Has a Severe Storm Damaged Your Roof?

If the roof of your home or business is damaged in a severe weather event, and if your damage claim is subsequently rejected by your insurance company, what can you do? The first step is to contact a Texas storm damage lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your rights and options.

When you see the photographs and film of hurricane damage in a news story, it is obvious that something catastrophic has happened, but most storm damage does not look like that. In fact, heavy winds often damage roofs in ways that may actually be quite difficult to notice.

How can you know if your roof has been damaged by a severe weather event? What are your rights and recourse if your roof damage claim is denied by your insurance company? And how will a Texas homeowners insurance attorney help you obtain the payout you need?

What Are the Signs of Damage to Your Roof?

High winds can get underneath a roof shingle and partially lift it off a roof. High enough wind speeds have a lifting effect on shingles. Shingles are nailed and attached with asphalt to prevent this, but when winds are strong enough, asphalt shingles can rip through the nails that hold them.

High winds that impact your roof may create a “shingle flap.” When the wind fades, a torn shingle can look flat and undamaged. Your roof may look normal, and you may not realize that a shingle has been torn by high winds until you climb to the roof and lift the edge of the shingle.

Creases or cracks in your shingles are indications of wind damage, but you may not see creases unless you are within several feet of the shingles because creases in shingles are difficult to see from the ground. Shingles almost never reseal properly to a roof after being lifted by high winds.

What Should You Do if Your Roof is Damaged?

When a roof’s shingles are creased or cracked, leaks become inevitable. Your roof will have to be professionally repaired, and in some cases, replaced. Homeowners who file a claim for this type of roof damage should obtain a detailed repair estimate from a reliable roofing contractor.

If your insurance company sends a claims adjuster to inspect the damage, make certain the adjuster lifts (or sees you lift) the exposed and loose or torn edges of the shingles. By just glancing at your roof from the ground, a claims adjuster may not be able to see the damage.

Why Would Your Damage Claim be Denied?

Homeowners insurance policies will only cover the repair or replacement of a roof for specific reasons. Different policies provide different levels and different types of property damage coverage, and some insurance companies are more likely than others to approve damage claims.

You should understand the provisions and details of your homeowners policy when you purchase the policy, and you should be familiar with those details and provisions when you file a damage claim. When a roof damage claim is denied, it’s usually for one or more of these reasons:

  1.  If a roof’s useful life is over – after about fifteen to twenty years – an insurer may refuse to replace a roof that would have needed replacing even without recent damage. A roof’s natural deterioration over time is not covered by homeowners insurance policies.
  2.  Defective roofing materials degrade long before they should. If defective roofing materials cause a roof to fail, the roof’s replacement costs will not be covered by your homeowners insurance policy.
  3. Your homeowners policy won’t pay for damage that occurred under a previous policy. If new damage to your roof has exacerbated old damage, and the roof is failing, the insurer may maintain that the older damage is the cause of the failure – and deny your claim.
  4. Most property damage claims must be submitted promptly, and a failure to meet the claim deadline will usually lead to a claim’s denial. Your policy will tell you how much time you have to file your claim.
  5. Your damage claim could also be denied if your homeowners insurance company is operating – negligently or intentionally – in bad faith. If you suspect that you’re a victim of insurance bad faith, contact the offices of a Texas storm damage lawyer at once.

Should You Have Additional Homeowners Coverage?

In high-risk coastal areas of Texas, standard homeowners policies exclude wind coverage. Texas doesn’t require homeowners to carry wind coverage, but if your policy excludes wind coverage, you may need to purchase that coverage separately.

In fact, in order to be approved for a mortgage, most Texas lenders require you to purchase separate wind coverage from a specialty insurance provider or from the Texas Wind Insurance Association.

Take These Steps After Your Roof is Damaged

If your roof has been damaged by a severe weather event, take photographs of the damage, submit your claim on time, and keep a record of your correspondence and talks with insurance company representatives.

Especially after a severe weather event, thousands of claims may be filed, and some insurance companies will try to reduce their payouts. Texas homeowners in these circumstances can expect “lowball” payout offers, or your roof damage claim may be denied outright.

If the insurance company rejects your roof damage claim or offers you an inadequate payout, you may not be able to have your roof repaired, and that’s unacceptable. If your damage claim isn’t handled properly, contact a Texas homeowners insurance attorney as quickly as possible.

How Will Stormlex Law Group Law Group Help You?

The attorneys at Stormlex Law Group Law Group (formerly Flores & Pelaez-Prada) know how to win against the big insurance companies. We offer personalized advice regarding your insurance and your property damage claim, and we represent homeowners when their damage claims have been rejected.

We usually resolve these disputes through out-of-court negotiations, but if necessary, we will take your insurance company to court. If your claim for roof damage has been rejected – or if the payout you’re being offered is inadequate – contact Stormlex Law Group Law Group by calling 855-786-7674 (or 855-STORMS-4) to request a free evaluation of your case with no obligation.

We work for homeowners throughout the State of Texas. Our practice focuses on Texas homeowners who need help dealing with homeowners insurance companies. If you become our client, you’ll owe no attorney’s fee to Stormlex Law Group Law Group until we prevail on your behalf.

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 1-855-786-7674.