Hailstorms don’t get as much publicity as other storms in Florida, but like hurricanes and other tropical storms, they can cause lots of damage. In fact, the National Weather Service reports that hailstorms cause about $1 billion in damage per year.
Because they can occur anywhere and are not as predictable as other types of weather, hailstorms can wreak havoc when they hit an area. They may last only five minutes, but they can destroy cars, roofs, windows, screens, siding and other property. Often, homes are left vulnerable to the elements following a destructive hailstorm, and homeowners turn to their insurance companies to pay for the necessary repairs.
Unfortunately, many Florida property owners are discouraged when they discover that the process of filing a claim, getting the funds they believe are owed to them and having repairs made satisfactorily is very difficult. At Malik Law we have helped numerous Florida property owners in this situation get the payment that is rightfully theirs.
Whether you need advice on filing a claim or your Florida hail damage claim has been delayed, denied or underpaid, we can help you obtain the insurance payment you need to make all necessary repairs. We understand insurance law, as well as the tactics insurance companies use to try to avoid paying claims, and want to help you get the settlement you need to repair all damage from the hailstorm.
Damage from Hail
Hailstorms can be very destructive, often causing thousands of dollars of damage to Florida home. However, the amount of damage can actually vary greatly, depending on the size and density of the hailstones, the strength of the wind, the materials used to build your home and the neighboring structures or natural barriers around your home.
The amount of damage can also be deceptive, especially on roofs, so a thorough examination of your home following a hailstorm is recommended. Insurance companies typically want policyholders to file claims as soon as possible after damage occurs. If, for example, you do not realize your roof is damaged until it starts leaking months after the hailstorm, your insurance company may say that too much time has elapsed or the damage is due to normal wear and tear or poor maintenance and refuse to cover the cost of the repairs.
In some cases, hail damage can be dangerous, necessitating immediate repair work. If a roof or windows have sustained serious damage, for example, water could enter the home, causing damage to floors, furniture and other belongings. Broken windows can also leave the home vulnerable to theft and damage from animals. In cases like these, you need to take photos to document the damage but make temporary repairs to prevent further damage that your insurance company may refuse to cover.
Hail Damage Insurance Claims
Hail damage claims should be filed as soon as possible after a hailstorm. Your insurance company will want to know the extent of the damage and the value of any damaged property or items, so taking and submitting photos of the damage, along with written descriptions and receipts (or estimated costs and dates of purchase) for damaged items and structures is advised.
After you file a hail damage insurance claim, your insurance company will send an adjuster to your home to assess the damage and estimate the cost of repairs. It is also a good idea to have an independent professional evaluation of the damage done so you have a basis for understanding, comparing, and, if necessary, disputing the adjuster’s evaluation.
In some areas, insurance policies have a separate deductible for hail damage, which is typically a percentage of your property’s dwelling coverage limit. If this is the case, you will have to pay the deductible amount of the repair or replacement cost.
Hail Damage Claim Disputes
As a property owner, you count on your insurance to cover losses when hail damages your home or business. Unfortunately, however, a number of things can go wrong in the insurance claims process, including:
- Undervaluing a claim– Although homeowner’s insurance typically covers hail damage, your insurance company may claim that the damage is not as extensive as you think it is. For example, they may say your roof requires only repair work, not replacement, when in reality, your roof needs to be replaced. Similarly, they may offer to pay for replacing only a small section of the roof, when the entire roof should be replaced.
- Denying coverage– Most homeowners do not read through their entire insurance policy. This can lead to a denial of claim if the insurance company claims the damage is not covered because it happened too long ago, or because your roof was old and deteriorated to begin with, or because the cost to repair the damage does not exceed your deductible amount, or some other possibly illegitimate reason.
- Delayed approval or payment– When processing appears to drag on for weeks without any explanation for the delay, it could indicate a bigger problem. Insurance companies are notorious for dragging out the claims process and wearing down claimants who may be willing to accept less than they really deserve or need just to finally settle and get paid.
If your insurance company undervalues your loss, denies your claim, or delays approving your claim, leaving you without the resources to adequately repair hail damage, it is time to consult with an attorney. The experienced insurance claim attorneys at Malik Law can help you negotiate with the insurance company, and, if necessary, fight in court for the settlement you need.
Get Help from Experienced Orlando Hail Damage Attorneys
The Orlando hail damage insurance claim attorneys of Malik Law have extensive experience helping home and business owners with the insurance claims process. We know the tactics insurance companies often employ to avoid paying a claim and can help you get the payment you deserve. If you have suffered losses as a result of hail, we will aggressively advocate on your behalf to ensure that you are compensated for your losses.
Call us at 407-500-1000 or submit our online form today for a free consultation. One of our experienced Orlando hail damage attorneys will explain your rights and discuss how we can help you.