Severe weather is an expected cost of living or doing business in the Houston area. Whether the harsh conditions are the result of a hurricane, tornado, or powerful thunderstorms, the threat of hail is constant. These balls of solid ice have the potential to shatter windows, punch holes in roofs, or damage exterior heating and cooling units.
Property owners will rightly want to pursue compensation for these losses by filing an insurance claim through their homeowners or businessowners policy. However, the insurance companies may be hesitant to make payments or may offer a settlement for a fraction of the value of the damage. It is in these situations that a Houston hail damage claims lawyer at Kirk Law Firm, PLLC might be able to help. Our first party insurance claims attorneys work to evaluate the source of damage, compare that with your insurance policy, and demand that insurance companies comply with their contractual obligations and state law.
The Source of the Hail Matters
Any owner of real estate knows that the specific terms and conditions of a homeowners or business owners policy are crucial. While these may appear to be catch-all policies, the fact is that a policy will only provide protection against certain forms of hail damage.
When it comes to hail damage, the weather conditions at the time of the event may be the determining factor as to whether an insurance policy will pay out. For example, a policy may provide protection against damage that results from tornados or other examples of thunderstorm patterns. Though, it may not cover damage that results from hurricanes or other tropical weather systems. A close reading of one’s insurance policy is essential when seeking coverage or filing a claim. One of our Houston hail damage claims attorneys is prepared to assist property owners in evaluating their current or potential future coverage.
Insurance Companies Actions and Protecting the Rights of Customers
If it appears that a policy does cover the damage caused by hail, it is vital to evaluate the actions of insurance companies when dealing with the claim. While it is not illegal for an insurance company to deny a claim for a legitimate reason, it does violate state law for an insurance company to deny a claim in bad faith. It is also a violation of the law under Texas Insurance Code § 542.003 for an insurance company to:
- Refuse to examine the facts of a claim
- Fail to properly communicate with a customer
- Offer a fair settlement package after a covered loss
Bad faith as it applies to hail claims can involve an insurance company refusing to evaluate the true source of damage. For example, there may be little evidence to differentiate between a broken window that results from hail and similar damage caused by a child throwing a rock. If an insurance company refuses to accept local weather reports on the day of the loss, this may be a violation of state law.
Once it become apparent that hail did cause damage under a policy, those insurance companies must make an immediate fair settlement offer. This offer must align with the terms of the policy as well as estimates for a thorough repair.
If an insurance company commits any act of bad faith, they may be liable for damages under this law. A demand for compensation can include not just the payment of a claim, but also interest payments while waiting for the case to resolve and even attorney’s fees. Allowing a Houston hail damage claims lawyer at Kirk Law Firm, PLLC to take the lead in a case could improve the chances of receiving fair compensation after an insurance company acts in bad faith.
Speak with a Houston Hail Damage Claims Attorney Immediately
Hail can cause significant damage to a residence or commercial property. Even so, it is important to realize that this damage may not fall under the umbrella of protection provided by an insurance policy. Owners of this land must be sure to check their policies before seeking payment on a claim.
When a policy appears to provide protection, an insurance company must act professionally and in good faith when addressing your concerns. Failure to do so may violate state law and entitle you to substantial compensation. If you have received a denial on a claim for payment after hail damage, reach out to a Houston hail damage claims lawyer now. Our proactive attorneys are ready to listen to your story and fight for the payments that you need to repair your property.