Colorado Insurance adjusters work hard at evaluating damage from the storms that rip through the Rockies. Unfortunately, Colorado has variable weather that can be calm one moment followed thereafter by rain, hail, and even tornadoes. Residents should understand how to protect their interests against hail damage.
Colorado hail destroys homes. Our damaging hail season is considered to be from mid-April to mid-August. The Front Range is located in the heart of “Hail Alley,” which receives the highest frequency of large hail storms in North America and most of the world. Residents can usually count on three to four catastrophic hailstorms every single year. In the past decade, hailstorms have caused more than $3 billion in insured damage in Colorado. Given the catastrophic consequences of Colorado hail, we would like to offer some helpful information to our readers.
Colorado Hail Destroys Vehicles
If your vehicle was damaged in a hail storm, the first thing you should do is contact your insurance company and initiate a claim. During this call, you will be informed where to take your vehicle in order to have the damage assessed by an adjuster. Allow the adjuster to inspect your vehicle and write an estimate to repair the damages. The estimate may not be completely accurate. When your vehicle is repaired, any difference between the amount of the estimate and the final invoice will be resolved between the repairing vendor and the insurance company by means of a supplement.
While the insurance adjuster will likely encourage you to have your vehicle repaired by one of their “preferred vendors,” remember it is your choice to have your vehicle repaired by the person or business of your choice. In fact, it is illegal for an insurance company or their representative to require you to have your vehicle repaired by any specific vendor.
Most insurance companies will issue a check after they have estimated the damage to your vehicle. It is not uncommon for the amount of the estimate/ check to be substantially less than the actual cost of repairs when repaired by a reputable vendor not on the insurance company’s preferred list. This may be a tactic used by insurance companies to minimize the cost of the claim. If you do not repair your vehicle, but you cash the check, you are effectively settling the claim for the amount of their estimate, even though the actual amount could, and probably should, be substantially higher.
If your vehicle is totaled but you intend to keep driving it, ask your insurance company to buy the vehicle for its salvage value. By way of example, if your vehicle was worth $12,000.00 before the hailstorm and your insurance company places its salvage value at $7,000.00, you will receive a check for the difference. Just like finding a reputable Denver personal injury attorney, it is important to do your research when identifying a company to repair your hail-damaged vehicle.
Colorado Hail Destroys Homes
When an insurance adjuster is called out to your home to investigate hail damage, they are usually looking for prominent hail damage and other weather-related damage to your roof. Shingles are designed to block the UV of the sun and protect the asphalt underlayment. As shingles age, however, the granules fall off. The asphalt is then exposed to UV, drying it out. When your roof has hail damage, the granule loss is accelerated and shingles age at an accelerated speed.
While hail damage does not pose an immediate threat to the structural integrity of your roof, it will eventually lead to problems if left untreated. Also, many insurance companies have a statute of limitations of how long a hail claim is viable. It is a good idea to contact your insurance company or a roofing company shortly after a major hail storm.
There are two major types of residential insurance policies. Actual Case Value (ACV) covers only the depreciated value if your roof sustains damages. If you carry a Replacement Cost (RC) policy, your insurance company will cover the cost to replace your new roof minus your deductible. RC policies will generally pay two installments for a new roof. The first check will be sent to the policyholder as soon as the adjuster has completed the damage assessment. The second check, generally 40 percent of the total settlement, is held back until the repairs are completed. Most homeowners have never had these policies explained to them and may not even know what policy they have.
Contact Our Denver Property Damage Attorneys
Colorado hail can cause a lot of problems for homeowners and car owners in Colorado. Be safe out there and if you need any additional information relating to Colorado hail damage. If you have any questions, contact our attorneys today at 720.863.6904 or email us for your free consultation. Our lawyers handle a wide range of personal injury cases, including Motor Vehicle Accidents, Bicycle Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents, Slip & Fall Accidents, and Dog Bites & Attacks. We service Arvada, Aurora, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Commerce City, Lakewood, Littleton, Thornton, Westminster, Wheat Ridge, and other parts of metropolitan Denver, Colorado.
Owner and Managing Attorney
Jerry Bowman, J.D., M.A., Owner and managing attorney of Bowman Law LLC, takes his responsibility to the legal profession seriously and dedicates his time and effort to providing quality and competent legal representation to clients in Denver and throughout all of Colorado. He holds an MA in Political Science from Wayne State University and earned his law degree in two and a half years from Michigan State University College of Law.