Denver has felt the impact of massive hailstorms over the past couple years. The storm last year cost an estimated $2.3 billion in damages according to the Denver Post.
As the frequency of hailstorms increase, homeowners association damage claims rise as well.
Don't give your insurance company an excuse to deny a claim. Make sure your HOA follows the correct procedure for filing a claim.
Here are a few tips for submitting an HOA claim:
After a big snowfall or a hailstorm, it can be tempting to ignore the paperwork aspect of a cleanup.
Submitting a claim should be your priority. The sooner you submit a claim, the faster an adjuster can help assess damages.
Waiting to file claims because you're busy cleaning up or don't feel like you have the time will only push your work further down the waiting list. If it's after a widespread hailstorm or blizzard, it can take months to get repairs started. File as soon as you can.
Fix important damage now
After a particularly heavy rain or hail storm, there will undoubtedly be damage that needs to be repaired immediately.
In this case, do not wait for insurance companies to schedule repairs. It's the HOA's responsibility to create safe spaces to live. Fix anything that requires immediate attention.
However, while you are making urgent repairs, keep extensive records. Take pictures of the damage, keep all receipts of the repairs and document the entire process. Your claim may cover this damage but only if you can prove it happened.
Review your coverage
As you wait for the claim process, have a board member with an eye for detail review your insurance coverage. Make sure you understand what will and won't be covered from the damage.
Ensure the insurance company is covering everything you've paid them to. Review deductibles and check that the figures match what the insurance company quotes you.
Don't just assume something's covered. Have your insurance agent explain why certain damages qualify for a claim while others don't.
As an example, sometimes melted hail will leak into carpets or floors, causing water damage. However, this type of damage is typically only covered by a flood policy.
Know your coverage.
Submitting a claim can be a confusing process. It can be hard to understand what's covered, and why. Homeowners associations may deal with several different claims at once, making the process even more complex.
Make sure your insurance covers what it's supposed to on a timely basis, and don't give your insurance company any reason to reject a claim.
If you feel your insurance has wrongly rejected a claim, a claims-denial attorney can help you understand what you can do to fight it.