Living in Minnesota means summers by the lake, but it also means thunderstorms. So far this summer, we’ve seen a fair amount of severe weather, and those storms sometimes bring hail and damaging winds. Here are a few helpful hints on filing a claim after storm damage.
Filing a Claim on Your Policy
First things first: give us a call if you notice storm damage to your home or vehicles. Storms often happen outside of typical business hours. When tragedy hits, we are a phone call, email, text or drop in visit to the office away to provide you guidance on filing a claim.
Once you’ve connected with us, there will be a list of questions we will ask regarding the claim. For instance, we might ask when you noticed the damage and what kind of damage you’re seeing. Your physically safety is always a top concern for us.
Protecting Property from Further Damage
It is your requirement within the insurance contract to protect your damaged property from further damage. An example of this may be boarding up a missing window or putting plastic over a damaged roof.
Replacement Cost and Depreciation
After you’ve filed your claim, an adjuster will come out to document the damage and work up the cost of repairs.
Let’s say you had hail damage to your roof, with coverage for replacement cost under your homeowner’s policy. That means the adjuster will work with you and your preferred roofing contractor to determine what it costs to replace the roof with something similar. Then, the company will make a payment to you for the depreciated amount, which takes into account the age and condition of the roof. After you’ve replaced the roof, you provide proof to your adjuster. They’ll then send you a check for the difference between replacement cost and the depreciated amount they paid you already—this is recoverable depreciation.
How Long You’ll Have to Replace or Repair Property
In general, insurance companies will give you 6, 12 or 18 months from the date of the claim to get things repaired or replaced. This can vary by company. These days, we know that finding supplies can be challenging, and contractors are very busy. If your contractor can’t get the materials or can’t fit you into their schedule within the time period, be sure to request an extension from your insurance company.
Mortgages and Lienholders
If your home has a mortgage or lienholder on it (meaning you’ve borrowed money from a lender), they may need to be listed on the checks you get from the insurance company. In Minnesota, the state requires that your lienholder be included on the check if the claim check is for more than $20,000.
That’s one reason why working with a local bank can be a lot easier than with a remote or online company. In this case, you can simply stop at your bank to get the lienholder’s signature.
Filing a Claim After Damage
If you’ve had storm damage, we’re here to help. Give us a call if you have questions or need to file a claim.