November 18, 2017

North Carolina Wind Damage Insurance Claims

American Property Loss North Carolina Public Adjusters are available to do a complete review of your North Carolina wind damage insurance claim. From initial on-site wind damage property estimates to reviewing your insurance company adjuster estimates for completeness, American Property Loss local North Carolina Public adjusters are experienced and ready to get your life back in order after North Carolina wind damage.

North Carolina Wind Damage – The obvious wind damage

Wind Damage - Insurance Claim Roof Damage

Wind Damage - Insurance Claim Roof Damage

If you feel the house swaying around in heavy winds and can hear shingles ripping off, you can be fairly sure that you’re about to be filing a wind damage insurance claim. Certain areas in North Carolina have very heavy winds. There are other states that do have heavier winds, but North Carolina gets it’s fair share every year – frequently in afternoon storms in our long summer.

Thankfully most of us are spared the record gusts of Grandfather Mountain (recently topping out at 114.7), but wind damage can and does occur anywhere in North Carolina. Heavy damaging winds can rip shingles, tear doors off hinges, topple small outbuildings, drop branches and limbs on structures and more. This is the obvious North Carolina wind damage.

What if you don’t see any obvious damage like missing shingles?

Roof inspection and repair

Roof inspection and repair

Wind damage frequently presents itself in the form of water stains on a ceiling.

Heavy winds can frequently rock a house or building and open up joints in the structure enough to allow water to enter. Be it opening up siding joints or ripping back some shingles, heavy wind damage can open up your North Carolina home to water damage.

After those joints get opened up, the next thing to happen in heavy wind is that moisture will be pushed into those openings. Water leaks can show up as stains on ceilings or interior walls. If you see those tell-tale water stains, you likely are only seeing a fraction of the actual damage.

North Carolina homeowners can actually have severe damage though there may not be any visible damage from the ground. If you feel that there may be some damage, we suggest contacting a qualified roofer to have your roofing checked. If you examine new shingles, there is actually a sealing strip that will seal your shingles down after roof installation. In high winds, that sealing strip will pull apart and break that nice secure seal – and potentially allow water through to your structure. After the wind has died down, those same shingles will drop back down into normal position – and appear to be fine. But they will very easily allow water in going forward. If you see those tell-tale water stains, contact an experienced roofer sooner rather than later. It really doesn’t take too long for a small leak to turn into a major insurance claim.

Wind Damage and your North Carolina Homeowner’s Insurance Policy

Most North Carolina property insurance policies provide coverage for losses resulting from wind damage. However, some policies only provide limited coverage for hurricanes, or require that a higher deductible be purchased specifically for the hurricane peril. Most states with risk of loss from hurricanes have government mandated insurance plans that provide hurricane coverage to property owners who are unable to obtain insurance through the voluntary market.

Wind Damage - Missing Tiles

Wind Damage - Missing Tiles

Typically a property insurance policy covers direct physical damage from windstorm. If direct physical damage is obvious, such as entire roofs/walls or portions of roofs/walls blown away, then a coverage determination becomes easy. Then the major concern of the property owner becomes, “What is the full cost of repair or replacement to make me whole again?” Business owners will suffer down time creating the need to document business interruption loss. Homeowners will want to know, where they will live while their home is being repaired. Not only is the building loss a concern, but business inventory losses, and personal property damage frequently become a major portion of the windstorm damage insurance claim.

If there is water damage resulting from a windstorm event, you need to review your policy’s language. Typically, if there is a break in the building which lets in water, then you have coverage. Water damage to contents would also typically be included as part of the loss. Wind driven rain can also be very problematic in a hurricane as many insurance companies will not pay unless there is a breach or opening in a structure.

Property insurance policies that do cover windstorm normally exclude the peril of flood, and flood policies cover flood but not the peril of windstorm. So what happens when a hurricane damages properties, especially along the coastlines? Will the windstorm carriers and the flood carriers point fingers at each other, and leave you, the policyholder, caught in the middle? If you have a loss from wind and flood you need to be prepared to prove which caused what part of your damage. Public Adjusters frequently assist policyholders in sorting out what is wind and what is flood.

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