The State of Texas is no stranger to natural disasters. From tornadoes to floods, hurricanes to wildfires, the Lone Star State has to deal with at least one natural disaster every year. Apart from the risk to life, such natural disasters often cause massive damage to property and belongings. Restoration companies have to deal with roof replacements, largescale repairs and even full home restorations.
When a natural disaster strikes, whether it’s a tornado, a hurricane, a flood or a wildfire, it typically leaves the area with plenty of destruction. This kind of extensive damage to property is called a large loss.
Natural disasters and extreme weather conditions are not the only reason behind large loss situations, though. A large loss situation can also be traced back to a seemingly small and almost insignificant source. For example, if a pipe bursts and causes extensive damage to your home before it could be kept in check, the damage may also fall under large loss. The context of the destruction and damage can vary greatly, but when an insurance company looks at it, they only see the damage, so for them, it’s a large loss.
But not all types of damage are large losses in nature. An insurance company is likely to consider the damage a large loss if restoring the damaged property will cost upwards of $50,000. In the case of a building that has multiple stories, if the damage affects more than one floor, it’s also considered a large loss. It’s a large loss in the eyes of an insurance firm, as well, if it leads to extensive destruction of a large building.
Qualifying a Large Loss
When a natural disaster or even a small problem leads to significant property damage and disrupts the flow of your daily routine, this may constitute a large loss. The same is true, of course, if the productivity in the building is halted as an effect of the damage. When this kind of damage constitutes a large loss, you can expect to pay thousands of dollars to restoration companies and other businesses and service providers. However, the size of the large loss is determined not just by the money it takes to repair, replace or restore what is lost.
For example, if a large portion of the structure — whether it’s a home or a commercial building — sustains so much damage that repairs are no longer possible, this constitutes a large loss. In most cases, a rebuild is the only option left. The damage can also constitute a large loss if a significant portion of your home or building is rendered unusable or inoperable.
Several factors typically contribute to the determination of a large loss. One of these factors is the size of the building or the home. Another is the purpose of the building or facility. And the factor that insurance providers take a close look at is how much it would cost to restore the building or home to a like-new condition that is fully usable.
Determining Insurance Coverage
If your home is hit by a particularly strong storm, you might need roof repair. While this often means significant costs, your insurance provider should not have a problem sending you a check once you’ve filed your claim and you have come to an agreement with your insurance adjuster.
A large loss, however, is often a different story. It typically involves more significant damage that cannot be resolved with roof repairs, even if the repairs in question are major. Most large-loss situations involving roofs point to full roof replacement along with the replacement or massive repair of other portions of the building or home.
That being said, your insurance company is expected to act in good faith. This means they should give you a check to cover your large-loss rebuild, repair, or replacement. If the insurance firm cannot give you a direct reply, stalls for time, or tries to force a settlement on you that you feel is unfair, it might be that they are acting in bad faith. This is illegal, as you have a mutual contract with your insurance provider. They know that if they try to wiggle or bully their way out of the situation, they are legally liable. You can file a lawsuit against them or hire a public adjuster.
Insurance companies do not like getting into legal trouble, as these can lead to drawn-out and expensive situations that might put them at a disadvantage. They know they’re expected to act in good faith and pay you what you need.
Now you know that your insurer is legally mandated to cover you in case of a large loss, you should also know that they have rights, as well. It’s best to review your policy and look for its limits. Do this every year so you know whether you have ample coverage or if you need more protection.
Here are some of the things your policy should cover:
- Your coverage should include repairs of damage suffered from natural disasters, as well as cleanup. If you need a roof replacement, see that your coverage includes removing the damaged roof and appropriately disposing of it.
- Your coverage should be enough so that your home or facility is restored according to current building codes.
- You can get a much higher level of protection that includes rebuilding.
- There are also policies that will cover your expenses if you have to stay somewhere else while your home is unlivable, such as in a hotel or a rental apartment.
These are some of the things you might want to look into if you want better coverage for your home. However, if you are dealing with a large building, such as a school or an office complex, a large loss is often more complicated and definitely much more expensive.
With a home, you can probably put together an estimate of the loss on your own or with the help of your roof replacement contractor and a few other professionals. With a large building, it might be necessary to get a team of professionals together to help you estimate the large loss. You might need engineers, architects, estimators, financial experts as well as lawyers to help you paint a full picture of the large loss. An insurance policy that covers such expenses would be a big help.
Dealing With a Large Loss
Large or not, the best way to deal with property damage is by preparing for it before it even happens, if it happens. This means checking your insurance policy and making other worthwhile preparedness measures.
Once a large loss disaster takes place, things can become confusing, even chaotic. In some cases, you might not be able to return to your home or building for quite some time. Whatever the situation, your first step should be to call and file a claim with your insurance provider.
If your home’s structure is still standing, and it is declared by the authorities to be safe to enter, take action to prevent further loss. Board up the windows and doors, especially if they’re broken, call your roof repair company to set up a tarp over your roof, turn off the electricity and the gas or even build a temporary fence around your property.
Look for reputable home restorers with experience in dealing with the type of large loss your property has suffered. Get in touch with Anderson Restoration LLC. Call us today at these numbers: Houston/Cypress: (281) 376-7474 or Grapevine: (817) 226-2111. You can also tell us about your restoration needs here.