Challenges In Seeking Compensation For Cosmetic Damages In A Property Owner’s Insurance Claim
Heavy storms in the Daytona Beach area are common throughout the spring, summer, and fall seasons. While these can cause serious damage to your home, getting your homeowner’s insurance company to pay often proves challenging. Coverage for cosmetic wind and hail damage can dramatically decrease the overall value and function of your property but may be excluded from your policy.
What Is Considered Cosmetic Damage To Property?
Insurance adjusters generally classify wind and hail damage to your property into two categories: cosmetic damages and functional damages. As the names imply, functional damages are those that impact and disrupt your use of the property, such as a broken window or holes in your roof that allows water to get in. Cosmetic damages are based more on appearance and may include any type of dents, pitting, or other types of marring and superficial damage to areas such as siding or roofing materials.
Many homeowner’s insurance policies have exclusions regarding payment for cosmetic damages caused by wind or hail. Insurance.com warns that before accepting these exclusions, there are several factors that homeowners need to consider:
- With the severity of storms increasing in recent years, cosmetic damages are more likely to be a concern;
- While they may not affect the functioning of your property, the impact of cosmetic damages on your home’s overall value could be significant, as could the costs of any needed repairs;
- Cosmetic damages can eventually result in functional damages. For example, dents and dings in your roof could penetrate the moisture barrier, resulting in vulnerabilities that eventually allow water to get in. As this might not happen until months or even a year after other wind or hail damage happened, any resulting losses would likely not be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy.
Seeking Compensation For Cosmetic Damages From Your Property Owners Insurance Policy
When dealing with insurance companies, it is important to recognize that they are for-profit businesses. One of the ways they protect their bottom line is by limiting payouts on claims. Exclusions are included in different types of insurance policies and generally serve the same purpose: to limit the insurer’s liability.
To protect yourself, it is important to carefully review all the terms of your homeowner’s insurance policy. The Claims Journal advises looking for exclusions regarding cosmetic damages, as well as wording referring to ‘direct physical losses’. This can ensure you get the compensation you are entitled to as it generally means any type of loss or damage the property owner suffers is covered, regardless of whether it is functional or cosmetic.
Let Us Help You Today
If your home suffers cosmetic damages in a storm, contact our Daytona Beach hail damage attorneys at Bundza and Rodriguez right away. We can review the terms of your policy and negotiate with insurers on your behalf with the goal of getting you the maximum amount in any settlements. To request a consultation, reach out to us online or give our office a call today.