A recent study indicates hail may disappear from Colorado’s Front Range by 2070 according to NOAA and the University of Colorado in Boulder. But for now, we will have to deal with the effects of high winds and hailstorms.

So, what should you do to protect yourself and get repair work done right? First, after a storm, do a visual inspection of your property, including your personal property such as outdoor patio furniture, etc. You should look to see if there is storm damage to your vehicles, siding, gutters, shutters and fences. This can help determine if the roof may have been damaged by the storm. It is important to make note of the date of the storm, as well as take photos of any damage.

Contact a credible roofing company and have them confirm there is hail damage to your roof. Warning – never sign anything with a contractor, unless you have thoroughly done your homework regarding the quality, scope and warranty of their services! When the roofing company inspects your property, advise them to inspect other items on your property that may have been damaged from the hail, such as AC units, hot tub covers, windows and screens so they can also point that out to your insurance adjuster. Choose a local contractor and beware of out of town “storm chasers”. Make sure your contractor has a good reputation and check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in your area.

The next step is to file a claim with your insurance company. When you speak with a representative at your insurance company, give them the date the damage occurred, and a short summary of what happened. When the inspection appointment has been scheduled with your adjuster, make sure to notify your roofing contractor so that they can be “on the roof” with your adjuster to review the damage. It’s always good to have a second set of eyes looking out for you!

Once the adjuster has completed their onsite inspection, they will provide you with an estimate and a settlement payment. Some insurance companies write a check immediately while they are at your home, and others mail the paperwork and check to you. The initial insurance payment is typically referred to as an actual cash value payment (ACV). This means the insurance company holds back a portion of the settlement in the form of depreciation. Depreciation is generally recoverable after the work is completed. It is important to remember that most insurance policies have a deductible which is the portion of the claim you agree to pay out-of-pocket for the repairs. Any payment you receive from the insurance company will be reduced by your deductible amount.

In getting the work done, make sure your contractor and insurance company have reached a settlement before the work is started. As sometimes, the insurance company will not approve the full amount requested by your contractor. Make sure you clearly understand what your responsibilities are, as you don’t want any surprises.

TIPS

• File the claim as soon as possible after a storm to ensure you are within the required date range for wind/hail damage claims.

• Installing a Class 4 impact-resistant shingle may result in an insurance premium reduction. Be sure to verify this with your insurance company first.

• A brand new roof can enhance curb appeal and increase the value of your home.