Wind storm claims are a specific type of commercial or homeowner’s insurance claim. Wind storm claims may or may not be covered under a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. Insurance companies that operate in states in which wind storms or tornadoes are common may choose to separate wind storm insurance into an extended coverage policy. If wind storm claims are covered under an extended coverage package, homeowners or business owners that choose not to purchase the additional policy will not be covered if damage to the home or business is a result of a wind storm.
Wind Storm Claim Coverages
Insurance companies often cover many different expenses that are a result of a wind storm or tornado that property owners may not be aware of. In addition to any wind storm damage claims, there are many expenses that add up after a wind storm or tornado. Some insurance policies have advance payment plans in place to help property owners cover expenses that must be taken care of immediately.
Other expenses that may be covered include:
- Hotel Expenses during a mandatory evacuation
- Food expenses during evacuation
- Animal boarding during evacuation
- Materials used to prevent further damage (boards, tarps, etc)
Damage to property is often the biggest expense after a wind storm or tornado. Damage to a home that is caused by neighbors’ trees or property being blown onto property is the responsibility of the homeowner that is affected. Many expenses are covered in a wind storm claim, such as roof repairs and replacement of a shed that was demolished. Tree removal is usually not a covered wind storm claim unless the tree is in a position to cause further damage to the property. This is an expense that is usually necessary after a tornado or wind storm, so property owners should ensure awareness of the wind storm claims that will be covered under the insurance policy that has been purchased, whether it is separate or a part of homeowners or commercial property insurance.
Process of Filing a Wind Storm Claim
Property owners should be sure to document any damage that has been incurred as a result of a wind storm as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Taking pictures can be helpful, as well as assessing damage estimates. The insurance company must be called as soon as the threat of further inclement weather has passed. The insurance company will provide a series of telephone questions, a paper form, or an internet form to fill out in order to gather the details to begin a file for the claim.
In most instances, especially if the damage is extensive, an insurance adjuster will be sent to the property. An insurance adjuster’s job is to provide as accurate an assessment of the value of the damage as possible. Any minor repairs should be postponed until after the insurance adjuster has visited the property, to avoid any discrepancies in the damage assessment.
After the insurance adjuster has made an assessment, the property owner should begin repairs on the property. Receipts should be saved for any repairs made prior to receiving the wind storm claim settlement.
Handling a Denied Wind Storm Claim
If an insurance company denies a wind storm claim that the property owner believes should be covered, or the property owner feels that the insurance company provided an unfair settlement based on the estimate of the insurance adjuster, the property owner has the right to contact an attorney. An attorney may provide a separate adjuster to gauge the authenticity of the insurance adjuster’s estimate of the wind storm claim. An attorney will also be able to advise victims of wind storm damage on the best legal course of action.
Orlando Wind Storm Claims
Some insurance companies have been known to use ambiguous language in insurance policies that is later used to deny a property owner just compensation for wind storm claims. This is unethical and illegal. An Orlando wind storm claims attorney will be able to provide assistance in bringing justice to property owners that have been intentionally misled by insurance companies.
“Coastal Storm Activity.” Texas Windstorm Insurance Association. Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, n.d. Web. 17 Sep 2013. <http://www.twia.org/>.
“Windstorm Inspection Program.” TDI.Texas.gov Texas. TDI.Texas.gov, 17 Jun 2013. Web. 17 Sep 2013. <http://www.tdi.texas.gov/wind/contacts.html.
“With Tornado and Wind Damage Covered by Homeowners Insurance, Patrick-Murray Administration’s Division of Insurance Offers Tips for Filing Claims.” Mass.gov. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 02 Jun 2011. Web. 17 Sep 2013. <http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/with-tornado-and-wind-damage-covered.html>.