As the weather becomes more unpredictable worldwide, hail storms have become increasingly severe.
Having large chunks of ice free-falling from the atmosphere sounds terrifying, and when you consider the billions of dollars of damage hail storms cause each year, people are right to be scared.
In fact, the Insurance Information Institute estimates that one major insurance company alone paid out over $3.5 billion in hail damage claims in 2022.
If your property has suffered hail damage, your insurance carrier may give you a difficult time when you make a claim against your policy.
An experienced hail damage insurance claim attorney at Johns Law Group, PLLC may be able to help.
What Is Hail Damage?
Hail damage refers to real and personal property damage caused by the impact of hailstones.
Hailstones are formed when thunderstorms carry raindrops into extremely cold areas of the atmosphere, causing the rain to freeze into ice pellets.
You do not have to live in a cold climate to experience hail.
Common types of hail damage include:
- Damage to vehicles or boats;
- Roof damage;
- Broken, damaged, or overturned food crops; and
- Damage to outdoor property.
Floridians experience millions of dollars in losses each year due to hail damage.
A hail damage attorney can help you obtain compensation for your losses.
Types of Florida Hail Damage Typically Covered by Insurance
Insurance policies typically cover various types of hail damage, especially in places like Florida, which are prone to severe weather events.
The exact coverage can have different deductibles and coverage limits, so it is crucial to review your policy documents and understand what is included and excluded.
Additionally, some policies might have specific provisions related to hail damage.
Contact your insurance provider and discuss the details of your coverage to ensure you have a clear understanding of what is protected under your policy.
Here are some common types of hail damage usually covered by insurance.
Auto insurance, specifically comprehensive coverage, typically covers hail damage to vehicles. This can include repairing dents, replacing shattered glass, and fixing other damage caused by hailstones. Be sure to understand what your deductible is and whether there are any limitations on your policy.
Homeowner’s insurance policies generally cover roof damage caused by hail.
This may involve repairs or replacement of damaged roofing materials like shingles, tiles, or metal panels.
The extent of coverage might depend on factors like the age of the roof and the severity of the damage.
Real Property Damage
Homeowner’s insurance may also cover hail damage to the exterior of your property, such as damage to siding, paint, fences, and sheds.
Insurance companies can be difficult to work with when you try to make a claim for exterior property damage because it can be hard to separate usual wear and tear from damage caused by hail. Keeping up-to-date pictures of the exterior of your property on file can help smooth your claim process.
Personal Property Damage
For renters or homeowners, personal property damaged by hail may be covered by insurance. This includes items like electronics, furniture, and other belongings.
Agricultural insurance, including crop insurance, often covers damage to crops caused by hail. Farmers can file claims to receive compensation for lost yields or damaged crops.
What Should You Do If You Have Hail Damage?
Inspect for Damage
After the storm has ended, check all areas of your property for hail damage, such as your roof, gutters, windows, paint, deck, doors, and siding. Check to see if any of your personal property was affected by the storm.
Be sure to document all your findings.
Review Your Insurance Policy
First, make sure your insurance policy covers hail damage.
Then, check your deductible amount, which is what you will have to pay out of pocket toward your claim. Understanding the terms of your insurance policy before filing a claim can make for a smoother process.
Speak with a hail damage attorney if you need help.
Get an Independent Estimate of the Damage
If the loss is substantial, you may want to hire a contractor or adjuster to obtain a third-party opinion about the damage and how much it might cost to fix. An independent estimate can help you accurately assess the total cost of damages. It can also help you see if your insurance provider is attempting to underpay your claim.
File a Claim with Your Insurer
Florida has strict time limits on how long you have to file a claim. Be sure to document and report any property damage caused by wind and hail as soon as it is safe. After you file a claim, your insurance company will likely send out its own adjuster to assess the extent of your property damage.
Speak to a Hail Damage Attorney About Your Claim
Filing an insurance claim for hail damage can be challenging. Florida insurance laws can be confusing. It may also be difficult to understand your rights under your insurance policy.
Insurance companies often use the confusion created by their policies to offer claimants the smallest settlement possible. To maximize your recovery, be sure to work with a skilled hail damage attorney.
Contact a Florida Hail Damage Attorney Today
Our attorneys know the strategies employed by insurers to reduce settlements and can fight on your behalf for just compensation. You can help make certain your rights are upheld and that you get the most money for your hail damage claim by working with Johns Law Group today.