Insurance Loss – Hidden Damages From Wind and Tornado Claims Are Costing Policyholders Thousands

Many southern states can be affected by tornado activity during winter and spring storms. In a recent interview, an insurance adjuster admitted that insurance losses from tornadoes can often be overlooked and not properly addressed. It is important for policyholders to be educated about the different damages they should look out for and how to spot subtle damages that can become costly later. It is now long past the time when you can see the damage that tornado activity and high winds caused.

Several Huntsville neighborhoods, AL were recently affected by an EF-2 tornado that struck Thur. Jan, 28th 2010. Jan. 28th 2010.

It is a good idea to have your insurance loss assessed by an independent appraiser or insurance claim consultant. Too many policyholders believe the claims made by their adjusters without seeking a second opinion. This should not happen. These are some tips to help you protect your home and property from wind damage.

Plumbing – Strong winds can shake and damage a house or building. To check for leakages in the plumbing, policyholders can turn off all faucets in bathrooms and kitchens. Next, flush all toilets, run showers, and fill all bathtubs with water. Check the ceilings for water spots.

Roof/Siding: Sometimes, an insurance claim involving high winds might not have caused damage to the roof. It’s important to inspect your roof for any cracks, tears, or gouges in the roof shingles. High winds can also cause siding to rip, tear and crack. These effects on the roof and siding can allow water infiltration.

Windows & gutters: Wind, flying debris, and window glass can cause damage, rip screens and affect shutters.

Brick and Foundations: Check cracking and separation. Wind damage can also cause foundations to lift. Make sure to inspect the perimeter of crawlspaces. You can hide serious damage.

Interior: High winds may cause stress cracks at corners and above windows and doors. Use a level to check for floor settling. Watch out for water spots or yellowing walls and ceilings over the next few days. This could be a sign of hidden roof leaks.

Haag engineers and SF insurance company were sued in 2006 for not recognizing damages for insurance losses due to tornadoes and high winds. CNN reported that “Insurance Company (SF), Penalized in Suit over Tornado Claims

A jury has ruled that the Insurance Company (SF), acted recklessly and with malice in handling insurance claims from dozens families whose homes were destroyed by a series of tornadoes that swept through Oklahoma in 1999.

The verdict…delivered millions of dollars to the lead plaintiffs… Donald and Bridget Watkins were awarded almost $13million in total damages by the jury at the District Court of Grady County in Oklahoma for their participation in the class action lawsuit against the nation’s biggest insurer…

Insurance losses involving tornadoes can cause very strong winds, as everyone is aware. Even tornadoes that do not actually touch-down can still cause severe wind loads and pressure to buildings. These winds can pull and push on buildings, causing damage to fasteners as well as building parts.