Hailstorms are among the most destructive extreme weather phenomenon that lead to $10 billion in damages each year. The trouble with hail is that it is increasingly unpredictable and hard to forecast, making adequate preparation difficult for residential and commercial property owners. Texas represented the state with the top hail damage claims during the years 2017 through 2019.
After a massive storm results in hail and wind damage, many insurance carriers may refuse to pay your loss in full or deny your claim entirely. Although it is impossible to avoid a natural disaster, you don’t need to be victimized twice. Consult with the expert bad faith insurance claim attorneys at FlorinIRoebig who will work tirelessly on your behalf to get the proceeds you deserve for your property damage insurance claim.
The Effects Of Storm Damage in Texas
Hail is a dangerous form of solid precipitation that can result in major structural damage and even worse, personal injury or loss of life. Large hailstones sometimes have expected falls speeds between 25 and 40 miles per hours, causing immense destruction in a matter of minutes.
San Antonio experienced the costliest storm in Texas history on April 12, 2016, with hailstones the size of softballs. Damage from the hailstorm resulted in an estimated $1.4 billion in insured losses. When extreme weather leaves your property with catastrophic damage, it is important to take action right away to maximize the compensation you receive.
Types Of Hail Damage Covered By Insurance Policies
The truth about hailstorms is that they pose a danger to anyone or anything that is exposed to the outdoors. The effects of hail damage vary according to several different factors, including wind speed and hail size. When your property is struck by hail, it is essential to get a professional inspection to determine the extent of the damage. Many Texas residents have filed insurance claims for the following types of property damage:
- Roof damage to asphalt shingles can be seen as indentations, fractures, or bruises that over time, can weaken the integrity of the roofing material. Displacement or loss of granules may lead to leaks that require a full roof replacement.
- Windows and sidings are particularly susceptible to fast falling hailstones. The most common types of damage to these structures include breaks, chips, and cracks.
- Unprotected cars can be riddled with dents and glass damage in a hailstorm. It is never wise to drive or leave your car outside in a severe storm.
- Skylights are vulnerable to wind damage and falling debris caused by hazardous storms. After your home is hit by hail, you may need to factor in the cost of repairing or replacing any existing skylights.
- Broken air conditioning units, fallen trees, and other types of property damage caused by hail may be covered by your insurance policy as well.
The best way to determine if you are entitled to compensation is to contact one of our top-rated attorneys to set up an initial consultation and request a free hail damage inspection. The highly credible Texas law experts at Florin I Roebig will help you develop your proof of loss to maximize your settlement value.
What To Do After A Hailstorm
Most standard commercial and homeowners’ insurance policies cover structural damage from hail impact under dwelling coverage. However, the insurance company will do everything in their power to deny or reduce the value of your claim. Follow these tips to ensure your insurance claim goes smoothly:
1. Inspect The Damage
After the hailstorm has fully subsided and it is safe to go outside, do an initial assessment to determine whether you need to file an insurance claim. Although it is difficult to detect roof damage from the ground, you can start by checking your gutters. Dents and cracks in the gutters are indicators of probable roof damage caused by falling hail. Inspect your sidings, windows, and deck. Evaluate all other property that may have been affected and record your findings appropriately.
2. Review Your Insurance Policy
The first thing you will need to do when reviewing your insurance policy is to determine whether the property damage your home sustained is covered under the policy terms. You will also want to know how much your deducible is, as you will have to pay this amount out of pocket towards the overall loss. You will want to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of your policy prior to filing a claim.
3. Document All Property Damage
In order to get a just resolution, you must be able to prove the property damage was a result of an “act of god,” such as a hailstorm. Insurance adjusters may try to say the condition of your property was preexisting. For this reason, it is imperative that you take clear pictures and videos of the damage immediately following the hailstorm and in the days after. Any documentation and evidence can significantly help your property damage case, especially if the insurance company tries to dispute your claim.
4. Get A Second Opinion
Depending on the amount of the loss, it may be beneficial to hire a contractor or public adjuster to get an unbiased opinion on your property damage prior to filing a claim. Nobody wants to be underpaid on their hail damage claim. Obtaining an independent estimate can help you accurately determine the total amount of damage and gauge whether the insurance company is trying to undermine the value of your claim.
5. File An Insurance Claim
Oftentimes, it can take months for policyholders to realize the full impact of a severe storm. It is crucial to act swiftly when reporting property damage caused by wind and hail because most states, including Texas have statutes of limitations on claims. Once the insurance company has received your claim, they will send out an adjuster who is professionally trained to assess the damage.
6. Get Legal Help With Your Claim
Filing a homeowners’ insurance claim for property damage due to a hailstorm can be a stressful, confusing, and time-consuming process. Most policyholders are not well versed in insurance laws and do not fully understand their contractual rights under their insurance policy. Unfortunately, in the absence of a skilled property damage attorney, most insurance adjusters will use your lack of knowledge against you to pay out as little as possible.
If you are struggling with the claims process, contact a qualified attorney who specializes in insurance law and hail damage claims, such as one of the attorneys at FlorinIRoebig to schedule a confidential and free consultation.
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When To Hire A Bad Faith Insurance Attorney
Insurance companies seek to minimize claim payouts as part of their regular practice and the adjusters they employ are well trained in doing so. Sometimes, it can feel like you are getting the runaround from your insurance provider. Policyholders should seek help with their hail damage claim if any of the following instances occur:
- Inability to get a hold of the insurance adjuster assigned to your claim
- Unreasonable insurance claim payment delays following an expected disaster
- The claims adjuster disputes the origin of damage or total amount of damage
- Bad faith insurance denials, meaning the insurer denies coverage even though they have no legal basis to do so
- The insurance company attempts to underpay your claim after you got an independent assessment
- You can’t reach an agreement in settlement negotiations
Generally speaking, serious damage to homes and businesses usually warrants attorney involvement. Hail encounters can directly affect the resale value of your property and devalue the overall worth of your home.
Don’t let the insurance company trick you into accepting a lowball settlement offer or unfair denial. The legal team at FlorinIRoebig have the resources and experience to handle the most complex and expensive hail damage insurance claims.
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Since 1985, the law firm FlorinIRoebig has collected millions of dollars against bad faith insurance companies. If you’re a Texas home or business owner and have recently sustained property damage caused by wind or hail, you want a dedicated attorney on your side to protect your most valuable asset. With offices in Texas, we are currently serving all policyholders statewide, including those who live in the following cities:
- San Antonio
- Fort Worth
Call us toll free at (800)226-6581 for real-time assistance.