Insurance companies are increasingly denying hail damage claims, even in areas with severe storms. In Texas, for example, reports of softball-sized hail have become more common in recent years, yet insurance companies regularly deny hail damage claims. This is particularly frustrating for policyholders who have remained loyal to their insurance companies for years, only to be denied coverage when they need it most. While it is understandable that insurance companies want to avoid paying large amounts of money for hail damage, denial of valid claims has become a serious problem. Our Texas attorneys at The Voss Law Firm explain why your claim was denied, and where to go from there.
Types of damage hail can cause
Hail can range from a small bb size all the way to a large softball size. No matter how small or large the hail is, it can cause devastating damage to your car, home, and other facilities. Some examples of hail damage include:
- Broken windows and scratches on cars
- Broken windows on houses
- Damage to the roofs of homes and businesses
- Damaged bricks around the houses
Why was my claim denied?
Wind and hail claims are among the most common homeowner claims in Texas. Unfortunately, the damage hail causes to your home isn’t always something you notice right away. It may take weeks or months before you notice a water leak inside your home. Most homeowners do not inspect their rooftops to determine if a storm has damaged their home. As a result, insurance companies often deny claims that are not filed immediately after the storm. If you believe your home has been damaged by the recent storm, it is important to contact your insurance company as soon as possible. The insurance officer will be able to inspect your property and determine if the damage is covered by your policy. Some of the main reasons for your claim to be denied include:
Failure to pay on time
Most home insurance policies are either monthly or quarterly payments. If customers default on their payments, this can be used as a reason to reject any claims they make. For example, if a hailstorm occurs and a customer has not made their previous payments, the insurance company may use this as an excuse to reject the claim. Insurance companies often have strict rules and regulations regarding claims and payments, so it is important that customers are aware of them before submitting a claim.
Cold damage is not deductible
Insurance companies usually send an inspector to assess the damage after a claim is submitted. The inspector looks for evidence of hail damage, among other things. Insurance companies generally want to keep their payments to a minimum, so the inspector may be incentivized not to report the total damage. In cases of severe damage, it may be beneficial to appoint an independent inspector to obtain a second opinion.
Submitting your claim late
Insurance policies usually have a window in which claims must be submitted after the date the damage occurred. It is essential to read the small version of your document to understand how much time you have to file your claim. Insurance companies may reject claims if they are submitted outside the specified window, so it is important to be aware of deadlines.
When to appeal a hail damage claim?
If your claim for hail damage is denied, there are four steps you must take:
Find out why
If you submit a hail damage insurance claim and it is denied, you have the right to receive a written explanation of the refusal within 15 days of providing all the information requested. The letter should state clear and specific reasons for the refusal, and should indicate the section of your policy that supports the refusal. If you don’t have a rejection letter, be sure to request one from your insurance company or adjuster.
Review your insurance policy
If you believe your insurance company acted in bad faith, it is important that you understand your policy and compare the reason(s) for the denial with the language used in your policy. If the reasons are vague or ambiguous, you should seek further clarification in writing from your insurance company. Insurance companies are required to act in good faith, and if you fail to do so, you may be entitled to compensation.
Track all documents
First, document the history of the damage, as well as any details about the damage. This could include photos or videos of the damage, if applicable. It is also important to keep a copy of the claim itself, as well as any correspondence you receive from the insurance company. Finally, be sure to keep track of all the conversations you’ve had about the claim, including the dates, times, and names of each interaction.
Get help enforcing your policy
If your insurance company is giving you a spin or refusing to pay for a claim, it might be time to get some help. Insurance claims can be complex, and it is important to have someone by your side who knows how to navigate the system. An experienced attorney can help you get the compensation you are entitled to, and can also provide guidance on what to do if your claim is denied.
We can help you with your rejected claim
If you experience damage or loss after a hailstorm in your Texas home, contact an experienced insurance claims attorney to protect your legal rights and interests. To find out more, contact The Voss Law Firm, PC for a free consultation using our contact form or call our office at 888-614-7730. We’ve recovered billions of dollars in settlements for our policyholders’ clients and don’t charge any fees unless we win your case.