Anyone who has tried to make an insurance claim knows how hard insurers will fight to avoid paying you what you deserve. This can be frustrating—especially in Texas’s late summer and early autumn months. Whether it’s a hurricane or a hailstorm, extreme weather could drastically affect your personal and professional life.
1. Assess What Damage Has Occurred
Though much of the damage caused by hail may not be visible to the naked eye, it is important to make sure you don’t have any leaks, broken windows or other damage that needs immediate attention.
2. Collect Evidence to Support Your Claim
To ensure your claim is covered by insurance, collect all evidence right from the start. Examples of supporting evidence may include:
- Estimates and repair bills
- Photos of property damage, including damage to neighbors and surrounding areas
- Detailed written notes about how the damage occurred and what interactions you have already had with your insurance provider
Also helpful is obtaining contact information for witnesses who saw the extent of the storm and nearby damage.
3. Go Over Your Insurance Policy Carefully
Understanding every detail of your insurance policy and what it covers is important. Insurance policies contain overly complicated language, and it can be difficult to determine what is covered and what steps you are expected to take before and during the claims process. An experienced attorney can help you understand your policy and the steps required to recover for your damage.
4. Call an Experienced Contractor
Have an experienced contractor come and assess the damage to your home. Often damage caused by hail is difficult to see. Experienced contractors know what to look for and how to best document the damage for the insurance company.
5. File a Claim With Your Insurance Carrier
Most policies require that you file a claim within a specific amount of time. It is imperative to have the accurate date of loss, or the date that the storm occurred. The insurance company will likely send out an adjuster to assess the damage.
The Texas Insurance Code requires all insurance companies to respond in a timely manner to claims; fairly assess the claim; and pay what is due to the homeowner. If your insurance carrier does not do all these things, you should immediately contact an attorney. The experienced attorneys at Kirk Law Firm can help you navigate this process. In many cases, this does not require litigation. Our attorneys can help you understand what your rights are, what you are rightfully owed, and your options to obtain that compensation.