Wind and windstorm are usually covered perils under an insurance policy. However, properties on the coast may be subject to certain limitations of coverage for hurricanes. An issue made famous by the Katrina litigation was how a loss should be apportioned if it was caused by both flood (typically excluded) and windstorm (typically covered), especially if the area had been evacuated prior to the storm and nobody was around to witness the actual loss process.
Wind claims also present adjusting issues such as the proper amount of repairs necessary when roof shingles are blown off or siding is damaged. Identical replacement shingles or siding may no longer be available, so under certain circumstances the policyholder may be entitled to a completely new roof or a completely re-sided house.
Another issue involves the exclusion for faulty workmanship. Insurers may try to avoid or discount a claim by arguing that the loss was caused, at least in part, by faulty workmanship. For example, if shingles were affixed with the wrong number of fasteners. Understanding how to counter such arguments may be the key to a full and successful claim resolution.
After Superstorm Sandy blew into Northeast Ohio, an insurance carrier balked at paying more than a token amount to a condominium association for extensive storm damage to the condominium buildings. Rutter & Russin pursued the claim in state court and convinced the carrier that it undervalued the amount of storm damage and did not have enough evidence to rely on the policy exclusions relating to pre-existing damage and faulty construction to avoid coverage. In the end, the carrier agreed to resolve the claim by paying an additional $300,000.
Windstorm claims are often denied or unfairly adjusted by insurance companies. The attorneys of Rutter & Russin have nearly 30 years of experience helping policyholders get a full and fair settlement for their storm losses. Contact us today for a free consultation.