I just filed a storm claim in July of 2022 with my insurance company. They put the date of loss as June of 2020. My contractor has been working since then but with labor and material shortages he has just now completed all the work. Now the insurance company is saying that the recoverable depreciation is not claimable because it’s been longer then two years since the storm. I was told I could get an extension because of the pandemic and all the shortages. I’m just wondering if there is a form letter, or a reference number to refer to when I send the letter to my insurance company, or if I’m just out of luck and going to have to pay out of pocket for work that should have been covered by my insurance company.
Thanks for submitting your question to United Policyholders. I’m sorry to hear that you’re having difficulty getting your insurance carrier to pay depreciation on your hail loss. Here are some steps you can take next to try and get your carrier to change their position:
- Consider whether you agree with the date of loss suggested by your insurance company. Do you have any videos or photos showing hail that may have occurred more recently? Talk to your contractor about whether they think that the insurance company’s assessment that the date of loss was in June 2020 is accurate. Your contractor may have a different opinion than the insurer based on the conditions on the roof, hail loss reports, damage to other roofs in your neighborhood, etc. If you or your contractor have any evidence to show that some of the hail damage occurred more recently, then send that in writing to your insurance carrier and ask that they change the date of loss.
- Submit a complaint to the Colorado Division of Insurance. The Division of Insurance regulates insurance companies in Colorado. They mainly act as a conduit for information from the carrier to the policyholder, and they may be able to get you more information about why the insurance company thinks the date of loss was in June 2020. They would also be able to assist you with sending evidence showing a different date of loss to your carrier.
- Make sure and document all communications in writing, and ask that your contractor do the same (and copy you on correspondence).
- If you think that the carrier is correct about the date of loss, or if the carrier is unwilling to change their assessment of the date of the loss after you follow the above steps, then you can try to submit the sample letter from United Policyholders (https://uphelp.org/claim-guidance-publications/sample-letter-requesting-extension-of-deadlines-to-collect-full-policy-benefits/) requesting an extension of the time you have to collect depreciation. In filling in the letter, emphasize whatever circumstances were beyond your control in getting the repairs done within 2 years (i.e. Covid, builder/supply delays, etc.). You can reference Division of Insurance Bulletin 5.42: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EK7Kf54-RibhB5HzW6vl4uzTAWJJ7udU/view. It would not technically apply to this loss because it was not a declared disaster/total loss, but it’s worth a shot. If that is not successful, then I would suggest that you speak with an attorney about your options.
I wish you all the best with your hail claim!
Hi. Take a look at this bulletin: https://uphelp.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/New-Bulletin-B-5.42-Concerning-Extension-of-Policyholder-Benefits-in-the-Event-of-a-Catastrophic-Disaster.pdf. Also this one: https://uphelp.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/revised_b-5.38_actions_to_protect_consumers_with_pc_insurance_policies_during_the_covid-19_public_health_emergency_in_colorado.pdf
Colorado Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway has been asking and some cases requiring insurers to “toll” (temporarily not enforce) policy requirements related to the timely submission by a property owner of proof of completed work/replacement in order to recover depreciation the insurer held back. However, his ability to require that flexibility technically only applies to “catastrophic disasters”. Here’s the CO definition of that term: https://law.justia.com/codes/colorado/2016/title-10/licenses/article-2/part-1/section-10-2-103
I’m guessing the hail storm that damaged your property may not have gotten a Governor or Presidential disaster declaration, but even if the bulletins and regulation don’t technically apply to the event that damaged your property – you should reference it in a written request to your insurer to honor the spirit of the flexibility the Commissioner requests/requires.
You should document in writing to your insurer that you’ve been diligent in repairing/preventing further damage and fully cooperative. If there’s a reason you didn’t submit the claim for two years after the loss – you can explain it in writing to the insurer. Good luck!