In 2017 alone, the Chicagoland area has been hit by four major hail-producing storms. Each of these storms has impacted large sections of northeastern Illinois, causing untold millions in home damage. This damage can range from dented roof shingles, siding and gutters, to the paint being ripped off just about any exterior surface.
As of September, it’s been reported that only about 30 percent of the homes damaged by hail storms in northeastern Illinois in 2017 had been inspected for hail damage. Whether it’s because the owner just doesn’t have the time, or is under the impression that making an insurance claim will raise their rates, that’s a pretty startling statistic. In fact, it’s that perception of increased premiums for homeowners that leads to unrepaired damage.
When we approach homeowners about providing them with a free hail damage inspection, the question we get asked the most is “will this cause my rates to go up.” The answer is somewhat complicated, but on an individual basis we can answer that no — making a claim for hail or storm damage should not cause your premiums to increase.
Because hail and storm damage to your home is considered an “act of God,” the law states that insurances companies can not increase your premiums on that basis. After all, it’s not like you can pick up your home and move it before a storm hits.
Insurance Rates May Increase By Region
Now, keep in mind that though insurance companies can’t raise your individual rate, they can and will raise rates and deductibles based on the amount of claims in a particular region. If there has been a large catastrophic event or series of storms in an area that caused a large amount of claims, insurance companies will work to recover their losses by raising rates and deductibles when your policy is up for renewal.
So, is the possibility of regional increases in premiums or deductibles enough to stop homeowners from receiving a storm damage inspection? Absolutely not. The simple fact that the consequences of not fixing storm damage will be much more costly should be enough to persuade all homeowners in a storm affected area to receive a damage assessment from a qualified contractor.
Storm damage repair contractors
A fact of our business is that when a large storm hits an area, homeowners will soon be inundated with contractors looking to provide damage estimates and complete the work of replacing roofs, siding and gutters. The bigger the storm, the more unscrupulous contractors from outside the area will appear on your doorstep. In the business these are referred to as “storm-chasers.”
Hiring out-of-area “storm-chasers” is dangerous for a few reasons. Homeowners get scammed by these “storm-chasers” when the contractor does the bare minimum to repair the damage, cutting corners all along the way. Often times these out-of-state outfits leave the home in worse condition than it was before work was completed. What’s more is that the problems from the repairs will normally take a few years to appear, and by that time these “businesses” are long gone.
Hiring a local pro is key to avoid storm damage scams
The biggest way homeowners can ensure a smooth storm damage repair process and that the work is done properly is to hire a local contractor that’s been in business for many years. Local pros are invested in the community and build their business on their reputation and referrals. Unlike fly-by-night operations, they have every incentive to do the job right.
Carmody Construction is one such contractor. Even though we specialize in storm damage repairs, we do not operate on the “storm-chaser” model. We don’t make promises we can’t keep, and we never use high-pressure tactics on homeowners that make them feel uncomfortable.
Our staff has decades of experience in coordinating with insurance companies to maximize your homeowners insurance claims from storm damage. We are a preferred contractor with many of the major insurance companies, and we will ensure your storm damage repairs are completed properly and in a way that’s of the least stress to you.
If you believe your home has been damaged in recent storms, contact the team at Carmody Construction. We are family owned and operated since 1948. We are the contractor you can trust!