Spring time is near which means that Hail Season is right around the corner! Of of the many things you can do to prepare for hail season, we wanted to post the top 5 to make your life easier in the event that you need to file a claim.
1. Check Your Policy
It’s important to find out the details of your home insurance policy. Sometimes it can be easy to get caught up in life and not really understand what your coverage is! It’s important to understand whether or not you have an ACV policy (Actual Cash Value). Actual Cash Value (ACV) is not equal to replacement cost value (RCV). ACV is computed by subtracting depreciation from replacement cost which is important to understand because this means you will not be receiving any depreciation on your claim (money held back until the work is completed). Long story short, an ACV policy means that you will most likely be paying for much of your replacement or renovations out of pocket.
2. Save Your Deductible
In the sate of Colorado, from the passing of Senate Bill 38, it is illegal for a contractor waiving or contributing to your deductible. This is Insurance Fraud. Many contractors out there are willing to “sweeten the deal” for you and waive this fee. BE ADVISED this is punishable by law. With this being said, make sure to take a look at your policy and put aside the amount of your deductible for the event that another storm hits your area!
3. Make Sure Your Policies are Current
This is most likely an obvious one, but also a very easy way to make your life extremely difficult in the event of a hail or wind storm near you. Simply put, make sure your payments are current with your insurance policy and mortgage. Both the insurance companies and your mortgage company monitor active payments; any incoming dollars from your insurance company if a hail claim was filed will most likely go through your mortgage company as well. If your payments are not up to date, the mortgage company will most likely make your life a nightmare by controlling and or making you jump through avoidable hoops to get your money.
4. Get It In Writing
Very important to ask your agent for proof in writing that you are allowed to hire a general contractor to supervise and coordinate your project and that the O&P (Overhead and Profit) will be included. This is IMPORTANT. Best way I can explain is that it’s like paying $25 for a cherry pie and when you go to pick it up there’s a slice missing! The insurance company is shorting the customer (you) what is due if O&P is not included. This is imperative because you don’t want to hire just any “Chuck in a Truck” you want to hire a qualified and insured contractor who can do the job right the first time!
5. Check Your Policy… Again
Ordinance and Law (O&L) is an extra added coverage to a policy that covers additional costs incurred as a result of having to follow current codes when you update the property. Code coverage. The other thing you will want to check for on your policy is cosmetic exclusions. This is when the policy excludes cosmetic damage (most likely) to save money on the policy. Let’s say you have a metal roof, a hail storm ripped through and makes your metal roof look like the surface of a golf ball, yes, your roof is all dinged up, but it’s not structurally broken so your roof wouldn’t be covered. It’s important to know what you are signed up for ahead of time because the insurance companies are obligated to fully identify the customer according to the policy language and conditions, no more and no less!