Hail Damage Attorneys in Florida
Florida is no stranger to hail. The often-damaging weather phenomenon is especially common in the early Spring months and can cause serious headaches for business, home and vehicle owners. The good news is your homeowners insurance should cover hail damage. The bad news, for many homeowners trying to file a hail damage claim, is the difficulty involved with getting the insurance company to honor a hail damage claim.
What can complicate hail property damage cases are the deductibles and coverage limits for hail damage, which may not be the same as other types of damages your policy covers. If you have a particularly high deductible for hail damage, you may be forced to pay for roof and home repairs out of pocket.
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What to Do After Hail Damages Your Home?
Florida hailstorms often do significant damage to roofs. A compromised roof can leave your home’s interior and personal property vulnerable to additional damage. If your roof has been damaged by hail, it’s important to take the following steps:
If additional damage occurs after the hail, such as water damage to the interior of your home or property because your home’s roof was damaged, the insurance company may try to deny those additional damages unless you took steps to prevent them.
You may also want to take a picture of your roof before storm season. Some insurance company claims adjusters may try to say the damage was due to wear and tear or improper upkeep. Being able to show a before and after can sometimes help boost the evidence for your claim’s legitimacy.
It’s sometimes in the homeowners’ best interest to have a contractor or independent claims adjuster present when the insurance company’s claims adjuster is at your home evaluating the damage. A third party can help ensure the insurance company’s adjuster doesn’t dismiss the damage as unrelated to hail or underestimate the extent of damages and cost of repairs.
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How the Size of Hail Matters
Not all hail is likely to cause damage. Smaller hail, which is generally a quarter inch or half-inch ball of ice roughly the size of a pea or marble, likely won’t cause damage to your home or vehicle. Hail with the diameter of a penny, about three-quarters of an inch or greater, will likely cause damage.
Hail has the potential to get much larger. Hail with diameters of four to four and a half inches, roughly the size of a grapefruit or soft ball, have been documented. Larger sized hail can easily smash windows, severely damage cars and even cause significant injury.
Hail is formed high up in the atmosphere. It picks up speed on its way to the ground, and can impact at speeds of up to 70 mph.
Time Can Make a Difference
Hail damaged roofs can be difficult to diagnose right away. Some homeowners may not realize there was any damage until a heavy rainstorm hits and your roof is suddenly leaking due to the extensive hail damage caused in a previous year’s hailstorm.
Just because time has passed doesn’t necessarily mean your claim won’t be honored. If your roof’s integrity was compromised by hail, which is covered by most Florida homeowners insurance policies, you should be compensated for repairs by your insurance company.
What to Watch out for When Dealing with the Insurance Company
Property damage attorneys are familiar with insurance company tactics. Whether intentional or unintentional, these mistakes can end up costing homeowners significant out of pocket roof damage repair costs. Some of the most common strategies insurance companies use include:
- Wanting to only pay for patching a roof rather than fully replacing a roof damaged by hail
- Underestimating the scope of damages
- Asserting the damage was from an excluded peril or uncovered wear and tear
- Arguing that, since your roof was already old, your claim will be “depreciated” based on the age of your roof
When to Speak with a Hail Damage Attorney
If an insurance company is trying to tell you that your home’s hail damage isn’t attributable to hail and is therefore not covered, you should strongly consider speaking with a hail damage attorney in Florida.
The Florida property damage attorneys at Kanner & Pintaluga have extensive experience with hail damage claims and can help you understand your chance for receiving the claim payment you deserve. We will fight to make sure you get the money you need to make the necessary repairs to your home and property.
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