- July 1, 2020
- Posted by: Tim Adams
- Category: Insurance Claim
Texas is the number one state for hail damage claims. Hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to homes, cars, and other personal property are reported each year. The good news is that people who suffered property damage due to hail may be able to file an insurance claim for repairs. The bad news is that many people believe common myths about hail damage insurance claims that prevent them from getting the benefits they deserve.
Believing these claim myths can cause people not to file insurance claims or fight back if their insurance company denies or underpays their claim.
To help you avoid both of these situations, we’ve compiled a list of the most common myths and facts related to hail damage claims. If hail or severe weather impacted your home or business, keep reading so you can make informed decisions before you file a claim.
1. “I shouldn’t file a claim for roof damage unless I can see the damage.”
Myth. It’s easy to assume that there was no damage if you don’t see any missing shingles. However, shingles are usually blown off a roof by wind, not by hail. Insurance companies don’t use missing shingles as identifying criteria for hail damage, and neither should you.
Hail damage to a roof is near impossible to identify from the ground. Get your roof inspected by a roofing contractor who is not only trained to identify hail damage, but has plenty of experience doing so. An insurance adjuster’s inspection is not good enough – they lack the training and expertise to identify hail damage correctly.
DO NOT just assume there is no roof damage. Get a professional roof inspection – most of them are free! If you do have damage and it goes undetected, it could escalate to roof leaks or other more severe problems with time, and you might not be able to obtain insurance compensation for the ensuing damage.
2. “My roof warranty will cover hail damage.”
Myth. This is a common belief among people who recently had the roof on their house replaced or people whose homes have roofs that are still under warranty. Unfortunately, roof warranties offered by contractors, builders, and manufacturers often exclude hail damage.
3. “If my roof only sustained minor damage, it’s better NOT to file a claim.”
Myth. You should always report hail damage, no matter how minor. If you don’t deal with the damage now, it could lead to more severe problems later, like roof leaks.
4. “If I file a claim, my insurance company will cancel my policy.”
Myth. According to the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), homeowner’s insurance carriers cannot cancel a policy unless:
- It’s been in effect for less than 60 days
- You don’t pay your premium on time
- The TDI determines that continuing the policy would violate insurance laws
- You file a fraudulent claim
- The hazard your policy covers increased (provided the hazard was within your control and caused your policy premium to increase).
5. “If I file a claim, my rates will increase.”
This could be true. Although your rates may go up after you file, this could be because of factors beyond your control. For instance, if the hail storm damaged many other homes, many people will likely file. Insurance carriers often raise rates when they receive a lot of claims in a short period of time.
It would be best if you did not let this deter you from filing a claim. It may be the only way to get the funds you need to repair the damage to your home. Whether you file a claim or not, you are going to pay the higher premium. But if you do not file a claim, the higher premium will fund other people’s insurance claims while you get nothing.
6. “Once my insurance carrier denies my claim, I cannot obtain compensation.”
Myth. There have been many, many cases where the insurance carrier denied a perfectly legitimate claim for property damage from hail.
If you are in this situation, your best option is to meet with an experienced public adjuster to review your damage and claim. There are many reasons your claim could have been denied or underpaid; we can help you get to the bottom of the situation and get the correct payout.
7. “There is a one-year time limit for filing a claim.”
This could be true. Your policy should state the time limit for filing claims. It is better to double-check your policy than to assume how much time the insurance company gives you to file a claim.
In the case of truly severe hailstorms that impact large geographic areas, an insurance carrier could extend your deadline for filing a claim. However, you should still file ASAP. Waiting might look suspicious to the insurance company and make it seem like you’re just trying to get money, while your home is damage-free.
8. “Insurance carriers don’t have to pay to replace a roof.”
This could be true. Sometimes insurance carriers say they will only pay to repair the damaged sections of the roof rather than replace the whole thing. This can be true, but it mostly depends on the details of your policy.
The insurance carrier may be offering to pay for sections of the roof because it costs less than replacing the whole thing. If you are in this situation, it is best to consult an expert to make sure you receive all of the compensation you are entitled to. You could end up voiding the warranty on your roof by repairing only sections instead of replacing the whole thing.
9. “My insurance carrier doesn’t have to pay if my roof was neglected.”
This could be true, but you shouldn’t take your insurance carrier’s word for it. The goal of every insurance company out there is to spend as little as possible on policyholders’ claims. In turn, this means they will use every tactic they can think of to deny or devalue your claim, including blaming damage on negligence or the age of your roof.
Have Questions Related To A Hail Damage Claim?
Our expert team is here to help! As local North Texas natives, we have had our fair share of hail damage claims and are happy to help answer any questions you may have or ensure your claim is being fairly paid. Contact us today and request a free claim evaluation.