Although you may not associate Florida with frozen rain, the Sunshine State does get its share of hail. When a thunderstorm brings hail, it can seriously damage homes, vehicles, and crops. As a homeowner, you will most likely turn to your homeowner’s insurance to cover losses caused by hail. Unfortunately, you may find that your policy doesn’t fully cover your losses or that your deductible is much higher than you thought.
At Malik Law, we have seen how quickly a homeowner can be caught off guard when a storm blows through the area. A better understanding of the potential risk hail presents can help you choose the right coverage and deductibles for your homeowner’s insurance. If you have already suffered hail damage, the Miami insurance claim attorneys of Malik Law can help you get the payment you’re entitled to for your losses.
Understanding the Hail Risk
Hail is a type of precipitation found in cumulonimbus clouds that forms into irregular pellets or balls of ice at least 5 mm in diameter. Updrafts carry raindrops into the highest parts of the cloud and the super-cooled liquid droplets collide, creating hailstones. The internal up and downdrafts carry the hail through the cloud until the cloud can no longer support the size of the hailstone, at which point the hail falls to the ground.
According to the Florida Climate Center, no other part of the nation has more thunderstorm activity than Florida. The Miami area averages 70 days of thunderstorms a year; however, most of those storms do not result in hail reaching the ground because the freezing level in a Florida thunderstorm is so high that hail typically melts before it reaches the ground. Although not common, there have been about a dozen events of hail of over 3 inches landing in Florida. In fact, in 1996, hail the size of softballs caused $24 million in damage to one area of Florida.
Hail Damage Coverage
While hail damage is typically covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy, the unusual and unpredictable nature of hail can cause homeowners to underestimate the potential risks associated with it. That, in turn, may result in choosing coverage limits that are too low and deductibles that are too high.
For example, if your home does suffer hail damage, it could completely destroy your roof. which will cost thousands of dollars to replace. Hail can also cause considerable damage to your home and vehicles. To protect yourself from the cost of these expensive repairs, it is imperative that you understand your deductibles and coverage amounts, as well as any exclusions to your homeowner’s policy.
What to Do after a Hail Storm
If you experienced a hail storm in your area, you should have your home inspected by a reputable contractor immediately after the storm. Hail can cause hidden damage to your roof, which could cause severe water damage down the road if not detected and repaired. If damage is uncovered, get a written estimate for the cost of repairs and be sure to document the damage with photos.
In some cases, the damage may pose an ongoing risk. In that case, you may need to take action by making a temporary repair. Failing to mitigate the damage may lead your insurance company to deny a claim. The out-of-pocket expenses you incur when making necessary repairs such as these may be reimbursed by the insurance company.
Hail Damage Insurance Claims
If your home or property was recently damaged by hail, you should file an insurance claim as soon as possible. Shortly after the claim is filed, your insurance company will likely send out an adjuster to assess the extent of the damage.
It is in your best interest to have your own licensed contractor or appraiser also inspect the damage to ensure that all of your losses are documented. You may also wish to consult with an experienced hail damage claims attorney at this point to increase the likelihood of your claim being paid satisfactorily.
Get Help from an Experienced Miami Hail Damage Insurance Claims Attorney
Whether you are going to file a claim for hail damage or you have already filed a claim and it was denied or underpaid, the insurance claim attorneys at Malik Law can help. We have extensive experience helping homeowner’s just like you through the insurance claims process, including litigation, if necessary, and we are committed to seeing that you are fully and fairly compensated for the hail damage your home or property suffered.
Call us at 407-500-1000 or submit our online form today. One of our experienced insurance claims attorneys will be glad to advise you on your rights and legal options at no cost to you.
Florida State University. Florida Climate Center, (n.d.). Thunderstorms.