A recent article from the Chicago Tribune takes a good look at the “war on hail” that’s been declared in Texas as insurers work to reduce the penalties insurance companies incur for denying hail claims from policyholders. While the article primarily addresses homeowners, it’s definitely an insurance issue worth understanding if you carry commercial hail coverage for your business.
Two Sides in the “War on Hail” in Texas
Texas was rocked by two major hailstorms in 2012, and the state is known for its sometimes extreme weather. According to the Texas Department of Insurance, hail was the most expensive type of weather event for Texas insurers, with the costs of damages from 1999 to 2011 adding up to $10.4 billion. As a result of the many costly hailstorms in the state, a “war on hail” has begun in hopes of reducing how much insurers are forced to pay after a loss event—and there are advocates looking for change on both sides of the issue:
- Insurance companies are being flooded with hail claims. As policyholders throughout Texas have become more informed about their rights and had access to attorneys, more people are filing hail claims—and insurance companies are being forced into bigger payoffs for the claims that are filed. Some insurers hold that policyholders are being encouraged to file claims for minor damage and are maximizing those claims to take advantage of the insurance industry.
- Policyholders deserve the coverage they pay for. On the other side of the story, policyholder attorneys and the people they represent hold that insurance companies are paying more for hail claims because policyholders are more aware of their rights and how to assert those rights when submitting a claim. They believe that, just because policyholders weren’t previously asserting their rights, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have the right to collect the maximum for their claims.
The Takeaway for Texas Business Owners With Hail-Damage Claims
Although the war may currently be focused on homeowner’s hail claims, policyholders of all kinds have trouble with denied and delayed claims after a hailstorm—and that includes business owners. The takeaway is that commercial policyholders can find themselves fighting against an insurance company’s “war” on hail claims that they don’t understand, especially small business owners who may not be as aware of their rights as policyholders.
Do you have questions about a hail insurance claim for your business? Request your free copy of our book, Commercial Insurance Claims: The Basics, or contact our office directly at 888-614-7730 for immediate assistance.