Question: What do I do if I think my property has storm damage?
Answer: Have a free inspection with a reputable, certified SDS contractor who will work with your insurance company to ensure you are treated fairly.
Question: What is the cost for having my property inspected for damage?
Answer: SDS Contractors provide homeowners with no cost property damage inspections and no-obligation repair estimates.
Question: My home is fairly new. Won't my home builder's warranty cover the repairs?
Answer: No. Storm damage is almost always a named exclusion in manufacturer, home builder and contractor warranties, which are designed to cover problems with materials and workmanship, not storm damage, or factors beyond control.
Question: How much will it cost me to fix my property?
Answer: The cost to repair your home can vary, depending on the extent of the damage, cost of materials and cost of quality installation by a reputable contractor. If you are filing an insurance claim, and approved, you will never pay one dime more than your deductible for approved damage replacement.
Question: Can you help me find a reputable contractor to fix my damage?
Answer: Yes. Storm Damage Services has an Alliance of reputable contractors, who are licensed, insured and commit to a strict Code of Ethics designed to protect homeowners.
Question: Why should I get my home inspected for storm damage?
Answer: : Peace of mind. If your home is damaged, you may have a short time to file an insurance claim. Since your insurance company limits the amount of time you have to file a claim it is important to get your claim approved and repairs scheduled as soon as possible.
Question: : Will my insurance premiums go up if I file a claim?
Answer: : In most states, insurance companies are prohibited from singling out any one homeowner for a rate increase based on an “Act of God” damage claim, which includes hail, wind, tornado and hurricane storm damage claims. However, if a storm has impacted your area then most likely your insurance company will raise all rates and you will be affected whether you file a claim or not.
Question: I've heard some contractors pay insurance deductibles? Is this true?
Answer: Your deductable should be your only out of pocket expense and a quality contractor will often offer better than before products with warranties at no charge to the property owner.
Question: Should I trust contractors that knock on my door?
Answer: : Be wary of door-to-door contractors. If you get an inspection from a door-to-door company, do your research and make sure they are credible, licensed, insured and properly trained. That's why you should use a certified NSCA & SDS referred contractor, we check them out for you!
Question: What kind of agreements should I expect?
Answer: A contingency agreement typically includes two parts, an inspection agreement, which gives the contractor permission to request an inspection from your insurance company and a work-order agreement, which obligates you to use that contractor to perform your repairs if damage is confirmed. There is no need for an estimate unless your insurance company wants it from your hired contractor.
Question: How long can I file an insurance claim after the storm?
Answer: The time you have to file an insurance claim varies by insurance company, but as a general rule, most insurance companies require you to file within 12-24 months. It is a good idea to contact your insurance agent or company with any questions regarding your coverage.
Question: Should I call my agent if I have damage?
Answer: No matter how much you like your insurance agent personally, it is important to remember your insurance company is in business to make money. We recommend that you call the claims number provided by your insurance company as dictated by your policy. Your Agent is almost never a Claims specialist, they usually have to report the same info to the claims department anyway.
Question: My insurance company denied my claim. Is there anything I can do?
Answer: You can request 3 separate inspections and re-file a claim that has been denied. Make sure a trained reputable NSCA contractor is present during your next inspection. An experienced contractor can often help get your claim approved, even if it has been denied previously.
Question: Several of my neighbors are getting their roof replaced, should I get my home inspected?
Answer: Yes. If your neighbors have storm damage and are getting their roof repaired or replaced, chances are very good you have storm damage as well.
Question: How can I tell if my home has sustained hail damage?
Answer: You may notice small dents on rain gutters or air conditioning units, missing or bent shingles, washout (granules accumulating in gutters or downspouts), moist areas on your ceiling indicating leads, cracks or dents in windows or siding, shredded plants and flowers, leaves knocked off trees and dents in cars parked on the street. If any of your neighbors are having repairs done, chances are your property is damaged as well.
Question: What does a hail hit look like on an asphalt roof?
Answer: A hail hit on asphalt shingles looks like a dark spot, or bruise, where the roofing granules have been knocked away. In some cases you may find holes, cracking, or missing shingles on roofs that have been damaged by hail.
Question: My home was hit by hail, but I don't see any damage. What should I do?
Answer: You may think that just because you can't see any signs of damage, or because your roof isn't leaking, you don't have damage. Remember, hail damage can be particularly difficult to identify and many homeowners discover major roofing damage years down the road, after it's too late to file a storm damage claim with their insurance company. If you have any reason to suspect hail damage after a storm, you should contact SDS immediately for a free inspection from a trained NSCA contractor in your area.
Question: What are the risks of not fixing a hail damaged roof?
Answer: The most common problems associated with hail damage are leaking water and flooding. Over time, water leaks through tiny holes in your roof and causes serious issues including water damage, mold and structural damage, including roof collapse.
Question: My roof has sustained storm damage. Can I just fix it myself?
Answer: If your home has been damaged by a storm and you are filing an insurance claim to pay for the repairs, there is no advantage to doing the work yourself. Hire an NSCA and SDS referred contractor, with insurance claims experience that is committed to quality workmanship to work for you for free!
Question: Can storm damage impact the value of my home?
Answer: Yes. If you plan to sell your home in the future, it is critical to address storm damage issues immediately. Many homeowners are shocked to learn they have costly storm damage to fix, years after the time to file an insurance claim has expired.
Question: Do I need to get my roof replaced right away?
Answer: The devastating nature of hail damage is you might not start experiencing problems, such as leaking, mold, or structural damage right away. But, because most insurance companies limit the time you can file a claim, it is important to get your roof fixed immediately, before your time to file a claim expires.
Question: Why would my insurance company pay to fix my home?
Answer: The purpose of your homeowners insurance is to protect your home against losses that affect the value, functionality and safety of your home. If your home has sustained storm damage, your insurance company will provide compensation to have your property restored to its original condition before the storm.
Question: Am I required to have homeowners insurance?
Answer: It is always smart to have a good homeowners insurance policy, even if you don't owe any money on your home. If you have a mortgage, home equity loan, or use your home as collateral, your lender will require you to maintain insurance.
Question: Are all homeowners insurance policies the same?
Answer: There are many different types of insurance policies. Levels of coverage, exclusions and limits of liability vary greatly. Some policies provide basic coverage, while others offer broad coverage and high levels of protection.
Question: Does my homeowners insurance cover all types of storm damage?
Answer: It depends on your policy. Most homeowners insurance policies cover storms including hail, tornado and wind damage. But, floods and earthquakes usually require additional coverage. It is always smart to check your policy to see exactly what is covered.
Question: What are the various types of coverage included in a homeowners policy?
Answer: To determine the types of coverage you have, check the declarations page of your insurance policy. Types of coverage are as follows:
~Coverage A - Damage to your home
~Coverage B - Damage to other structures including garage, deck or swimming pool
~Coverage C - Loss or damage to the contents of your home
~Coverage D - Loss of use in case your home is not inhabitable
~Coverage E - Personal liability to third parties
~Coverage F - Medical payments to third parties
Question: Who pays for living expenses when my home is being repaired after a storm?
Answer: Your insurance company may pay for loss of use, in the case that your home is uninhabitable after it has been damaged by a storm, up to applicable limits. Call your Agent for coverage questions.
Question: Does my policy cover tornado, wind and hail damage?
Answer: Most standard homeowners insurance policies cover damage done by tornado, windstorms and hailstorms. Check your policy for limits and details.
Question: What is not covered by homeowners insurance?
Answer: Earthquakes, floods and other named exclusions usually require separate coverage. Normal wear and tear and poor maintenance is normally not covered by insurance. You should always contact your insurance provider for policy coverage and specific questions.
Question: Will my insurance cover the cost of tree removal after a severe storm?
Answer: Most policies cover the cost of tree removal after a storm, however, you should check your policy. Some insurance companies require a separate tree removal policy.
Question: Will my homeowners insurance cover damage to cars on my property?
Answer: Normally, damage to your car is not covered by your homeowners policy, even if a tree on your property falls and damages your car. Damage to your car is usually covered by your comprehensive auto insurance policy. You should always contact your insurance provider for policy coverage and specific questions.