(US) Homeowner Insurance- Wind Damage

I’m in NW Ohio (US) and part of the ridiculous windstorm and power outage that occurred this weekend.

I’m a first time homeowner and never had to file a claim before. I have some roofing damage (shingles torn off/buckled), gutters and downspouts down, couple of shutters and some limbs down in yard.

I’ve contacted my insurance company, and based on their feedback, I’m going to get some estimates to see if it exceeds my deductible ($1000). I took some pictures of everything too.

My question is- are there any other DOs or DON’Ts I may not be thinking of because of my lack of experience with this? If I ask a roofing company to do a free estimate, will they consider my spouting and shutters? Should I call a tree removal service as well for estimate? I stripped the branches by hand down to everything about 2-3" diameter and piled by curb (our city tends to do clean-up runs after disasters like this), but I don’t own a chainsaw or anything big enough to cut up these 15’+ long limbs.

My power was also out for somewhere around 9-12 hours. Do I claim the stuff in my fridge/freezer too?

I know my insurance company is my primary source, but they are slammed with much bigger claims, and I think I have to pay for their adjuster if they come out and it does not exceed my deductible, so just looking for feedback from people in industry or homeowners with experience…Thanks!

As far as the limbs down in your yard: if they didn’t do damage to a structure on your property, insurance probably isn’t going to cover their removal. The trees in your yard are not covered.

A few years ago, we had a tree blown down in the back yard. Part of the tree came to rest on a chainlink fence, so insurance paid to have the tree removed and the fence repaired. If the fence hadn’t been there, the tree removal would not have been covered.

For those big limbs you might just find a neighbor with a fireplace who will take them off your hands. Or an ad for “free firewood” on Craigslist.

Our insurance company (NJ Manufacturers) paid a substantial amount for tree removal after a huge storm last year. Also for roof damage and subsequent damages to the interior. They sent their own appraiser to assess the damage. It was much more than we had expected.

I’ve never paid for an adjuster.

Neither have I, except that one time in Vegas.

Insurance companies are getting very picky about claims. I think if the damage isn’t significant I’d pay it out of pocket. Because if you wind up having several claims, they could very well drop you.

Several years ago, due to a wind storm, we had a tree come down and it did damage to the home. The insurance company did in fact reimburse me the expense for having the tree removed. Additionally they covered damage to the house, including roof, soffit/facia, gutters, and fence.

Naturally the roofer is going to over-estimate how much needs replaced and the insurance company is going to under-estimate. You’ll just need to negotiate the difference to get a reasonable reimbursement for the damage. I did great on the roof, not so great on the fence.

Thanks for the feedback, everybody. It really was helpful- I hadn’t even considered that removal wouldn’t be covered if the limbs didn’t land on some sort of “real property” like fence/house/shed/etc. I’ve already stripped the limbs of smaller side branches, so I’ll just whack em up myself and burn em in the fire pit outside.

Normally, being NW Ohio, it wouldn’t be hard to give away firewood, but pretty much EVERY house within a LARGE radius has its own trees down. Between that and the 100 degree weather, a guy could get slapped offering firewood.

On a side note- I had never heard of a “derecho”. Fascinating stuff. I never realized how vicious straight line winds can be (generally exceeding hurricane force).