Insurance and Your Garage Door
The garage door is a bit unique compared to other parts of the house, making things more complicated when it comes to insurance claims. The garage door is big, heavy, and in close proximity to cars and other large, moving objects, increasing the chances of some kind of serious damage compared to the living room door, for example.
Also, a garage door moves, often many times a day, creating lots of possibilities for accidents. The garage door is also a large, thin surface area, making it especially prone to forces by heavy wind. Both homeowners and auto insurance policies can come into play when a garage door is involved in an insurance claim in Virginia.
Garage Door Repair Insurance Claims
All insurance claims start with the question of responsibility, and it is no different when a garage door is involved. Damage to property which is done intentionally is not covered by insurance policies, whether auto or homeowner. However, if damage to the garage door is caused accidentally by the homeowner, it is generally covered by the homeowner policy.
If another person runs their car into the garage door, intentionally or accidentally, the auto insurance of the driver is usually the financially responsible party. Fires, falling trees, and vandalism of a garage door are generally covered by homeowner policies.
Another complicating factor is whether the garage is detached or attached to the main house. Detached garages are more likely to be excluded from a homeowner policy. In this case, if you accidentally damage the structure or door with your vehicle, it may be possible to seek a claim through your own auto insurance policy.
Filing an Insurance Claim for Garage Door Repairs
Whenever there is damage to a home covered by insurance, documenting the damage is the first step in making a claim. Taking this step as soon as possible using a still or video camera with a time stamp can strengthen your claim and eliminate delays in getting paid.
Besides doing your own documentation of damage, if a crime is involved, a police report should be made and a copy provided to the insurance company. Contact the insurance provider as soon as possible and find out if they want to send an insurance adjuster to the site to assess damages and repair costs.
Consideration of the deductible on the policy is also important. The deductible is the amount you have to pay before the insurance company starts paying out on a claim. Deductibles of $1,000 are not uncommon on homeowner policies, making many small repairs ineligible for any insurance reimbursement.
Before taking the time to submit an insurance claim for damage to a garage door, it makes sense to get an accurate estimate of repair costs and compare that to the deductible.
If the repairs are less than the deductible, the insurance company will not pay, and you will be responsible for making the repairs yourself. Otherwise, the insurance company will pay the repair costs over the deductible amount. Making claims on an insurance policy can also result in an increase in premiums, so doing small repairs out of your own pocket is often less expensive in the long run.
Routine home maintenance is not covered by homeowner insurance policies. In relation to the garage door this means the cost of adjusting the photo sensor, replacing the motor, adjusting the door balance, or replacing a worn-out door is not going to be covered by insurance. The best way of preventing costly garage door problems that are not covered by insurance is by regular garage door maintenance, on your own, or with the help of a professional garage door service.
Getting Your Garage Door Repaired
A damaged garage door is not a simple repair job and the average homeowner needs help from an expert garage door company like Commonwealth Garage Doors. A damaged garage door can be especially hazardous. If your garage door has suffered damage and needs repair, call your local garage door specialist right away for a fast and accurate estimate and repairs.
Wind damage to garage doors happens when the door is underrated for the wind forces in the local area. If your garage door has suffered wind damage, consult with a garage door expert to determine the wind resistance rating you need for the replacement door.
Once you have an accurate estimate in hand, you will have the information you need to compare to your deductible and proceed with an insurance claim if possible.