Essential Steps for Denver Policyholders After a Devastating Hailstorm | Property Insurance Coverage Law Blog

On May 30, 2024, Denver experienced one of the most severe hailstorms in recent memory, reminiscent of the destructive storm event that struck northwest Denver in May 2017. While our metropolitan area has mostly escaped damaging hail over the past number of years, last week’s storm event has once again brought significant damage to homes and properties across Denver. Being well-prepared and understanding how to navigate the aftermath can mitigate the impact on your property and expedite the recovery process. Below are crucial steps that policyholders should take following such a significant hailstorm to ensure their property is protected and insurance claims are handled efficiently.

Immediate Steps Post-Hailstorm

Safety First: Ensure the safety of yourself and your family first. Carefully inspect your property for urgent hazards like gas leaks, electrical issues, or severe structural damage.

Prevent Further Damage: Cover any broken windows and damaged roofs with waterproof tarps to protect against further weather exposure. Insurance policies typically require such proactive measures for coverage of subsequent damages.

Documenting the Damage: Document, document, document! Do not rely on your insurance company or contractor to document the condition of your home or property following the storm event. Take comprehensive photos and videos: once it’s safe, thoroughly document all damage from multiple angles, including close-up shots of the affected areas.

Prepare a Detailed Inventory: Make a detailed list of all damaged property and belongings. Where possible, accompany this list with photographs and any available receipts or proof of purchase.

Understanding Your Insurance Policy

Policy Review: It is vitally important that you request a certified copy of your insurance policy from your insurance company and agent which includes all endorsements and provisions in place at the time of the storm event. You should ensure to review the specifics of your insurance policy, focusing on deductibles, coverage limits, time limits for filing for coverage benefits or completing repairs, timelines or rules for resolving disputes, and applicable policy exclusions, especially those concerning hail. The following video from the late attorney Jean Niven provides additional information in reviewing your insurance policy.

Claim Filing Deadlines: Ensure you are aware of and adhere to any deadlines for filing claims stipulated by your insurance to maintain eligibility for compensation.

Filing Your Claim

Notify Your Insurer:  It is important to promptly contact your insurance provider to report the damage and initiate the claim process as most property insurance policies require that the insured must provide “prompt” notice of a loss as soon as possible after a covered loss. Failure to notify your insurance carrier of your potential loss within a reasonable time may result in a breach of policy notice provisions requiring a justifiable excuse or extenuating circumstances explaining the delay.

Submit Detailed Documentation: Provide your insurer with all documentation of the damage and any emergency repairs conducted, including copies of all receipts.

Record Keeping: Maintain detailed records of all written and electronic communications with your insurance company, including dates, names of representatives, and summaries of discussions.

Seeking Professional Help

Consult a Specialist: If your claim is complex or you begin to encounter difficulties with your insurance provider, consulting with a hail damage expert or a property insurance claim attorney can be beneficial to understand your rights under the insurance policy and Colorado law.

Legal Assistance: Firms like Merlin Law Group specialize in assisting policyholders with complex insurance claims, ensuring fair handling and optimal claim outcomes.

Navigating the aftermath of such a devastating hailstorm as the one we experienced on May 30th can be overwhelming. With meticulous preparation and the right support, you can effectively manage the situation. If you find the insurance claims process daunting or face unfair claim denials, consider seeking professional advice. We are here to help you prepare, file, and settle your claims efficiently, ensuring you receive the fair treatment and full compensation you deserve. For more information or to schedule a consultation, visit, or contact our support team directly at 720-665-9680.

Jonathan E. Bukowski, Esq., an attorney at Merlin Law Group, specializes in property insurance law with a focus on disaster recovery. A proactive and dedicated advocate, Jon has been instrumental in representing policyholders affected by major hailstorms, including notable Colorado storm events. His commitment to securing fair and just outcomes for his clients makes him a trusted advisor and advocate in times of need.

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