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Wind Damage Claims

The state of California is known for a variety of unique wind patterns that can cause wind damage to residential and commercial properties. The Santa Anas develop due to high pressure systems over the Great Basin area in Utah and Nevada. When these cool winds pass into Southern California, the air warms up and picks up speed as they pass over the mountains. The result is strong wind gusts throughout the mountain and valley regions.

Then, there is the Diablo wind which consists of a hot, dry air mass that flows from the northeast across the San Francisco Bay area. Diablo winds create a strong, dry downslope wind with speeds that can exceed 60 mph throughout northern and central California.

These incredibly strong winds will batter either South or North California at different times of the year, with wind gusts that easily produce damage to homes, businesses, landscapes, and crops. It is the location of California along the Pacific Ocean and the state’s topography that causes wind vulnerability.

Changing weather patterns and a change in the intensity of storms in California are caused by warmer sea waters caused by climate change. Warmer waters and warmer atmosphere make more energy available, which results in high-intensity winds. Many storms are fed this warmer air out at sea, but the system continues to make it way to the California coast and across land.

If you suffer damage due to high winds in California, you should consult with an insurance attorney to examine how you can make a wind damage claim to recoup losses due to property damage caused by high winds.

Damage Caused by Strong Winds

Strong winds can occur as straight-line wind, circular winds, or downspouts. The strongest winds occur as part of a major thunderstorm and if they pick up enough speed and develop rotation, these winds can become tornadoes. You don’t need to have a technical tornado to get damaging winds, because winds from 40 to 60 mph are enough to cause the following damage to property:

  • Damage to roofing systems, including gutters and downspouts
  • Broken branches, fallen tree limbs, and debris scattered across the ground
  • Severe damage to small trees, shrubbery, and other vegetation
  • Risk of large, fallen trees, especially with high winds and torrential rain
  • Broken windows, damaged siding, and other damage to structures
  • Major damage to garages, sheds, fencing, gazebos, etc.
  • Damage caused by flying projectiles hitting property, pets, or people

Other negative effects of high winds in California can be attributed to the state’s topography. This means that dust storms and the displacement of sand, silt, or clay can leave an altered landscape. Also, wind direction and intensity in the form of downdrafts, microbursts, and macrobursts all leave their own signature damage.

Do not delay the reporting of any wind damage claims to your insurance company, as a late reporting may be grounds for a rejection of your wind damage claim. Also, it is advised to seek the counsel of a property insurance lawyer to make sure you recoup all money need to repair or replace damage due to high winds.

How to File a Wind Damage Claim in California

It is important to take an assessment of all the damage your property has incurred after a high wind event in California. While there are property inspection service providers that may be needed to assess damage in high or dangerous places like rooftops, power lines, etc., the homeowner can typically carry out an inspection that will satisfy the insurance company looking for those damages as listed above.

Next, you must photograph and report any damage to your home or property insurance agent. Include a description of the damage and make yourself available so that an adjuster can reach you for their follow-up inspection. For any emergency repairs performed, make sure you keep all receipts which show what damage was caused, when the repairs were completed, and how much you paid for the repairs or replacement.

Make sure you have visual evidence of all damage by taking pictures from multiple angles, and be ready to email these photos to the insurance company or adjuster.

Finally, make sure you cover any openings with a heavy-duty tarp and don’t hesitate to make any repairs that may cause a safety or comfort problem for your family. Get multiple estimates for all repairs and make copies of all the documentation, while keeping a permanent record for yourself.

The Morgan Law Group has experienced home insurance claim attorneys that can help you make a successful wind damage claim to your insurance company. Many times, wind damage claims are denied due to inaccurate or lacking documentation. We can speed up the wind damage claim process to make sure you and your family are fully compensated, as quickly as possible.