Many homes, businesses, and cars suffer damage when a tornado or serious storm produces large hail. Windows can break, holes can be punched in roofs, and other parts of a home or property can be damaged. After the storm, it may seem obvious to you that your roof leaked because hail punctured it and caused water to pour into the house. And it probably seems illogical that the insurance company has denied all or part of your claim and won’t pay for the water damage that resulted from the hailstorm—even though it did cover the direct hail damage.
However, as illogical as it may seem, it’s still a common issue that policyholders can run into with their insurance claims after severe hail. Here are some things you should understand about the potential insurance coverage of different types of hail-related roof damage, especially when there is accompanying water damage.
Insurance Coverage of Roof Damage From Hail
The roof is usually the first thing that policyholders check after a hailstorm, and roof claims are one of the most common types of hail insurance claims that are submitted. While hail damage to roofs is covered in many policies, the coverage may be more complex than you think—and there can be a surprising number of problems that come up in claims for roof damage.
Even if roof damage is covered in your insurance policy, the insurance company may not be willing to pay for a new roof. Even in cases where it seems like replacement is the only option, the insurance company may still argue that it will only pay the costs to repair portions of the existing roofing. Underpayments of claims are common, and some policyholders are dismayed to find out their claims have been denied entirely—sometimes for seemingly no reason at all. But that’s only part of the problem when leaks are also an issue.
Insurance Coverage of Leaks and Water Damage From Hail
When water damage is caused by a roof leak, it may not be covered by the same policy that covered the hail damage that created the leak. Depending on the details of your insurance policy, water damage may be covered under a different section of your existing policy or even under your flood policy. This can come as a big surprise to policyholders who hope to get all their damage covered quickly after a hailstorm, and it can create painful delays or denials if not handled correctly.
It can also be very tricky to find some of the potential causes of roof leaks during the initial assessment of damage. Depending on the size of the hail, the type of roofing, and other factors, small cracks, tears, and punctures can be hard to see. Additionally, when entire regions are affected by the same hailstorm, assessments and estimates can be rushed or superficial. By the time a leak is later discovered, the damage can be very advanced—and so can the headaches with your insurance coverage.
Why the Insurance Company Denies Claims for Hail Damage and Related Leaks
Even if you get a thorough assessment and understand the different ways hail can damage your property, there is a chance that insurance company will still unfairly deny, delay, or underpay your claim. To avoid paying the full cost of your claim, the insurance company may try to tell you that:
- The initial damage or leak resulted from your poor roof maintenance.
- Your damage isn’t fully covered or isn’t covered the way you thought it was.
- Needed replacements, updates, and repairs won’t be paid for.
Unfortunately, insurance companies tend to try to get away with paying as little money out on insurance claims as possible. They know that the majority of homeowners do not fight them, challenge their offer, or appeal their decision because they generally do not know how much their insurance claims should be worth or how much they are entitled to.
If you feel like the insurer is not coming through for you, is participating in “bad faith” practices, or is lowballing you, you should talk with an experienced insurance claim lawyer to find out what your claim is worth and how to get what you deserve. Get help today by calling the Voss Law Firm at 1-888-614-7730 or requesting a free copy of our book, Tricks of the Trade: How Insurance Companies Deny, Delay, Confuse & Refuse.