What Should Houston Homeowners Know About Filing Successful Hail Damage Insurance Claims?
Economic and insured losses derived from natural catastrophes in the U.S. were substantially above the long-term average in 2021. The overall economic total was estimated at $169 billion with insurers covering nearly $92 billion. The Soil Conservation Service (SCS) reported losses driven by spring hail events, which included notable late April hailstorms that impacted the greater metro areas of San Antonio and Fort Worth (Texas). According to the NOAA’s Severe Storms database Texas had the most major hail events identified in a 2020 report, citing 601 out of the 4,611 major hailstorms in the country. While hail damage may be covered in standard home insurance, that coverage may be impacted by the proximity of a property to the coast. It is best to consult with a Houston insurance claims lawyer who can explain how coverages are applied relevant to the impacts of property damage caused by hail events at a policyholder’s specific location near Houston.
Houston and Hail Damage
In 2021, the Houston area was affected by hail conditions on March 17th with 1 inch hail reported affecting residents living in the 77055 zip code, and again with six reports on June 15th with 1 inch hail within ten miles of the city affecting residents of the 77018 zip code. Hail-related insured losses between 2000 and 2019 averaged between $8 billion to $14 billion a year, according to Aon. Homeowners who have questions surrounding hailstorm damage claims should consult with insurance lawyers who can explain how policy language and included perils will affect payment outcomes for Houston, Texas residents. McClenny Moseley & Associates legal professionals will act on behalf of clients when an insurance company adjusts a claim by downgrading the extent of damage in an attempt to underpay, or deny a Houston homeowner’s loss after a hailstorm, violating the protections of the Texas Insurance Code.
Homeowners Insurance Policies
A Texas insurance claims attorney can explain the difference between a named perils policy and a comprehensive coverage policy and how that may impact hailstorm damage claims processing for Houston residents. For example, if a roof is damaged during a hailstorm in Houston, Texas, property owners should be able to make a property damage claim and have it replaced, or fixed within a timely manner to avoid any subsequent damage to the building structure, or personal belongings inside the home. Utilizing experts such as Hailstrike, the Texas weather forensics company may be necessary to build a case for maximum damages as they measure hail by intensity that can cause minimal damage, to destructive damage, to super hailstorms that destroy the infrastructure of a home.
Hail is measured by intensity on a scale of H0 to H10 according to TORRO, a weather research group based in the United Kingdom), and Hailstrike, a Texas weather forensics company.
- H0: 0.2 – 0.4 inches. Pea-sized hail. Usually does no noticeable damage.
- H1: 0.2 – 0.8 inches. Mothball-sized hail. Makes holes in plants.
- H2: 0.2 – 1.2 inches. Grape-sized hail. Strips leaves off plants and damages garden vegetables.
- H3: 0.4 – 1.8 inches. Walnut-sized hail. Breaks glass, scrapes paint and wood, dents metal.
- H4: 0.6 – 2.4 inches. Table tennis ball-sized hail. Breaks windows, scrapes paint, kills birds.
- H5: 0.8 – 3 inches. Golf ball-sized hail. Breaks roof tiles, dents cars, strips tree bark and cuts through branches, kills small animals
- H6: 1.2 – 3.9 inches. Jumbo egg-sized hail. Punches through roof shingles, breaks window frames, leaves scoring in metal.
- H7: 1.8 – 4.9 inches. Tennis ball-sized hail. Shatters roofs, breaks window frames, heavy damage to cars.
- H8: 2.4 – 5 inches. Softball-sized hail. Destroys shingle, or tile roofs, damages concrete roofs, small trees are split, or knocked over, humans risk serious injury.
- H9: 3.2 inches and up. Grapefruit-sized hail. Concrete roofs are broken, or destroyed, wooden walls are damaged, large trees are split, or knocked over, humans risk fatal injuries.
- H10: 4 inches and up. Melon-sized hail. Brick and wooden walls are damaged, humans risk fatal injuries.
Homeowners should document all items that have been damaged, even damages that seem minimal caused by a hailstorm. Walls and ceilings may need to be replaced, as well as carpets, drapes, clothing, and family heirlooms that may have received extreme weather damage after hail pierced a window, roof, or door. Policyholders should not try to clean the house themselves, as mold and related particles may cause health issues. Insurance claims should pay for professional cleaning if a covered storm caused damage to the interior of the home structure.
Report to TWIA and Talk to an Attorney.
When problematic hailstorm damage claims occur, the carrier should be contacted, and/or TWIA at 1-800-788-8247. They will request policy numbers and claim numbers before going further with claim investigation. It is prudent for policyholders to make any requests in writing and keep a copy. Policyholders should consult with a hail damage claim attorney at McClenny Moseley & Associates, where their main priority is to protect insurance policyholders against unethical insurance practices.
McClenny Moseley, & Associates, PLLC
1415 Louisiana Street, Suite 2900
Houston, Texas 77002