Are you dealing with storm damage?
We know many of you are after our latest round of severe weather on January 29.
And if you haven't dealt with it before, you can run into problems long after the skies clear.
I met with Aaron Summers of Jackson. The blue tarps on his roof are a clear indication of what he's dealing with right now.
"Aaron, tell me what happened to your roof the other night when the storms came through?" I asked him.
"Well, it took off, as you can see with the tarps, about 20-percent of the back of its been ripped off," Summers said.
But Summers is already in good shape.
"The adjustor's been out to give me the estimates for all the damage, inside and out," he said.
Things didn't go as smoothly though for Will Miller. Miller owned an historic home on North Middle Street in Cape Girardeau back on May 22, 2011, when severe storms ripped through the Heartland-and a deadly tornado tore through Joplin Missouri.
"For our house, it was the hail," Miller recalls. "There was tons of hail damage."
Miller, who's since moved to Florida, shared his story with me via Skype.
Miller recalls his insurance agent telling him, because of Joplin, it could take a month to get an adjustor out.
The company sent out an independent adjustor over the Memorial Day weekend, when the Millers were out of town.
"We got home two days later. We got the letter from the insurance company, stating the adjustor didn't find any damage, we're not going to award any claim," he said.
But then on a Sunday night in June, a Kansas City construction crew knocked on the Miller's door.
"And they let us know they could see clear damage, on our roof especially," Miller remembers.
A crew member also explained an option Miller didn't even know existed--he could appeal the adjustor's decision on his roof.
So that's what he did. And when the same adjustor came back out, Miller was there along with members of that KC crew.
"He (the adjustor) gets there and is completely ill-prepared to actually go on our roof and look at anything, which is where we first find out that he'd never gotten up on the roof in the first place," Miller said.
Back in Jackson, I asked Summers about his experience.
Were you here when the adjustor was here? I asked.
"Yes," Summers answered.
And did he get up on your roof and check it out?
"Absolutely. He was actually up there for about an hour and a half, did all the measurements,"Miller added.
Miller tells me during that second inspection, the Kansas City crew actually climbed onto his steeply pitched roof, and took pictures for the adjustor.
"And the adjustor said, I'm not going up there. I'll take your word for it. You're getting a new roof," Miller said.
"It sounds like the key first lesson that you learned, that our viewers can learn from, is be there when the adjustor comes out, right?" I asked him.
"Absolutely, if you schedule and you have an adjustor coming, no matter what you have to do you need to make sure you're there. I've learned that the hard way," Miller said.
But with that good news, soon came the bad. Because the Millers went with a company knocking on doors for work, they had to wait in what ended up being a long line to get their roof fixed.
"I mean, we didn't even get the new roof put on until Labor Day of that year," Miller said.
And something wasn't quite right.
"This crew just did a speed job so there were no straight lines on these corner areas. They just didn't look right," Miller said. "They came back repeatedly, three or four times with different crews, and eventually did it the way I wanted."
I asked my insurance agent, Chris Gross of Capital Insurance in Cape Girardeau, about a customer's right to appeal.
He tells me it doesn't happen often, but you absolutely have that right, either by contacting the adjustor directly or going through your agent.
He says cases can even go to mediation if necessary.
As for Will Miller having to wait nearly five months to get his roof fixed the right way, that's something you need to address with the contractor you hire.
If there's widespread damage, you may have to wait in line--but they should be able to give you a reasonable estimate as to when the work will be done before you sign a contract.
If you have a question or an issue you'd like the Heartland News I-Team to tackle, email Crystal Britt and I at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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