Storm Created Opening or Wind Driven Rain

Lots of folks don’t quite understand the difference between wind driven rain and a storm created opening. It’s complicated. The difference is usually only learned when someone is affected by either term as the result of a property damage insurance claim.

In 2016, the day after Christmas, the residents of Rowlett, Texas learned exactly what it means to have a storm created opening when their homes and lives were ripped apart by tornadoes and severe storms. The next day it rained, and the day after that it snowed, all the while their homes were still open and exposed to additional damage from the bad weather. Clearly the storm created the openings into their properties, so the insurance companies would be paying for any subsequent damage as well, right?

This question gets more difficult when there is not an obvious storm created opening and the insurance company claims the damages were instead a result of wind driven rain. Some might argue that high winds can also cause a storm created opening causing damage to your roof in less obvious ways, such as lifting a shingle which then causes a leak. While many insurers may attempt to deny those types of insurance claims, one should hire a claim expert (public adjuster) and argue for that coverage.

Wind damaged roof in New Orleans, Louisiana.

A public adjuster handling the claim works closely with the insured to provide the most equitable and prompt settlement possible. They inspect the loss immediately, analyze the damages, assemble claim support, review coverage, and serve the insured, not the insurance company. Just because an insurance company says a claim is closed or has made payment on a claim does not mean that it is finally settled. The insured must be satisfied with the settlement.

Often times insurance adjusters will determine causality based on what is in the best interest of the insurance company they work for. On the other hand, a public adjuster is a representative for the insured. They look for the real cause of damage to your property so that you get what is fair and equitable according to the coverage afforded in your policy. Not that all insurance adjusters are out to get you, but it does make good sense to get a second opinion, especially when it comes to one of your greatest assets – your home.