If you suffered damage as a result of the hail storm that hit Chesterfield, Virginia, you should contact your insurance company to submit a claim. Your homeowners or rental insurance should cover damage to your home and any personal property that was damaged.
If your damage exceeds your deductible, your insurance company should pay for the cost of repairs or replacement of your personal property. The standard Virginia Homeowners policy will typically provide replacement value coverage for damage done to your home or personal property.
Replacement value coverage is exactly what it sounds like. The insurance company should pay the cost of repair or replacement. If you do not have replacement cost coverage the insurance will typically cover the actual cash value or the cost minus depreciation. The older the property the less you will recover if you do not have replacement cost coverage.
If you do have replacement value, the standard policy provides “We will pay no more than the actual cash value unless actual repair or replacement occurs.” This mean that if you have damage to your home and you do not repair it the insurance company will only pay you the actual cash value; they take off the amount of depreciation. When you do replace or repair the item, the insurance company will then pay you the total amount.
If you have replacement value coverage, make sure you check with your adjuster and your policy to make sure it doesn’t have a certain time frame that you must replace the item in order to get full replacement value.
If you are concerned about not having the funds up front to pay for the actual repairs, you should talk to your insurance adjustor. You can typically get them to work directly with your contractor as repairs are being made and they will make payments to the contractor. They may elect to put both your name and the contractors name on the check to assure the contractor is paid.
When making a claim, make sure you are precise in the information you give the insurance company about the cost of original purchase or replacement cost of the item. I have had clients in the past, “fudge” the cost of an item just by a little, to “make up for their deductible” and they had coverage for everything denied. Any misrepresentation to the insurance company can set you up to have your entire claim denied. Do not over estimate your loss or the cost of replacement, don’t try to get something covered that was not damaged in the storm. If you are not sure of the cost or where you purchased something, do not guess just tell them you do not know or are unsure.
Report everything that was damaged in the storm even if it is minor item.
If your car was damaged by hail this would be a separate claim under your automobile comprehensive coverage.
If the insurance company denies your claim or part of your claim, get a detailed reason for their denial. If you do not agree challenge them. If the insurance company refuses to pay or gives you a hard time about covering something, Epperly & Follis will provide a Free Initial Consultation to discuss any denial or any issue you are having with the insurance company. People of often ask me if they need a lawyer, I tell them not always but it doesn’t hurt to talk to one.
In the past, I was the insurance company lawyer who figured out how claims can be denied. Now we represent people against the insurance companies. If your claim is denied or the insurance company is not providing the coverage or payment you believe they should, you should contact an attorney.
You can reach Craig Follis at (804) 648-6480 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.