In 2009 and 2010, areas of Colorado took a beating from strong hail storms. Through contacts with adjusters, appraisers, and contractors alike, I have heard numerous stories about improper claims handling and appraisal tactics of many insurers over the past year. It appears that the state of Colorado has heard these same complaints as well.

In its annual report to the Colorado General Assembly, the Division of Insurance noted a significant increase in complaints against property insurers. While the report goes into some detail about the different reasons for complaints, around one quarter of the complaints against property insurers related to denials of claims. This is a significant increase from a mere eighteen percent the year before.

Despite the fact that many complaints were never substantiated or were resolved through other means, the Division of Insurance stated that it recovered more than $2.5 million in 2010 alone for unpaid property insurance policyholders. This was an average increased payment of around $2,500 per complaint.

As most of us know, the roof is one of an association’s most precious assets. We budget and plan years in advance for replacement and dread the day that a re-roofing project must start. Unfortunately, damaged roofs often lead to unpopular special assessments and unfriendly letters and phone calls from homeowners.

Hail can cause major damage to a roof, which may go unseen for a long period of time. If you are located in an area that has been hit by a hail storm, you should get a professional inspection and opinion as to whether you roof is damaged. Even if things seem fine now, failing to make sure your roof is secure could be costly later.