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So my house was destroyed by hail--BOA still sucks.


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So I know this will probably be too long, but it is one of those events that I don't think I will ever forget. Around 1:30 am Wednesday, we were hit with what many are saying was the worst hail storm in my area's history. Close to softball sized hail just beat the living daylights out of our place for over 25 minutes. It was deafening and literally shook the house to the point, things fell off walls. My family took shelter in the bathroom once the windows started going. I don't know another time, I was that scared--I think mainly because my wife and daughter were so petrified. 

So far we have lost two cars (we were lucky our Tahoe was in the garage). Some of my neighbors lost all their vehicles.

I spent yesterday getting windows boarded up and cleaning up glass. We experienced water leakage in many spots. What concerns me the most is the carpet is wet next to the baseboards and it sounded like water was running down the inside of the walls. Our roof is toast.  There is this burning smell in the house. We have a company coming to do the emergency tarping of the house because more rain is expected Monday. 

State Farm is sending their CAT squad in from out of state to assist my area, but I guess my question is, what to expect? We have never filed a homeowner's insurance claim before.. Are there tricks or questions I need to ask when dealing with the person doing the evaluation of the damage? I just don't want to get low-balled and find out they didn't fix things right. 

Edited by Courtjester
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I have been through hail damaging a house and truck before.  Fortunately, it was only exterior damage. 

Take lots of pictures.  Call a reputable construction company so they can poke around the interior and exterior.  You will likely need a new roof and siding along with windows, trim, etc for the exterior.  Keep an eye on interior walls for damp spots.  Drywall may need to be removed and replaced after letting areas dry out.  Essentially, you are in for a long nightmare.  Good luck. 

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3 minutes ago, Aaron Rudnicki said:

hire a public adjuster imo.

This.   

They make money based off what they get for you, so it is their best interest to get you as much from insurance as they can, and they know how to deal with the insurance adjuster.  They can bring in a third party expert to write up a report on your behalf if State Farm tries to low ball you or if you or your PA feels that SF is missing something (things like individual shingles can be replaced versus replacing the entire roof).   If you think you hear water running inside the wall open up the wall in a few areas so the adjuster can see that the insulation/framing/sheathing is wet.   Otherwise the SF adjuster can only go off of what he can see, they can't start tearing open your walls.

 

If there are a bunch of claims in your area, you may end up with an inexperienced SF adjuster who may overlook, or mis categorize the damage as something not covered.  Having a PA will help to make sure that doesn't happen

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I have gone through some big claims before.  Water damage.  Everything worked out well.  Prepare for a long process to get everything back to normal though.  Sorry you have to go through this.  Pain in the ###

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USE A LOCAL CONTRACTOR FOR ALL REPAIRS. 

I can't stress this enough. Back in 2013 or 14 Michigan got hit with a big hail storm. There are quite a few traveling construction crews that chase this kind of work. We didn't use one, but a few of our neighbors did. They were bragging how much money they made off the storm. These out of town guys would come on and say this is what the insurance company will fix and how much they will pay. If you use our company we will bill them for the full amount and only charge you 3000 less and give you the money. 

The problem is they are hacking everything in and going as fast as possible. So it usually isn't the best quality. One of our neighbors had his roof leak after they fixed it and couldn't even find the company to try to make them honor the warranty. When he contacted the insurance company they told them that these storm chasing contractors will change their name and the name of the owner as soon as the pack up and leave the state. 

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11 minutes ago, msudaisy26 said:

USE A LOCAL CONTRACTOR FOR ALL REPAIRS. 

I can't stress this enough. Back in 2013 or 14 Michigan got hit with a big hail storm. There are quite a few traveling construction crews that chase this kind of work. We didn't use one, but a few of our neighbors did. They were bragging how much money they made off the storm. These out of town guys would come on and say this is what the insurance company will fix and how much they will pay. If you use our company we will bill them for the full amount and only charge you 3000 less and give you the money. 

The problem is they are hacking everything in and going as fast as possible. So it usually isn't the best quality. One of our neighbors had his roof leak after they fixed it and couldn't even find the company to try to make them honor the warranty. When he contacted the insurance company they told them that these storm chasing contractors will change their name and the name of the owner as soon as the pack up and leave the state. 

Wow that's awful

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14 minutes ago, msudaisy26 said:

USE A LOCAL CONTRACTOR FOR ALL REPAIRS. 

I can't stress this enough. Back in 2013 or 14 Michigan got hit with a big hail storm. There are quite a few traveling construction crews that chase this kind of work. We didn't use one, but a few of our neighbors did. They were bragging how much money they made off the storm. These out of town guys would come on and say this is what the insurance company will fix and how much they will pay. If you use our company we will bill them for the full amount and only charge you 3000 less and give you the money. 

The problem is they are hacking everything in and going as fast as possible. So it usually isn't the best quality. One of our neighbors had his roof leak after they fixed it and couldn't even find the company to try to make them honor the warranty. When he contacted the insurance company they told them that these storm chasing contractors will change their name and the name of the owner as soon as the pack up and leave the state. 

I have heard tails of this here in Denver a lot the last few years as we have had multiple bad hail storms over the last 4~5 years. These crews just travel from region to region putting up signage everywhere chasing a quick buck and then they pack up and leave and start a new company in a different area so any "warranty" they give you is trash.

Went with a local guy with decades of history when my roof was damaged and he was awesome. My particular insurance company required a lot of documents from my contractor such as copies of their license and stuff in order to try to avoid the fly by nighters. Only problem was that as @need2know said, be prepared for a long process, especially if this was a wide ranging storm with lots of affected properties. There were still a small handful of houses in my neighborhood getting their roofs replaced nearly 18 months later after the last storm. Mine only took about 6 months total to get everything done, and my insurance company was easy to deal with, however my mortgage lender/servicer was the bigger pain in the rear to be honest because of their red tape to get approvals and other things done.

 

One nice thing that came out of it was my 25 year old air conditioner had to be completed replaced with a new system. The condenser was trashed by the hail but ran on an old refrigerant that is no longer used. Insurance picked up the entire tab on that. Has made a pretty big difference in my electricity bill and will hopefully offset any increase in my insurance rates.

 

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I agree with Buckna and MSUDaisy.   Any contractor that shows up at your door without you calling them first, don't let them in or on your house.  Pasrt of my job is helping out adjusters and public adjuster for structural issues.  We used to have guys who would help insurance with hail claims.  Lots of cases where a contractor showed up in the evening and said "tomorrow we will stop by and take a look at your roof, you don't even need to be home"  Contractor then went up on roof and made "hail damage" with hammers.   Insurance denied claim for hail, but homeowner got new roof due to vandalism.  Contractor company dissappears only to reform with the brother/mother/daughter in charge, and they try to do it again somewhere else.

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I live at E-470 and Smoky Hill.  We have been hit three times in 18 years.  The roof and windows are no-brainers.  Its the little things outside that get missed, exterior lighting, dents to garage doors, fence needs re-staining or the HOA will get on you.  You need to take a step back and do a comprehensive inventory of all damage.  Landscaping is almost never covered so lost trees and flowers are right out, but really examine the exterior face of your home.  Don't get lost on the roof to the exclusion of other items.

 

Interior- They like to parse water damage and flood damage.  Know the definitions well before talking to the adjuster.  If it fell from the sky and caused damage you should be covered, if it is an interior leak of plumbing, not so, nor likely if it flowed in after striking the ground.  If you suspect damage you don't even have to open the walls initially. Just drill though to the insulation and pull a pit out.  Make a tiny drill hole.  If the insulation is wet then open your wall to determine the extent of damage and to let it air out before you get mold.  On walls with no plumbing it is pretty tough for them to argue the water came from a leak or a flood if it is wet above the immediate ground level.

 

My condolences.  We have gone through golf ball size many times, but baseball size, hell that could kill if you stuck your head out.

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1 hour ago, GroveDiesel said:

If you definitely have significant water intrusion, you may want to think about removing as much clothes, linens, etc before mold starts to become an issue.

 

2 hours ago, DocHolliday said:

I have been through hail damaging a house and truck before.  Fortunately, it was only exterior damage. 

Take lots of pictures.  Call a reputable construction company so they can poke around the interior and exterior.  You will likely need a new roof and siding along with windows, trim, etc for the exterior.  Keep an eye on interior walls for damp spots.  Drywall may need to be removed and replaced after letting areas dry out.  Essentially, you are in for a long nightmare.  Good luck. 

:goodposting:

This and this. Get naked and take lots of pictures.

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2 hours ago, Aaron Rudnicki said:

hire a public adjuster imo.

There are a LOT of public adjusters out there, though. Its important to find a good one. 

If you are in Texas, feel free to PM me. I'm a real estate lawyer here and we do a lot of first party insurance work for our clients. I know a lot of PAs in the state and can recommend some guys.

Also - take LOTS of pictures. Keep track of every dime you spend with receipts. And don't ignore interior damage like mold between walls and insulation, etc. Often the insurance company will want to just replace the exterior damage. But that ignores all the water that likely got in when the roof/exterior was damaged. 

Edited by whoknew
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We had our roof replaced a couple of years ago due to hail damage and our kitchen ceiling was damaged as well.  I called our insurance company, they said "you can either call someone or we can make some recommendations?"  I called a roofer and had them tarp part of the roof because of the damage to the kitchen ceiling.  An adjuster came out, agreed and then we were given a choice of replacement roof color options.  It was pretty painless actually and to be quite honest, the roof was due for replacement so it all worked out pretty well.  Oh, additionally, the guys that did the drywall work were great, I paid them $1,000 extra to make a bunch of other repairs and paint a couple of rooms plus they fixed my garage ceiling.

I have heard of other insurance companies that pro-rate roof replacements, to me, that would be a bummer because my roof was 20 years old, meaning I would have had to have paid for 2/3 of the 30 year roof.  As it was I think I paid $500 or $1,000 deductible and that was it, they covered the rest.

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I had a roof repair through State Farm, as well as an interior flood repair (toilet leak) that resulted in wall/carpet replacement.

Both times it was pretty much painless and SF was awesome to deal with. Good company IMO. 

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2 hours ago, Courtjester said:

So I know this will probably be too long, but it is one of those events that I don't think I will ever forget. Around 1:30 am Wednesday, we were hit with what many are saying was the worst hail storm in my area's history. Close to softball sized hail just beat the living daylights out of our place for over 25 minutes. It was deafening and literally shook the house to the point, things fell off walls. My family took shelter in the bathroom once the windows started going. I don't know another time, I was that scared--I think mainly because my wife and daughter were so petrified. 

So far we have lost two cars (we were lucky our Tahoe was in the garage). Some of my neighbors lost all their vehicles.

I spent yesterday getting windows boarded up and cleaning up glass. We experienced water leakage in many spots. What concerns me the most is the carpet is wet next to the baseboards and it sounded like water was running down the inside of the walls. Our roof is toast.  There is this burning smell in the house. We have a company coming to do the emergency tarping of the house because more rain is expected Monday. 

State Farm is sending their CAT squad in from out of state to assist my area, but I guess my question is, what to expect? We have never filed a homeowner's insurance claim before.. Are there tricks or questions I need to ask when dealing with the person doing the evaluation of the damage? I just don't want to get low-balled and find out they didn't fix things right. 

Where are you located?

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6 minutes ago, Kanil said:

Where are you located?

Wow thanks all for info. I am in Fountain Colorado.  My brother in law is in the high-end home remodeling business and he arranged for a company to come here  that he says is really good and actually has a local office in Colorado Springs since 1977. He lives down the street from us and his house was heavily hit as well (he lost three vehicles) and they are going to be doing his house as well. We probably have had 20 companies come to our door or call us since yesterday--majority of them were different area codes and didn't appear to have physical offices. Some were shady as heck.

Well as I am typing this, they are here and have indicated there is water damage in the ceilings, including drywall down the walls and carpet damage. The two guys that walked the roof said normally they try and just patch the holes until they can get a roofing job done, but he says there are too many holes to count on my roof and they are going to tarp the whole top of the house.  He says their company does a lot of work with my BIL's business, so he says they will take care of me. So far feeling good about this. 

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Sounds like you got a good one that will treat you right, :thumbup: Sucks about what happened, your place sounds much more damaged than mine was two years ago. I heard about that hail storm on the radio, something like 3" diameter hail coming down in the middle of the night with no warning?

I got lucky, only the roof, ac, and then exterior cosmetic damage other than two windows and a bunch of trim work around other windows. Back door to the garage had to be replaced and most of my gutters. I have solar panels too, but luckily none of them were damaged. As someone else said, they didn't cover my trees, plants, etc. and unfortunately, I eventually lost two trees that never recovered from the hail damage that had to be cut down. They did cover my detached shed though and re-roofed it as well at the same time.

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1 hour ago, Courtjester said:

Wow thanks all for info. I am in Fountain Colorado.  My brother in law is in the high-end home remodeling business and he arranged for a company to come here  that he says is really good and actually has a local office in Colorado Springs since 1977. He lives down the street from us and his house was heavily hit as well (he lost three vehicles) and they are going to be doing his house as well. We probably have had 20 companies come to our door or call us since yesterday--majority of them were different area codes and didn't appear to have physical offices. Some were shady as heck.

Well as I am typing this, they are here and have indicated there is water damage in the ceilings, including drywall down the walls and carpet damage. The two guys that walked the roof said normally they try and just patch the holes until they can get a roofing job done, but he says there are too many holes to count on my roof and they are going to tarp the whole top of the house.  He says their company does a lot of work with my BIL's business, so he says they will take care of me. So far feeling good about this. 

I have a couple of friends that are insurance adjusters in the Centennial/Castle Rock area.  They've bounced around from place to place but I know at least one of them has worked for SF (if they don't currently) and would be happy to ask them any questions for you. They would definitely be willing to give me the inside scoop if you do.

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6 hours ago, UOFI_316 said:

This.   

They make money based off what they get for you, so it is their best interest to get you as much from insurance as they can, and they know how to deal with the insurance adjuster.  They can bring in a third party expert to write up a report on your behalf if State Farm tries to low ball you or if you or your PA feels that SF is missing something (things like individual shingles can be replaced versus replacing the entire roof).   If you think you hear water running inside the wall open up the wall in a few areas so the adjuster can see that the insulation/framing/sheathing is wet.   Otherwise the SF adjuster can only go off of what he can see, they can't start tearing open your walls.

 

If there are a bunch of claims in your area, you may end up with an inexperienced SF adjuster who may overlook, or mis categorize the damage as something not covered.  Having a PA will help to make sure that doesn't happen

3

I would only hire a PA if the claim isn't going well, especially if you have a good contractor.  The only thing you achieve by hiring one now is guaranteeing them a cut.  IMO they are very similar to RE Agents in that they aren't really as incentivized to get you more money as you might think. A big chunk to you is a pittance to them and they are better off trying to close it quickly. See if your assigned adjustor works with your contractor and accepts their input.

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8 minutes ago, rascal said:

Anyone ever use AAA?

Not for home, but I go through them for Auto.

ETA:  Best of luck with everything @Courtjester,  Turrible situation.  The first thing I thought of is people laying towels over their roofs like they do on the tops of their cars out there.  At least they do in Laramie where I used to live.

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1 hour ago, rascal said:

Anyone ever use AAA?

We used to, such a pain in the butt during that hail storm. Took several calls and talking to corporate to get them to pay for everything. 

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18 hours ago, Sullie said:

We had our roof replaced a couple of years ago due to hail damage and our kitchen ceiling was damaged as well.  I called our insurance company, they said "you can either call someone or we can make some recommendations?"  I called a roofer and had them tarp part of the roof because of the damage to the kitchen ceiling.  An adjuster came out, agreed and then we were given a choice of replacement roof color options.  It was pretty painless actually and to be quite honest, the roof was due for replacement so it all worked out pretty well.  Oh, additionally, the guys that did the drywall work were great, I paid them $1,000 extra to make a bunch of other repairs and paint a couple of rooms plus they fixed my garage ceiling.

I have heard of other insurance companies that pro-rate roof replacements, to me, that would be a bummer because my roof was 20 years old, meaning I would have had to have paid for 2/3 of the 30 year roof.  As it was I think I paid $500 or $1,000 deductible and that was it, they covered the rest.

You are confusing depreciation and pro rate. Insurance will pay you out on the depreciated portion and the rest when you fix it to new. 

Now some items will be depreciated no matter what. Those are usually things like electronics and appliances. 

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1 hour ago, culdeus said:

You are confusing depreciation and pro rate. Insurance will pay you out on the depreciated portion and the rest when you fix it to new. 

Now some items will be depreciated no matter what. Those are usually things like electronics and appliances. 

You're right, I did use the wrong terminology there I did mean depreciate, thank you for correcting me.

To re-iterate the point though, I think it's worth looking into when you buy home owners insurance or if you should switch insurance companies, "if my home is damaged in a storm/fire/etc., am I entitled to full replacement or an adjusted value due to depreciation?"  I think that question is well worth asking when you're shopping for home owner's insurance. Again, in my neighborhood, talking to my neighbors, it was all over the place.  Some, like me, only had to pay the deductible, the rest of the roof was covered.  Some insurance companies would only partially cover their roofs because of depreciation and others would not cover their roofs because they claimed there was not enough damage (which I understand, they had newer roofs so they weren't damaged as those of us with older, more brittle roofs were.)

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2 hours ago, Sullie said:

You're right, I did use the wrong terminology there I did mean depreciate, thank you for correcting me.

To re-iterate the point though, I think it's worth looking into when you buy home owners insurance or if you should switch insurance companies, "if my home is damaged in a storm/fire/etc., am I entitled to full replacement or an adjusted value due to depreciation?"  I think that question is well worth asking when you're shopping for home owner's insurance. Again, in my neighborhood, talking to my neighbors, it was all over the place.  Some, like me, only had to pay the deductible, the rest of the roof was covered.  Some insurance companies would only partially cover their roofs because of depreciation and others would not cover their roofs because they claimed there was not enough damage (which I understand, they had newer roofs so they weren't damaged as those of us with older, more brittle roofs were.)

I think this is misleading at worst and anecdotal at best. 

Most states don't allow providers to change what is and isn't depreciated if they are to sell insurance to cover a mortgage collateral. 

Now if the goal is to not collateralize a loan then you can get whatever b or c grade policies you want. 

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So checking  back in with some thoughts. You don't realize how spoiled you are when you go from having three cars to one. Tying to coordinate multiple people with jobs and another teenager's schedule is really the suck.

As far as the burning smell, I think I have figured it out. When they put the boards on the windows, I think they are stained or water treated boards and they stink. 

I did miss losing several boxes of cards by just a few minutes. When I went into the basement there was water coming in from the baseboard of one wall. I moved the boxes, but one 5000 count box, took at hit. Thank goodness it was a box of top loaders and cards in slabs. It was newer stuff so wouldn't have really cried over losing that one, but I keep my high end stuff up high for this exact reason.

Two side notes to this (and I know again it is long feel free to skip): 

My terrible week started Saturday morning at 6:45 AM. My 18 year old daughter is home from college for the summer. She just got her license three weeks ago--along with three jobs. So that morning she leaves for her job at Starbucks. 5 minutes later I get the call no parent wants to get. "Dad I have been in an accident and I am hurt.." My wife and i arrive there to find my wife's car and a newer Mustang on the side of the road. I get out to see my daughter bleeding from her face in several spots.  In the other car was an old Hispanic couple. My wife checks on my daughter and I go to the couple and ask if they have called the sheriff. They immediately say "No police. No police" in broken English.  I become really confused at this point. I check on my girl and come back to them and they continue to say, "No police No police". I am thinking the worse here--they are undocumented, uninsured or maybe they have something in the car they shouldn't have. Then the old man comes to me and grabs my hand and says, "My car is okay. My wife and I don't want her to get a ticket for this, She told us she just got her license and we don't want her to lose it." I almost cried and was mad at my stupid assumptions. The old lady came over and hugged my girl and my wife and we parted ways. We did get their address, but later when we checked--it didn't exist  I drove the car home and it was absolutely totaled (the front clip was dragging on the road) to include the radiator promptly blowing the moment I got in front of our house. We took our daughter to the ER and she had a concussion, multiple cuts and just banged up overall.

This car was later finished off in the storm and is now in the process of being towed for salvage.

My second story falls under the category of bizarre:

The morning of the storm, I am running on total adrenaline as I didn't get back to bed. I make my State Farm claim at 4:00 am and I am thinking plywood is going to be at a premium, I go to Lowes at 6:00 and buy this 4x8 sheet of plywood. Well, it doesn't fit in my Tahoe--yeah, this is why I am a handyman. That is a whole other adventure that I could tell later, I get home and my wife is outside taking photos of everything. I go inside and come immediately back out to help and behind my Tahoe I find a new BMW dongle and keys, along with a pair of woman's glasses just sitting on the ground, It was just weird and so out of place and something that would have been run over a minute earlier as I pulled in. 

I look up the street and here comes three cop cars. They drive up to me and the officer asks, "Have you seen a drunk guy?"  Now normally the answer would be, "Well Officer, you found him!!" However, it was 6:00 am so I said no, but showed him what I found. He started looking over them, when all of a sudden he screams, "There he is!!!" 

I turn to find a guy coming from the side of my house holding a huge, struggling dog. 

What happened next is really hard to really do justice in words.

Like a swarm, three cop cars appear in front of my house and attempt to talk to the guy.  As the cops approach, the guy throws this huge dog at one of the cops. Now this bought him a millisecond of time, but the other four cops proceed to tackle this guy like a rag doll and it was over in a flash. My wife, still taking pictures of the house, looks at me with a WTF? on her face and I am also without words. 

The guy apparently was going around the neighborhood trying to find his house, but was too drunk to remember where he lived. Now how he got the dog (which wasn't his) is beyond me.

I have been here at FBGs too long, because the first thought that went through my mind was this could have been an EG story except told from the view of someone viewing him and his friend's antics.

Now, after this week, I am off to become that "drunk guy,"    

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This is the kind of horrible week I thought you only see in movies.  I'm sorry you have had to endure this.  I'm sure the doctor told you - make sure your daughter gets a lot of rest for at least a week (depending on how serious her concussion is).  She will get bored and want to do stuff, but concussions suck and can long term ramifications.

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On 6/14/2018 at 10:42 AM, Courtjester said:

So I know this will probably be too long, but it is one of those events that I don't think I will ever forget. Around 1:30 am Wednesday, we were hit with what many are saying was the worst hail storm in my area's history. Close to softball sized hail just beat the living daylights out of our place for over 25 minutes. It was deafening and literally shook the house to the point, things fell off walls. My family took shelter in the bathroom once the windows started going. I don't know another time, I was that scared--I think mainly because my wife and daughter were so petrified. 

So far we have lost two cars (we were lucky our Tahoe was in the garage). Some of my neighbors lost all their vehicles.

I spent yesterday getting windows boarded up and cleaning up glass. We experienced water leakage in many spots. What concerns me the most is the carpet is wet next to the baseboards and it sounded like water was running down the inside of the walls. Our roof is toast.  There is this burning smell in the house. We have a company coming to do the emergency tarping of the house because more rain is expected Monday. 

State Farm is sending their CAT squad in from out of state to assist my area, but I guess my question is, what to expect? We have never filed a homeowner's insurance claim before.. Are there tricks or questions I need to ask when dealing with the person doing the evaluation of the damage? I just don't want to get low-balled and find out they didn't fix things right. 

If you are in TX or CO, and the insurance company is shorting you, and/or the PA doesn't help... I have a life long friend with whom insurance companies prefer to settle cases over dinner than see him in the courtroom.

Exactly his specialty.

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Obviously, YMMV, but hiring a PA was one of the worst mistakes I made when my house burned down. They did great with inventorying and maximizing what I was owed for my lost belongings, but once they got their cut of that check, they disappeared, and left me hanging to deal with the structural part. Hiring them resulted in huge delays and a contentious relationship with the insurance company. I would have been way better off just dealing with Nationwide directly.

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1 hour ago, Tecumseh said:

Obviously, YMMV, but hiring a PA was one of the worst mistakes I made when my house burned down. They did great with inventorying and maximizing what I was owed for my lost belongings, but once they got their cut of that check, they disappeared, and left me hanging to deal with the structural part. Hiring them resulted in huge delays and a contentious relationship with the insurance company. I would have been way better off just dealing with Nationwide directly.

I'm obviously a little biased here (I work for an insurance company) but this has been what I've seen a majority of the time when my claimants (I'm a commercial underwriter) pick up a PA. Obviously every PA is different, but on the few BIG losses I've seen (I had a claimant that had $5+ Million claim from Super Storm Sandy) they've done more harm than good.

And by harm, I dont mean "my company was forced to pay more money". (In the end, we paid pretty much what we thought we would. It just took a year longer than it should have) I mean that they delayed the process, hindered good faith negotiation and hurt what was a 25+ year business relationship. (with both the carrier and the insured's broker)

I'm all for insureds getting everything that they're due, but when the PA refuses to allow the client to accept a 7 figure check because he feels that will be an acknowledgement that "everything is paid", that's a problem. Dude dragged the process out for months over something that was CLEARLY not covered under our contract (It was the responsibility of the cargo carrier) just so he could justify his fee.

I'm sure there are good ones out there (and I'm sure there are bad carriers that go out of their way not to pay legit claims) but I personally think it makes more sense to keep the negotiation civil unless you really feel you're getting shafted. At the end of the day, most national carriers (like State Farm) value the reputation of paying claims over the $$ they might save from cutting a few corners.  This is especially true in CAT type losses like this, where their total exposure is almost certainly controlled with a reinsurance treaty.

Edited by TLEF316
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So a long update to the situation. State Farm came out and did their appraisal. It is pretty significant and they surprisingly approved a ton of stuff.

We obviously got a new roof. There were sections where the hail broke through the actual decking.and you can see daylight in my attic. All gutters replaced.. 5 windows (my contractor wants to shoot for 7 because the front of the house would look stupid with mismatched windows). Full exterior paint job, They allocated 4k for A/C repair, so basically we are going to get a new unit. Every section of the fence has to be replaced. New grill. :thumbup:

Interior-wise in the main room, we have 22 foot high ceilings that are textured. They are going to scrape every ceiling in the main and upper level of the house including the master bedroom and my daughter's room. They are going to replace huge sections of drywall in the main level and the basement. New baseboards throughout, They have approved a full interior paint job for the house (including our kitchen and basement) with the exception of my older daughter's room, one bathroom and our laundry room. We have also been approved for new carpeting for two rooms, but I am going to pay out of pocket to just re-carpet everything.

When the restoration begins and we don't  have a start date at all, the contractor said they want the main level and upper level free of everything--so he is getting moving PODS in front of our house and moving everything out. We have already started bubble wrapping china and all breakable stuff in preparation for this, but this is daunting. I mean it is like completely moving out--every closet, our beds, every picture has to be packed up and ready to go. I spent forever getting my sound system perfect in my main room and now all the wires and components have to be removed including the tvs from the walls. Not to mention we have to figure out what to do with our huge 60 gallon fish tank.  

State Farm has been great, but one small complaint, they won't approve hotel money for this time frame as they say the rules are if we have one bedroom, one bathroom and a kitchen that is functioning, the house is able to be lived in. I looked at the adjuster and said, so all four of us have to sleep in my daughter's room (because all our beds will be packed up outside)? And his answer was yes. :loco:. So I will be paying out of pocket for a hotel for a week because that isn't happening. I am not worried about the money--it just is the stupidity of that policy. 

Here is where I get pissed--The adjuster cuts us a check for 25k on the spot to just get things started. The check is made out to my wife, myself and our mortgage company--BOA. He said you can take that to a local BOA branch and they will just endorse it over so you can get your funds to begin the process. NOPE!! Bank of America says because the check is for that amount, they have to report it to the IRS and they want the check and will oversee the payment of everything.  Now, I get this isn't my house, it is Bank of America's house and they have a vested interest in making sure their asset is restored appropriately, but what they want my contractor to do to just get a roof is crazy. They have to submit this form, that form and an appraisal has to be approved and then an inspector needs to come out during and at the end before they release funds. This is the way it is going to be with every vendor I use and it is literally going to add weeks if not months to this repair. Several of my neighbors already have their roofs replaced because their mortgage companies "trusted them" with the repair money and one of them has a $68,000 damage estimate..  ,

Further, I don't understand the whole IRS statement because there is no way (is there?) that this could be construed as taxable income received by me--especially now that I won't even have the money going through my account This is going to be a $65 to $70,000 deal here and technically BOA is going to be deriving interest--not me, for these funds once they are deposited. I also find it interesting that BOA just settled a class action lawsuit two year ago for holding insurance funds for unreasonable time frames.

The whole moving out thing really made things a mess, having to buy two new cars has been a challenge (especially since before we didn't have car payments), and now we have BOA putting.hurdles up in front of the people who are trying to repair this place??

It is frankly almost too much. I feel completely overwhelmed. :(

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Sorry about the bank, I think I mentioned in my post previously that the insurance company was easy to work with, it was our mortgage company that was the pain. Sounds like you are going through the same thing only 10x as bad.

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On 6/14/2018 at 11:45 AM, Aaron Rudnicki said:

hire a public adjuster imo.

 

On 6/14/2018 at 11:54 AM, UOFI_316 said:

This.   

They make money based off what they get for you, so it is their best interest to get you as much from insurance as they can, and they know how to deal with the insurance adjuster.  They can bring in a third party expert to write up a report on your behalf if State Farm tries to low ball you or if you or your PA feels that SF is missing something (things like individual shingles can be replaced versus replacing the entire roof).   If you think you hear water running inside the wall open up the wall in a few areas so the adjuster can see that the insulation/framing/sheathing is wet.   Otherwise the SF adjuster can only go off of what he can see, they can't start tearing open your walls.

 

If there are a bunch of claims in your area, you may end up with an inexperienced SF adjuster who may overlook, or mis categorize the damage as something not covered.  Having a PA will help to make sure that doesn't happen

For the love of all thats holy do NOT hire a public adjuster. This might be the worst advice I've ever read on these boards. 

Public adjusters are only after as much money as they can get with minimum effort. They come in telling people that they will get more money and even some go as far as telling the homeowners how theres all this "extra" money to be had or will be left over. They prey on morons and are nothing more than a middleman who simply takes a cut. 

Scam artists. 

Edited by STEADYMOBBIN 22
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2 minutes ago, STEADYMOBBIN 22 said:

 

For the love of all thats holy do NOT hire a public adjust. This might be the worst advise I've ever read on these boards. 

Public adjusters are only after as much money as they can get with minimum effort. They come in telling people that they will get more money and even some go as far as telling the homeowners how theres all this "extra" money to be had or will be left over. 

Scam artists. 

:confused:

mine was great.

we had several contractors out and none of them thought we had a claim that insurance would approve. public adjuster was able to show clear evidence of storm/hail/wind damage and get insurance to fully cover all of our repairs minus the deductible.

having an experienced person deal with the insurance company is a lot better than having to do it yourself. insurance companies benefit directly from denying your claims. public adjuster is working in your best interest. not sure how them being after money FOR YOU is a bad thing.

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57 minutes ago, Courtjester said:

So a long update to the situation. State Farm came out and did their appraisal. It is pretty significant and they surprisingly approved a ton of stuff.

We obviously got a new roof. There were sections where the hail broke through the actual decking.and you can see daylight in my attic. All gutters replaced.. 5 windows (my contractor wants to shoot for 7 because the front of the house would look stupid with mismatched windows). Full exterior paint job, They allocated 4k for A/C repair, so basically we are going to get a new unit. Every section of the fence has to be replaced. New grill. :thumbup:

Interior-wise in the main room, we have 22 foot high ceilings that are textured. They are going to scrape every ceiling in the main and upper level of the house including the master bedroom and my daughter's room. They are going to replace huge sections of drywall in the main level and the basement. New baseboards throughout, They have approved a full interior paint job for the house (including our kitchen and basement) with the exception of my older daughter's room, one bathroom and our laundry room. We have also been approved for new carpeting for two rooms, but I am going to pay out of pocket to just re-carpet everything.

When the restoration begins and we don't  have a start date at all, the contractor said they want the main level and upper level free of everything--so he is getting moving PODS in front of our house and moving everything out. We have already started bubble wrapping china and all breakable stuff in preparation for this, but this is daunting. I mean it is like completely moving out--every closet, our beds, every picture has to be packed up and ready to go. I spent forever getting my sound system perfect in my main room and now all the wires and components have to be removed including the tvs from the walls. Not to mention we have to figure out what to do with our huge 60 gallon fish tank.  

State Farm has been great, but one small complaint, they won't approve hotel money for this time frame as they say the rules are if we have one bedroom, one bathroom and a kitchen that is functioning, the house is able to be lived in. I looked at the adjuster and said, so all four of us have to sleep in my daughter's room (because all our beds will be packed up outside)? And his answer was yes. :loco:. So I will be paying out of pocket for a hotel for a week because that isn't happening. I am not worried about the money--it just is the stupidity of that policy. 

Here is where I get pissed--The adjuster cuts us a check for 25k on the spot to just get things started. The check is made out to my wife, myself and our mortgage company--BOA. He said you can take that to a local BOA branch and they will just endorse it over so you can get your funds to begin the process. NOPE!! Bank of America says because the check is for that amount, they have to report it to the IRS and they want the check and will oversee the payment of everything.  Now, I get this isn't my house, it is Bank of America's house and they have a vested interest in making sure their asset is restored appropriately, but what they want my contractor to do to just get a roof is crazy. They have to submit this form, that form and an appraisal has to be approved and then an inspector needs to come out during and at the end before they release funds. This is the way it is going to be with every vendor I use and it is literally going to add weeks if not months to this repair. Several of my neighbors already have their roofs replaced because their mortgage companies "trusted them" with the repair money and one of them has a $68,000 damage estimate..  ,

Further, I don't understand the whole IRS statement because there is no way (is there?) that this could be construed as taxable income received by me--especially now that I won't even have the money going through my account This is going to be a $65 to $70,000 deal here and technically BOA is going to be deriving interest--not me, for these funds once they are deposited. I also find it interesting that BOA just settled a class action lawsuit two year ago for holding insurance funds for unreasonable time frames.

The whole moving out thing really made things a mess, having to buy two new cars has been a challenge (especially since before we didn't have car payments), and now we have BOA putting.hurdles up in front of the people who are trying to repair this place??

It is frankly almost too much. I feel completely overwhelmed. :(

Where you know your contractor, have a good relationship with him/her, and feel very comfortable with whether or not he/she will do what was agreed to in the amount of time agreed to for the price agreed to, BofA is a pain.  If those things aren't the case, BofA can save you a whole lot of problems.

Someone in your neighborhood is going to get scammed or otherwise screwed and will wish he/she had BofA.

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59 minutes ago, Courtjester said:

 

Here is where I get pissed--The adjuster cuts us a check for 25k on the spot to just get things started. The check is made out to my wife, myself and our mortgage company--BOA. He said you can take that to a local BOA branch and they will just endorse it over so you can get your funds to begin the process. NOPE!! Bank of America says because the check is for that amount, they have to report it to the IRS and they want the check and will oversee the payment of everything.  Now, I get this isn't my house, it is Bank of America's house and they have a vested interest in making sure their asset is restored appropriately, but what they want my contractor to do to just get a roof is crazy. They have to submit this form, that form and an appraisal has to be approved and then an inspector needs to come out during and at the end before they release funds. This is the way it is going to be with every vendor I use and it is literally going to add weeks if not months to this repair. Several of my neighbors already have their roofs replaced because their mortgage companies "trusted them" with the repair money and one of them has a $68,000 damage estimate..  ,

Further, I don't understand the whole IRS statement because there is no way (is there?) that this could be construed as taxable income received by me--especially now that I won't even have the money going through my account This is going to be a $65 to $70,000 deal here and technically BOA is going to be deriving interest--not me, for these funds once they are deposited. I also find it interesting that BOA just settled a class action lawsuit two year ago for holding insurance funds for unreasonable time frames.

The whole moving out thing really made things a mess, having to buy two new cars has been a challenge (especially since before we didn't have car payments), and now we have BOA putting.hurdles up in front of the people who are trying to repair this place??

It is frankly almost too much. I feel completely overwhelmed. :(

This is standard practice for mortgage companies and will tie up the whole thing.  They don't want you to cash that check and not get the work done.  Once it exceeds 10k they will get involved. 

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59 minutes ago, Courtjester said:

 

Here is where I get pissed--The adjuster cuts us a check for 25k on the spot to just get things started. The check is made out to my wife, myself and our mortgage company--BOA. He said you can take that to a local BOA branch and they will just endorse it over so you can get your funds to begin the process. NOPE!! Bank of America says because the check is for that amount, they have to report it to the IRS and they want the check and will oversee the payment of everything.  Now, I get this isn't my house, it is Bank of America's house and they have a vested interest in making sure their asset is restored appropriately, but what they want my contractor to do to just get a roof is crazy. They have to submit this form, that form and an appraisal has to be approved and then an inspector needs to come out during and at the end before they release funds. This is the way it is going to be with every vendor I use and it is literally going to add weeks if not months to this repair. Several of my neighbors already have their roofs replaced because their mortgage companies "trusted them" with the repair money and one of them has a $68,000 damage estimate..  ,

Further, I don't understand the whole IRS statement because there is no way (is there?) that this could be construed as taxable income received by me--especially now that I won't even have the money going through my account This is going to be a $65 to $70,000 deal here and technically BOA is going to be deriving interest--not me, for these funds once they are deposited. I also find it interesting that BOA just settled a class action lawsuit two year ago for holding insurance funds for unreasonable time frames.

The whole moving out thing really made things a mess, having to buy two new cars has been a challenge (especially since before we didn't have car payments), and now we have BOA putting.hurdles up in front of the people who are trying to repair this place??

It is frankly almost too much. I feel completely overwhelmed. :(

This is standard practice for mortgage companies and will tie up the whole thing.  They don't want you to cash that check and not get the work done.  Once it exceeds 10k they will get involved. 

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15 minutes ago, culdeus said:

This is standard practice for mortgage companies and will tie up the whole thing.  They don't want you to cash that check and not get the work done.  Once it exceeds 10k they will get involved. 

Exactly this. When I worked at a bank, we had to get the scope of damage report and the estimates from the contractor, plus take the check and we would then file out the funds as the repaid were happening.

 

Now this is to protect the bank and you from the contractor taking all the money and running on you. No one ever explains this well and most established contractors understand this, as all banks will do this. It sucks to be sure, but there are too many bad contractors who have made these procedures a standard within the banking industries. 

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The IRS threat is to make you realize that yes, you can force them to give you that check.  But they will report it to IRS as income in that situation and it could put you in default depending on the state and all sorts of rules.  I don't know exactly why they use that threat, probably law at this point.

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Sorry for the pain this is but when it’s all said and done will you get any perks out of this? Like updated or higher end bathrooms, a repurposed room that was nothing before, etc? Not sure it’s worth it but it would be nice if you had something extra good come out of this situation. Good luck to you! 

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Thanks all for the responses. it is good to see that this is the norm rather than the exception as far as the mortgage company. The contractor called me this afternoon and said he is going to have his crew do the roof later this week or early next week and let the money catch up later. He told me he has deep pockets (his words) and is not worried about BOA paying him.. So that brings a level of comfort to me.

He has the window guy coming over today to pull measurements, but said that windows are taking 3-5 weeks to get in due to the volume of claims at this point. 

This is all so new to us as we haven't had to file a home owners claim ever. However, it is exciting because, when it is all said and done, we will basically have a new house inside and out. We just have to remember this will be a marathon and not a sprint and we need to roll with the challenges between now and then,  

On a side note, my wife is loving having a new car. I am going to wait to buy mine (at least until hail season is over :P).

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