How To Get Fair Insurance Coverage After Hail Damage To Your Florida Property
Hail storms in Florida can strike quickly and without warning, causing danger as they arrive and damage after they pass. Sometimes shockingly, a 5-minute storm can cause destruction to cars, homes, and all aspects of a property’s exterior. Most hail damage to homes involves roofs, windows, and siding. The amount of damage can depend on the size and strength of the hailstones, the wind and rain associated with a storm, the materials used to build your home and its exterior. Obviously, damage to any part of your home due to hail can be expensive and time-consuming to repair. Hail damage events are not uncommon, with over 3,763 reported hail storms in the U.S. in 2021, causing approximately $8-14 billion in insured losses each year.
A Florida homeowner’s first question may be, “Does my homeowner’s insurance cover hail damage?” The answer, under most home insurance policies, is yes. Some insurance policies may have separate deductibles for hail damage, which could be a flat amount or a percentage of the dwelling coverage limit. Whether the insurance company offers a fair payment to cover all damage, though, can be a different story.
What to Do After a Hail Storm Damages Your Property
The first thing to do after hail damages your property is to assess and itemize any damage. Take pictures, make notes, and begin the process of preparing your insurance claim. If possible, get pictures of the hailstones as soon as it is safe to do so, for measurement purposes. You will also want to review your policy’s terms as soon as possible. This is both to confirm that your damage should be covered, and to make sure you don’t miss any important steps or deadlines in filing your claim.
You will need to mitigate the damage and make sure the problems don’t worsen. Often this means cleaning up broken glass, boarding up windows or using tarps or other items to cover damaged areas. However, you don’t want to take any further steps to repair or replace property until a claims adjuster has inspected the damage as part of their report.
Prompt notice to your insurer is critical – not only to comply with your insurer’s own rules, but to speed up your claim and receive payment sooner. With damage to a roof or windows, nobody wants to wait any longer than necessary to get the items fixed and paid for.
What to Do if Your Insurer Delays, Undervalues, or Denies Your Claim
Unfortunately, getting a quick and fair payout on a hail damage insurance claim can be easier said than done. Insurance companies are notorious for dragging out claims, bogging down insureds with paperwork and administrative issues, and sometimes denying claims entirely.
Frequently, an insurance company will undervalue a claim, saying that the damage was not as extensive as claimed by the insured. They may point to the age of the roof, stating it was old and damaged to begin with. Or they may allege that damage to your siding was already there, or caused by something other than the hail storm.
Other times the insurer will deny the claim, stating that the damage does not exceed your deductible amount, or that the roof was not covered in its condition. They may also point to any alleged delays or missed deadlines by the insured to deny the claim.
Under Florida Statute Sec. 627.70131, an insurer has certain responsibilities to reply to homeowners in a timely manner (usually within 14 days), and also to pay claims in a timely manner.
If you believe your insurance company is not treating you fairly, or fear your claim may get undervalued or denied, it helps to discuss your options with an experienced Florida hail damage attorney that knows how to fight these battles with insurance companies. They may be able to recognize and assert important legal rights on your behalf, and help you obtain a fair settlement for your property damage.
Our Daytona, Florida Hail Damage Insurance Attorneys Will Make Your Voice Heard
The attorneys at Bundza & Rodriguez, P.A., have handled all manners of property insurance disputes, including those involving hail damage. Sometimes, the fact of the matter is it takes professional help to make sure an insurance company is playing fair with you. Our legal team will thoroughly review all aspects of your claim and discuss the options available to you. Call our Daytona law offices at 386-252-5170 or contact our Daytona Beach property damage attorneys online to request a consultation today.