Ok, raise your hand if you LOVE paying insurance premiums. No? Me neither. It’s a strange concept: hoping that misfortune WON’T find you, but paying little chunks of money in advance just in case.
Over the decades (I won’t say how many!) I have shelled out a substantial amount of money on several properties at any given time, not only for peace of mind, but because mortgage companies require it. I have only ever filed ONE claim, when the 150′ fence at my rental blew down in a storm. And then the insurance only covered an age-depreciated amount (after the deductible, naturally).
On the evening of October 5, 2011, I was enjoying a lovely Happy-New-Home celebration with a client and several of her friends and family members, when a freak HAILSTORM came out of nowhere! I had never seen hail that big. My only concern at the time was driving home on the hail-covered streets (even with my trusty all-wheel-drive Subaru). It never even occurred to me that, had my car not been parked under the huge Farmer’s Market trees, it may (as many others did) have sustained hail damage.
Fast forward nine months. A roof report on one of my listings says “HAIL DAMAGE; recommend replacing roof.” In all my 24 years of real estate in Chico, I have never seen such a thing. I call my roofer to take a look (who is as honest as the day is long and an excellent roofer to boot), and he concurs.
The following week I got a note on my door at home from a thoughtful neighbor saying his insurance company had agreed to replace his roof due to HAIL DAMAGE and recommending I get my roof checked. So I hauled out my ladder and climbed up to look in my gutter. Sure enough, it was FILLED with granules from the shingles. Another call to my favorite roofer confirmed: HAIL DAMAGE.
The insurance adjuster came out on one of our first blistering hot days and spent close to an hour climbing around on the roof. Gotta give her credit for taking her job so seriously! She confirmed the hail damage. So now I await the final verdict on my SECOND-EVER insurance claim. (Of course, I know I will be paying the deductible, but it will be interesting to see whether they depreciate for age of the roof.)
My understanding is the window for filing a claim is one year from the event. So if you (or someone you know) suspects damage from that 10/5/11 hailstorm, the time to act is now! (Just don’t expect a new roof anytime soon…the Chico roofers are booked for the foreseeable future.)