What Can Happen if Your Roof is Damaged by Hail?
Destructive hailstorms happen almost every spring in Texas, and at other times of the year as well. If your own home is damaged by hail, will your homeowners insurance pay for the damages? Will you need the advice and services of a Texas hailstorm damage attorney?
A 2003 hailstorm in North Texas caused more than $1.13 billion of damage. The same region suffered a 2012 hailstorm that caused over $900 million in damages. And as recently as June 2023, East Texas residents endured severe storms that brought baseball-sized hail to the region.
Does your homeowners policy cover hail damage? What are your rights when you file a hail damage claim? What if your insurance company denies your claim? When should you call an attorney? If you’ll keep reading, you’ll find the answers that, now or in the future, you may need.
How Can You Identify Hail Damage?
When it’s large enough – as it often is in this state – hail can either damage or destroy almost anything that it crashes into. Three-inch pieces of hail can fall at a speed of 110 miles per hour and severely damage crops, livestock, barns, automobiles, gutters, or roofs.
If a hailstorm damages the roof of your home, it can leave leaks, punctured and dented metal, and ruined roofing shingles. In a hailstorm, the damage your roof sustains will depend a great deal on the wind’s speed and direction, your roofing materials, and the age and size of your roof.
The clearest indications that your roof has been damaged by hail are damaged or missing roofing tiles, panels, or shingles, dents, punctures, or cracks in your roofing materials, and cracks or bruises in wooden or asphalt roofing shingles.
Does Your Homeowners Insurance Cover Hail Damage?
If your home is near the Texas Gulf Coast and you have a standard homeowners policy, that policy probably does not cover you for hail damage (or for wind damage) because the coastal regions of Texas are considered “high-risk,” and you will need to buy additional coverage.
The coastal and near-coastal counties in the State of Texas that are classified as high-risk are: Aransas, Nueces, Matagorda, San Patricio, Willacy, Refugio, Jefferson, Kleberg, Kenedy, Chambers, Cameron, Galveston, Brazoria, Calhoun, and several parts of Harris County.
Does the Law Require Coverage for Hailstorm Damage?
The law in Texas doesn’t require a homeowner to carry insurance coverage for hailstorm damage, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can go without it. If your homeowners policy excludes hailstorm damage, you may end up having to buy a separate hailstorm policy.
That’s because mortgage lenders in Texas require a borrower to have insurance that includes coverage for hail and high winds. Separate hail and wind coverage may be purchased from a homeowners insurance company or through the Texas Wind Insurance Association (TWIA).
If a homeowners insurance company will not provide you with coverage for hail damage, the Texas Wind Insurance Association offers hailstorm coverage for homes in high-risk areas if the owner has been denied hailstorm coverage by at least one homeowners insurance company.
When you ask for a hailstorm policy quote from an insurance company, you may be asked if the home meets windstorm resistant construction standards or International Residential Building Code standards. If your home meets these standards, your coverage costs may be reduced.
When You Have Hailstorm Coverage – and Damage Happens
When you have hailstorm coverage and you suspect that your roof has been damaged by hail, call your insurance company at once and file a claim. The company should then process your claim, estimate your damages, offer you repair options, and cover the cost of your repairs.
Here are some practical tips about submitting a hailstorm damage claim to your homeowners insurance company:
- Document all of your property damage with plenty of photographs and/or video, especially before you cover or remove anything that has been damaged. Do not toss out any damaged property item before it has been seen by a property insurance adjuster.
- Make any necessary immediate repairs like stopping leaks and boarding broken windows. If you purchase items for making these repairs, save the receipts. After a hailstorm, these expenses are usually paid for by your hailstorm coverage.
- Make no permanent repairs until a property insurance adjuster has reviewed the damage to your home and your hailstorm damage claim has been approved.
What if Your Hailstorm Damage Claim is Denied?
If your property insurance company denies your hailstorm damage claim, or if the amount you are offered is inadequate, how will your home be repaired? The first step you’ll need to take is contacting a Texas hailstorm damage lawyer, and you will need to make that call right away.
Asking a lawyer to write a letter to your homeowners insurance company may be all that is needed to persuade the company to offer you a reasonable settlement amount. Otherwise, to be reimbursed for your losses, you might have to bring a lawsuit against the insurance company.
Most lawsuits that arise from storm damage claims are resolved privately and outside of the courtroom, but if the insurance company will not cooperate with you or negotiate in good faith, your storm damage lawyer will ask a court to order the insurance company to pay your claim.
How Should You Choose a Hailstorm Damage Lawyer?
If you have hailstorm coverage, hail-related property damage, and your homeowners insurance company is not offering you enough or has rejected your claim completely, a Texas hailstorm damage lawyer at Flores & Pelaez-Prada will evaluate your claim with no cost or obligation.
Flores & Pelaez-Prada provides sound, personalized legal advice to homeowners who are making storm damage claims, and we fight aggressively and effectively for homeowners in Texas when insurance companies negligently or wrongly reject those damage claims.
If your property has sustained hail-related damage, you pay no attorney’s fee to a Texas hailstorm damage attorney at Flores & Pelaez-Prada until and unless we obtain the payout sum from your homeowners insurance company that you need to repair the damages to your property.
Learn more about storm damage and your rights as a Texas homeowner and policyholder, or start the legal process now and call Flores & Pelaez-Prada at 855-786-7674 (or 855-STORMS-4). We are located in San Antonio and McAllen, and we work for homeowners across the State of Texas.
Disclaimer: The blog posts shared on stormlex.com are intended for general informational purposes and may not apply to your specific situation. For personalized legal advice concerning your policy or claim, contact our office directly at (855)786-7674.