COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Insurance agents are being flooded with calls following Monday's windy weather.
Several insurance agents tell 11 News the most important thing is to document every bit of damage. If it's safe for you to do so, take pictures of the damage to your roof, siding, car, fence and other personal property.
Because it's winter, you have to tarp or board up broken windows, doors and other openings. You will also want to get broken glass and other dangerous items out of the way of people and pets.
When you do make temporary repairs, be sure to keep your receipts. You can be reimbursed for those expenses.
Make a list of what's been damaged or destroyed, and make note of how much it costs, the brand and how old it is. Then, talk to your insurance agent or look at your deductible. It may be that if the amount of damage is slight enough, you shouldn't file a claim with your insurance company. Other considerations, such as if a tree falls onto your car, in most cases your comprehensive auto policy will cover it.
If for some reason the tree owner has been cited for not taking proper care of the tree, he or she could have to foot the bill.
If you lost a tree in your yard, some insurance companies will pay for its removal, but they won't reimburse you to replace the downed tree.
If your fence is damaged or destroyed, experts say in most cases the amount you would be reimbursed is less than what the fence is worth.
That's because insurance companies don’t pay replacement costs for fences, only cash value. For example, a 20-year old wood fence that initially cost $3,000 may only get you 33 percent of that amount today.
On the subject of roofs, area roofers are still bombarded with all the work from last July's hail storm. Now their phones are ringing off the hook again with what they're calling the "January Hurricane."
Roofers describe this as a terrible situation for homeowners. Scott McIntye, the president and CEO of Total Roofing, tells 11 News his crews are backed up until April. He says the most important thing is to call a reputable roofer and get in line now.
He says you'll also want to contact your insurance company, but he says if you reach out to a reliable roofer now, he should be able to inspect your home and assess the damage right away. Because roofing companies are short-handed, the longer you wait now, the longer you'll have to wait later.
Before you hire any contractor, do your homework.
The folks at Pikes Peak Regional Building Department who issue roofing permits and inspect completed roofs have heard from at least a dozen people who got new roofs from July’s hail storm and are now seeing severe damage again now, less than six months later.
Also check with Pikes Peak Regional Building Department’s licensing division to make sure there are no active complaints against the contractors you choose.
Call a couple roofing companies, not just one, and make sure the contractors have the appropriate license to handle the kind of damage you have, whether it be to your roof, siding, chimney or antennae.
The folks at PPRBD are happy to walk you through the process. The last thing you want to do is hire someone who is unlicensed who could be here today and gone tomorrow.
Betty Sexton with 11 Call for Action says she has almost no doubt there will be "fly-by-nighters" who come to town, ask to climb on your roof, and ask you to sign some papers. It really pays to check out contractors first.
Finally, remember our 11 Call for Action team is happy to help. Call us at (719) 457-8211.