Storm Damage FAQ
What types of weather cause storm damage?
Wind, hail, rain, snow, and ice can all cause devastating damage to your property. Wind can cause shingles and siding to lift or detach. It can also cause damage from fallen trees or debris. Hail can cause impact damage to your property in the form of dents, holes, or cracks in siding, shingles, trim, or metal accessories. Rain can cause extensive water damage if your property has a leak. Snow and ice can build up on your roof, causing ice dams which can lead to interior and exterior damage.
How do I know if I have storm damage?
If you need to determine whether you have property damage from a recent storm, start by looking for visible signs of damage. Strong storms can leave behind obvious signs of damage such as missing shingles or siding, warped or dented gutters, dents, cracks, or other similar defects.
Another way to determine if you might have storm damage is to ask your neighbors. Storms that cause damage to one property often cause similar damage to other properties nearby.
The last method you should consider when assessing your property after a storm is to call a professional. Sometimes damage can be subtle or not visible to an untrained eye. Many contractors offer free inspections to detect damage and advise you on the best way to approach repairs.
Will my insurance cover the damage?
Most insurance policies cover storm damage, though some policies may be limited to specific items or causes. For example, most flood insurance policies in Michigan are separate from standard homeowner’s insurance policies. Although storm damage is typically covered by homeowner’s insurance, you should check your policy details for specific coverage information.
A simple way to determine what is covered by your insurance is to call your agent. This may be easier than sifting through complicated contract language, and your agent will be able to address any follow-up questions or concerns you have about your coverage.
How long do I have to file a claim?
The typical time frame in which to file an insurance claim is one year from the event that caused the damage. However, to ensure that you get the most accurate coverage, it is best to report your claim as soon as possible.
What should I ask before hiring a contractor?
There are some things you should know before choosing your contractor. Here are five important considerations that will help inform your decision:
1. Are they licensed?
Any contractor completing exterior restoration work in Michigan is required to have a license.
2. Are they insured?
A company that is fully insured protects you from liability in case something goes wrong on the job.
You may want to look online for company reviews or ask the contractor for references. Although you should not base your decision solely on customer reviews, they can give you an idea of how the business operates and relates with its customers.
4. What products do they offer?
Some contractors are committed to using a certain brand or line of products. Research your options and be sure you are getting the best product for your needs.
5. Industry certifications or awards?
There are many organizations within the construction and restoration industry that recognize qualified contractors. Ask your contractor if they are part of an association or if they are certified by any organizations. This may help to validate their level of dedication, experience, and quality.