etc. If you would like to upgrade to more expensive products, this cost will also be out of pocket). The deductible amount will be paid to McKinnis Roofing to repair the damages. Your insurance deductible is a contract obligation between you and your insurance company. This amount must be paid by you as stated on your insurance contract. Some unscrupulous contractors will offer to cover your deductible amount as an incentive to choose them. This is an unethical business practice and can be constituted as insurance fraud. McKinnis Roofing will not do this.
10. McKinnis Roofing will guide you through the remaining claims process; including talking to your insurance company, handling necessary paperwork, and completing the repairs in a timely and efficient manner.
The insurance claims process can be long and confusing. It is important to hire a professional contractor who is experienced with the claims process to help guide you through it. Do not allow a company to perform work on your house just because they can do it right away at a cheap price. If they do not have the proper experience and qualifications, you can be vulnerable to a lot of unforeseen problems.
- McKinnis Roofing has experience handling thousands of storm related insurance claims. We can handle your entire process and do the necessary repairs to your roof, siding, gutters, windows, soffit, fascia, metal wraps, etc.
- McKinnis Roofing maintains accounts with the largest and best suppliers in the country. We only use the highest quality materials, which come in many different colors and styles.
- We are factory trained and certified to properly install building materials to the manufacturer’s specifications. This also ensures that we can provide you with the best warranties available.
- Family owned & operated since 1981.
- Three permanent locations in Blair, Lincoln, & Norfolk Nebraska.
- Fully Licensed & Insured.
- BBB Accredited Business who also belongs to multiple trade associations and organizations.
- Full service repair and maintenance department with 24 hour emergency service.
Please call 877-734-8832 today to set up a FREE consultation with one of our experienced representatives or click here to request a Free consultation.