Storm Damage Insurance Claim FAQs

A storm damaged several trees on my property, one of which fell on my roof. The insurance claim adjuster would only pay to have a part of one tree removed and told me I was responsible for having the other trees removed. Is this correct?

Most insurance policies do not provide coverage for tree removal even if the tree was damaged or toppled over during a storm. The policy would cover only the removal of parts that interfere with repairs to the structure. That amount is limited; typically $500 or $1,000.

High winds and a heavy storm has damaged shingles on a small part of my roof and another storm is on the horizon. My home already has water damage and the insurance adjuster has not yet inspected my claim. Is it necessary to tarp my roof before the next storm?

Yes. Failure to mitigate the current damages could jeopardize your claim(s). Read your insurance policy for specific duties and responsibilities to which you must adhere if you’re planning to or have filed a storm damage insurance claim. Photograph all the damage and keep receipts for the money you spend on temporary repairs.

I have a standard homeowner insurance policy. My property suffered tornado damage. Does my insurance policy cover this damage or should I have purchased a separate tornado policy?

Tornados are typically covered perils; thus, your insurance policy most likely covers the tornado damage. That said, your policy may impose a higher “windstorm” deductible depending on state insurance laws. A trusted and experienced public adjuster can advise you.

What is a windstorm?

A “windstorm” event typically includes tornado damage, hurricane damage and high winds that cause wind damage. Windstorm events can cause a wide variety of damage for example, with wind-driven wildfires, a damaged property may have a combination of windstorm and fire damage. The high winds associated with a heavy rain storm could blow off the roof and drive rain and water damage inside a property.

How can I benefit from hiring a public adjuster to assist with a wind and storm damage claim?

Insurance companies mobilize large numbers of independent adjusters after storms. Many of these claim adjusters are inexperienced and have a heavy workload. Hiring your own storm damage adjuster – a public adjuster– will likely speed up the insurance claim process and will ensure you’re paid for all damage to your property.

My roof is old and it has leaked over the past few months. A heavy storm passed through and the leaks appear worse and the water damage in my home is significant. Will my insurance cover the damage?

Maybe. You may have a viable water damage insurance claim but it’s unlikely that your insurance will pay to replace or repair your roof. Most policies have a “wear and tear” exclusion and basic maintenance clauses. This means that insurance companies will not cover items that are simply at the end of their lifecycle. The resulting water damage in your home may be covered.

My roof was damaged by a recent hail storm. The damage appears to be cosmetic. Should I file a roof damage insurance claim?

The dings in your roof are the result of direct physical damage from an “act of God” and as such, the hail damage would be covered if you filed a claim with your insurance company.

If roof is made of composite asphalt materials those dings will likely get worse over time as wind and rain slowly wash the loosened granules off your roof. When this happens, the hail damage may manifest as leaks and the ensuing water will cause damage to your home.

Will my insurance drop me or raise my premium if I file a storm damage insurance claim?

If you’ve received a “claims free” discount on your premium then you could risk losing that policy discount if you file a claim. A public adjuster can help determine if it’s in your best financial interest to submit a storm damage claim or not.

You have many options even if your storm damage claim has been delayed, denied or underpaid. We can help.