Think you have hail damage?  Have Lindstrom Restoration do a no-cost inspection now before your insurance deadline expires.

no-cost inspection

This unseasonably warm weather has given contractors the ability to do roof and exterior inspections that would normally have to wait until April or even May.  The good news is Lindstrom Restoration has added roofing and exterior work to our service offerings and can provide a no-cost inspection.

The bad news is many policyholders are running out of time to act on this.  Some companies give you a year to file a claim, others give you two years. Check with your insurance agent to be sure.  Usually, the first question that will be asked is, when did you suffer hail damage?  That will vary depending on where you live. 
A huge hail event impacted parts of the Twin Cities on August 11.  Other smaller events occurred at other times.  Can’t remember when you had hail?  Ask your agent for help in isolating when hail fell in your area.  If you file a claim, insurance companies can verify the weather on any given date and isolate local storms where large hail fell.

Many insurance agents highly recommend that you hold off on filing a claim until you have a reasonable assurance that your roof is sufficiently damaged to warrant shingle replacement.  That means getting a professional, ethical inspection of your roof.  You will want to find a trained and experienced contractor to identify hail damage before an insurance adjuster will approve.  Contractors who have established professional working alliances with adjusters and insurance companies do not like disagreements on losses.  Many do close to 100% insurance work and the last thing they want is to have their reputation questioned and damaged. 

Unfortunately, many contractors have adversarial relationships with carriers. These tend to be the companies that door-knock within minutes of a hail event.  Salespeople eagerly looking for commissions pressure homeowners to sign a contract and file a claim.  They promise to “fight” for them in getting new roofing or siding, even when there is insufficient damage to warrant it.

Sadly, these homeowners sign contracts with some contractors that commit them to getting a new roof. Depending on the language of the contract, they may be committed to a new roof whether insurance pays for it or not.  If coverage is denied, those contractors still hold the homeowner to the contractual provisions, and there is often a nasty penalty to pay to rescind the contract.  This is not in the interests of consumers. 

no-cost inspection

Unfortunately, we’ve seen many instances where the homeowner files a claim and then the adjuster sees no damage and denies the claim.  Agents tell us the problem with that is that even though the claim has been denied, the record of the filing still exists, and can affect future premium pricing and in the worst-case scenario, can even lead to being dropped as a customer.  Always ask your insurance agent for guidance in making good decisions. 

In other situations, when disagreements persist between the contractor and the insurance company, things move on to either litigation or third-party resolution, which is guaranteed by State law.  In Minnesota, this third-party resolution is called the appraisal process.   In this situation, both parties agree to have the dispute settled out of court.  The contractor selects an appraiser, and the insurance company appoints a similar professional to represent them.  Both appraisers agree on a judge to help them settle the dispute.

Each party must come to this process prepared with their evidence.  Expert testimony is often procured.  There are roofing engineers that can be hired to document the presence of hail damage.  These are individuals who have been trained and certified to inspect for hail hits.  Unfortunately, for the consumer, this is an out-of-pocket expense, but in these days of expensive roof replacement costs, it is worth it if the engineer determines there is damage.

no-cost inspection

If an inspection determines that there is legitimate hail damage worth pursuing, the homeowner should then discuss with their agent how to proceed.  They will want to know what coverage they have and what their out-of-pocket deductible cost is.  Some unscrupulous contractors will offer to pay the policyholder’s deductible as an inducement to sign a contract.  This is against State law and the offer should be refused. 

Homeowners should know that insurance companies have gotten a lot tougher on approving new roof replacements. This is out of necessity.  In 2022, Minnesota led the nation in hail losses with nearly 800 million!  Texas was in second place a couple of million plus behind that.  By comparison, Wisconsin was 6th in the nation with well over 190 million.
Plus, as mentioned, Minnesota suffered another huge hail event last August. Unfortunately, most insurance companies can’t make money in this environment.  Many have either temporarily stopped writing new business in Minnesota or they take only the best risks. 
Other carriers have left the state entirely.  When a roof replacement costs $30,000 and the insurance premium is only $3500, the risk for the carrier is too high.

The lesson from all this is to be very careful when filing claims, especially in this environment.  Only do so when you are very sure you have legitimate damage your carrier will cover. 

Aren’t sure whether you have legitimate hail damage or not?  Call Lindstrom Restoration and we will provide a no-cost professional assessment of your roof’s condition.  Call us at 763-544-5761 to arrange a time that is best for you.  Together, with your agent, we can help you make the very best decision for your situation.