In 2017, Colorado ranked in the top ten states for the most number of properties damaged by hail, having nearly 400,000 properties that prompted several billion dollars of insurance claims. We are no stranger to hail insurance claims here in Colorado Springs, which makes it very important that you, as a homeowner, know how to make the most of your insurance. One of our top priorities as a gutter company is to educate our customers. This means letting you in on industry information, as well as our 20 years of experience dealing with insurance companies. When your gutter system gets damaged by hail, there are several things to look out for as you work with your insurance company. Here are some of the most valuable tips for hail damage insurance claims.
Your Gutters are a Part of Your Home
This means that your gutter system should always be factored into an insurance claim after hail has damaged your property. Sometimes, the roof of a house can take first priority, and overshadow your gutters. However, your entire gutter system—including gutters, outlets, downspouts, hinges, and drip edge—should be included as part of your property. While not every part of the system might be damaged by hail, you should remind your insurance agent to inspect all of it before cutting you a check.
Gutters Have Increased in Value
Earlier this year, there was a major increase in tariffs on metals, which affect everything from fencing, to nails, to gutters. Because this increases the overall price in metal, your metal gutters now have a higher value. Make sure that your insurance company or agent is up to date with the increase of price and value of metal gutters. To find out how much your gutters are worth now, you can also contact a gutter company or manufacturer.
To make sure that you get compensated properly for your gutter system, download our free gutter insurance guide and give it to your adjuster. This has all the up-to-date information for gutter installation, replacement, and more.
You may be Entitled to Full Replacement of Your Gutter System
This applies to gutter systems where the manufacturer no longer carries a particular product or color. If you need a portion of your gutter system replaced, and the company no longer has what you need to match the existing system, your insurance company should cover the cost of entire replacement in full. A quality gutter company will always try to match the replacement piece with the rest of your gutters, whether that is just spout extension, or an entire run of gutter. It is very common that older gutter systems are no longer being made, or the factory finished painted gutter is no longer available.
Insurance and Your Gutter Estimate
Many home owners are under the incorrect assumption that insurance companies set market prices. This is FALSE: the market sets market prices. Many adjusters are what is called "Catastrophic Adjusters." This means they travel all over the county to help in areas where there is a high demand. They are NOT experts in everything related to construction, and though some may have expertise in one or more construction trades, none are 100% experts in 100% of everything across the entire country. They use a imperfect computer system to tell them what you are entitled to.
This is especially true with with gutters. Many adjusters do not know the difference between a 4”, 5”, and 6” gutter; Aluminum and Steel Gutters (Steel is the preferred metal in Colorado); 2” x 3” and 3” x 4” spouts, etc. We are finding more errors in claims for gutters this year than any year in the past. Even after explaining these errors to them, while most are compensating the additional or more, some insurance companies are still refusing to pay proper pricing for a quality install. Some insurance companies do not mind compensating you for “cheap” quality. This is leaving homeowners to have to fight for fare compensation, or to decide if quality is important enough to them to make up the difference out of pocket.
Contact a Gutter Company
After an insurance agent has been to your home to assess the damage, the next step is to call a qualified gutter company to do the repairs and replacements for your gutter system. Costa Seamless Gutter Service offers gutter replacement services for hail damage across El Paso County, including areas like Fountain, Security-Widefield, Fort Carson, and more. Give us a call if you have more questions about insurance, or to schedule a free estimate for gutter hail damage. We look forward to working with you!