According to the Insurance Information Institute, Texas had the highest number of properties affected by hail in 2022. Fortunately, experienced insurance attorneys in the Houston areancan facilitate hailstorm damage claims and reverse denials for policyholders.
At MMA Law Firm, our 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.
Houston is no stranger to hailstorms, and depending on how the damage occurred during inclement weather, insurance companies may look for reasons to deny a claim. Most Houston homeowners’ policies protect against wind, hurricane, and hail damage unless the property is considered a high-risk area, requiring additional Texas Windstorm Insurance. It is prudent for Houston homeowners to have hail insurance claims attorneys review their policy when purchasing a home to ascertain if the property is adequately covered.
There are two different types of homeowners insurance policies in Texas:
A Houston hail damage claim lawyer can explain the difference between the two types of policies and prepare correspondence that speaks to the language that will cover hailstorm damages when claims are denied or payments are reduced.
The Texas weather forensics company named HailStrike measures hail by intensity, from pea-sized hail causing no notable damage to destructive golf ball-sized hail that can damage cars, break roof tiles, punch through roof shingles, break window frames, and in the worst case, super hailstorm grapefruit-sized hail that can destroy concrete roofs, wooden walls, and brick walls.
Hail damage insurance lawyers in Houston will advise owners to document all items that have even a small amount of damage caused by a hailstorm. For example, walls and ceilings may need to be replaced if the infrastructure was compromised — or even 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. Hail damage claim lawyers will utilize detailed records when they attempt to reverse a claim or prove that an insurance carrier is not paying out on a valid policy following the terms of the contract. Policyholders should:
If a roof is damaged during a hailstorm in Texas, property owners should be able to make a property damage claim and have it replaced or fixed in a timely manner to avoid any subsequent damage to the building structure or personal belongings inside the home.
Some providers will try to deny a hailstorm damage claim, so it is in a policyholder’s best interest to hire an independent loss adjuster to verify the types of damages to the home. Independent loss adjusters are usually contacted for damaged amounts above $10,000. In addition, policyholders have one year from the date of loss to file a claim with the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) if they have purchased additional coverage with the agency.
Houston hail damage claim attorneys are instrumental in communicating with unreasonable insurance adjusters and parent companies to assure a fair and prompt settlement for homeowners worried about property damage.
When questioning damage estimates, the carrier should be contacted or TWIA at 1-800-788-8247. They will request policy and claim numbers before proceeding with the investigation. It is prudent for policyholders to make any requests in writing and keep a copy. If civil action is warranted, skilled hail damage claim attorneys in Houston will utilize Texas statutes to build a case against an insurance carrier violating the terms of their contract with a Texas homeowner. They can also help draft a formal complaint to report the carrier to the Texas Department of Insurance.
When policyholders cannot agree with insurance providers regarding the costs to a home from hailstorm damages, they can file a property insurance complaint with the state. The Texas Insurance Administration will forward a copy of the complaint to the insurance company, obtain further information or explanation of the dispute on the policyholder’s behalf, explain insurance policy provisions, suggest actions to resolve the insurance problem, and take corrective action when an insurance company is acting in violation of state laws.
If all efforts made with the insurance company and the Texas Department of Insurance do not yield a positive outcome to correct hailstorm damages, it may be time to switch insurance carriers. Policyholders should consult with a hail damage claim attorney at MMA Law Firm, whose main priority is protecting insurance policyholders against unethical insurance practices.