Insurance Disputes for Hail Damage in Florida and Alabama
Experienced attorneys helping policyholders throughout the Southeast
While Florida and Alabama are known for their warmer weather, hailstorms do happen. Actually, the fact that the temperature doesn’t fall too low may even increase the odds of a hailstorm instead of a snowstorm. Earlier this year, 2019, Orlando.com reported a heavy hail storm in central Florida.
Generally, hail damage is covered by homeowners’ insurance though there are exceptions. At Warhurst Law, attorney Gene Warhurst has hands-on experience as a claims adjuster – his career before becoming a respected insurance dispute lawyer in Florida and Alabama. Our team understands the policy issues and the damage issues associated with the cost to make repairs, and which repairs are needed. If you sustained losses in a hailstorm, you can trust our team to work on your behalf.
Types of hail damage coverage
Hail is frozen precipitation which consists of irregular ice lumps. When the hailstones are large, they can cause extensive damage to roofs, windows, and other parts of a home or building.
Most property insurance policies cover hail damage, but getting your fair payment isn’t always easy. As with all contracts, the fundamental key is the language in the contract. Homeowners and property owners concerned about hail should make sure that hail damage is specifically mentioned in the contract. The policy should also state the amount of any deductible so that you understand how much you pay for repairs and how much the insurance company pays.
A homeowners’ policy may exclude hail damage coverage or provide for a higher deductible, if the owner lives in an area prone to hail damage. States that are in the path of hurricanes, such as Florida and Alabama, may also deny insurance coverage for hail, or have a high deductible.
Also, some insurance companies offer separate wind and hail insurance. This insurance may be used if your homeowners’ coverage doesn’t cover hail damage or as a secondary source for coverage.
What you need to know about your hail coverage
Some insurance policies will only pay for structural damage but exclude cosmetic damage, or attempt to devalue what they owe you because they exclude cosmetic costs. Cosmetic damage affects how your home looks but not the functional issues such as heat, whether rain can get into your home, and other quality of life essentials.
Cosmetic losses, however, are important. They can directly affect the resale value of your home, your ability to secure a better loan with a lower percentage, and devalue the overall worth of your property.
Common hail insurance disputes
Warhurst Law is ready to handle the following types of disputes:
- What types of events does your insurance policy cover?
- How did the damage occur?
- Was the damage cosmetic or functional?
- Do any other insurance policies provide coverage?
- What is the amount of the deductible?
- What was damaged?
- Did you sustain contents losses?
- Were other parts of your property damaged?
A major issue often centers around what type or repairs are needed. Let’s use roof damage as an example:
- If hail damaged your roof, can a few shingles be replaced, or do you need to fix the whole roof? Remember that you are entitled to match what you have. If you cannot do that, then the roof may be replaced in full, and your policy may cover that.
- If the roof needs to be replaced, the insurance company may argue that there should be some depreciation of value for the replacement costs. Generally, they’ll argue the amount of the repairs or replacement shouldn’t be more than the depreciated value of the roof. Whether depreciation is allowed depends on the language in your contract.
- The insurance company may also argue that other factors caused the damage to the roof, and attempt to deny payment altogether. This may be more likely if you have a named-perils policy.
At Warhurst Law, we handle all types of natural disasters – hail, wind, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires, winter storms, and more. We are experienced at getting the right professionals to inspect and document your damage, and analyze your repair costs and the damage to your possessions. We have a strong track record of negotiating just settlements. When insurance companies aren’t playing fair, we don’t hesitate to go to court on your behalf.
When hailstones cause havoc to your Alabama or Florida property, call Warhurst Law
If you sustained losses because of hail, and your insurance company won’t play fair, we are ready to fight for you. For help now, call Warhurst Law at 251-207-1296 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment. We represent homeowners and property owners throughout the Southeast including the Florida Panhandle, the Gulf Coast, and Mobile, Alabama.
* Warhurst Law cannot and does not guarantee an outcome to any case.