In the aftermath of a severe weather event, it can take a few days or even a few weeks to assess the damage to a home or business fully. Most insurance companies require “prompt” notice of damage—and each have their own specific deadlines for reporting damage spelled out in the owner’s policy. While some policies offer a lot of leeway in the time to report claims, Attorney Bill Voss knows that sooner is always better than later when it comes to filing a hail damage claim.
Why it Is Best to File a Hail Damage Claim Sooner Rather Than Later
The biggest reason to report damage to a roof is that it gives an insurance company less weight to deny a claim. Insurers may argue that the damage you are claiming was not caused by hail, but by another factor that happened in the time it took you to file a claim. Even if the insurer agrees to cover damages, it can use your late reporting as an excuse to pay for only a portion of the damages—significantly underpaying your claim.
When it comes to filing a claim for hail damage, you should know that you are fighting against:
- Time. It can take weeks or even months before policyholders see the full impact of hail damage. What seems like superficial damage to a few shingles can cause leaks that weaken the structure for years after the initial event.
- Other claimants. If a storm affects everyone in a single area, you could be waiting a long time before the damage to your roof can be fixed. Local inspectors, roofers, and contractors may be overrun with demands, delaying repairs and adding to the cost of your claim.
- The insurer. Millions of hail damage claims are filed each year in the U.S., and Texas alone accounts for hundreds of thousands of these claims. High volume increases the odds that more policies will be denied since the insurer can only afford to pay out a few claims in order to keep its profits.
- Your policy. Texas business owners might want to choose coverage carefully when it comes to hail damage. If you have a low deductible, you will pay less toward the cost of hail damage. However, if you choose to take the risk of a higher deductible to save money, you will likely have additional out-of-pocket costs when you need to make a claim.
Business owners may pay a lot of money to commercial insurance companies only to discover that repairs are not covered after a storm. If you are having trouble collecting full and fair payment, fill out the form on this page today to contact the Voss Law Firm or order a free copy of our book, Commercial Property Owners Must Read This BEFORE Filing an Insurance Claim.