Hail Storm- Insurance Adjuster Inspection: What to Expect
Ultimate Wind & Hail Damage Guide For Homeowners- Insurance Adjuster Home Inspection
What exactly is the insurance adjuster going to do? What is he/she looking for? How does the insurance adjuster determine if your home has sustained enough damage for the insurance company to pay for roof replacement or roof repair?
The first thing the insurance adjuster will do is to ask if there is any interior damage. Of course your QLC has already thoroughly inspected the interior and exterior of your home for damage and leaks and will be able to point it out to the adjuster.
Keep in mind; interior leaks may not occur for several months or even a year or two following the hail storm.
Then the adjuster will walk around the house looking for signs of hail/wind damage on downspouts and siding. Once the interior is completed, the adjuster (and the contractor) will go on to the roof and inspect the roof, gutters, and gutter covers (if applicable) for any hail damage.
What Does the Adjuster Look For?
The insurance adjuster is looking for hail impact marks and these impact marks ultimately determine whether the insurance company is going to approve or deny the replacement of your roof, siding, or gutters based on the number of hail impact marks you have. The standards of insurance companies vary based on how many hail impact marks are necessary for approval.
Typically, you need 6-9 impacts per 100 sq ft for your roofing and/or siding to be approved for replacement. You only need a few impact marks on your gutters to be approved.
What I mean by approved by the insurance company- the insurance will pay for the replacement of the roof, siding and/or gutters after your deductible is met.
Inspecting the Roof
For the roof inspection the insurance adjuster will mark off a 100 sq ft area on the back roof slope and front roof slope. Within the marked off area, the insurance adjuster will take colored chalk and circle all the hail impact marks on the roof. Once the roof is marked up, he/she will take the pictures of the two roof slopes. If you have 9 or more impacts marks in the area, the insurance adjuster will approve the roof replacement. If you don’t have enough marks, the adjuster will deny it.
I know I’ve said many times that it’s important to hire a Qualified Local Contractor to navigate the complicated insurance claims process. But this is when your QLC becomes most important;this is the time when the adjuster determines whether your roof will be approved for replacement or not. It simply depends on how many impact marks are recognized by the adjuster on your roof as to whether they are going to approve replacement or not.
If the adjuster does not approve all the impact marks that the QLC has pointed out, it is the job of the contractor to make the case that there are enough legitimate impact marks to warrant a new roof. Remember, during the hail storm your roof lost 15% or more of the granules. This amount of granule loss will reduce the life of your roof by 5 years or more. Unfortunately insurance companies do not recognize granule loss as a reason to approve roof replacement.
Tip: Since the number of hail impact marks will directly determine whether your roof replacement is going to be paid for by insurance company or not means that the area that the adjuster picks to mark off the 100 sq ft section becomes vital. This section does not have to be a perfect square; it can be a long rectangle (whichever encompasses the most hail impact marks). You contractor has probably been on the roof and knows the highest concentration of hail impact marks. He/she will be able to recommend this high density area to the adjuster as the best section to be marked off.
When the adjuster is on the roof, he/she will circle any impact marks on your gutters and take pictures.
Inspecting the Siding
Then the adjuster gets down off the roof and inspects the siding (if your home has siding) the same way the roof was inspected. The adjuster marks off the 100 sq ft area on the siding and circles any impact marks in that 100 sq ft area. As mentioned above, spraying water on the siding may accentuate the hail impact marks.
After The Inspection
It’s much easier to get the roof, siding, and gutter damage approved by the initial insurance adjuster. It’s important to have your QLC present to point out the legitimate damage that was done to your roof, siding, and gutters especially if it’s not yet apparent (but will be after several heavy rains). If the damage is not approved for replacement on the first inspection (even though the damage is there, it might not be obvious) the insurance company will allow a second inspection.
Once the insurance adjuster finishes the inspection, he/she compiles a report based on the findings and sends it to your insurance company for review. At the end of the inspection the insurance adjuster will usually tell the homeowner and the contractor whether they approve or disapprove the replacement of the roof, siding, and/or gutters.
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