Hailstorm, Hurricane & Tornado Claims Lawyers
Filing a Hailstorm, Hurricane, or Tornado Damage Claim
Natural disasters—such as major storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes—cause immense damage not only to individuals but also to large areas of land involving hundreds or even thousands of properties. Large quantities of loss caused by weather-related perils are usually considered catastrophes by insurance companies.
When these catastrophes occur, insurance companies and their adjusters are spread thin between the hundreds or thousands of claims being filed simultaneously. Because adjusters are handling numerous claims at the same time, they often overlook specific details of each claim, and, inevitably, things fall through the cracks.
Additionally, these catastrophes can take a major toll on an insurance company’s bottom line. The financial strain insurance companies face can cause delays in compensation, as well as underpayments and wrongful claim denials.
If you’ve experienced loss—such as damage to your home, business, vehicle, or belongings—and disagree with an insurance provider about your coverage, contact Potts Law Firm for a free case evaluation. We can review your insurance claim and help you understand your rights.
Reach us online or by phone at (888) 420-1299 today to set up your complimentary consultation with a member of our legal team. Hablamos español.
The Five Most Common Types of Property Damage from Hurricanes
During hurricane season, property owners along and near the coast know the potential devastation a single hurricane can bring to their city and home. It is during these times that property owners look to their insurance providers for support and assistance to bounce back and make the necessary repairs to their damaged property. However, insurance companies do not always have your best interest in mind. Instead of making things easier on you, they can add more stress during an already difficult period by disputing, delaying, or denying your claim.
Hurricanes are powerful natural forces with the ability to wreak havoc wherever their path leads. Any category of hurricane can cause significant damage to one’s home or surrounding property.
The top five property damages most likely to occur after a destructive hurricane are:
- Roof damage
- Structural and Foundation damage
- Utility damage
- Interior damage
- Equipment damage
Continue reading to learn more about these various types of hurricane-related damages, the types of insurance benefits you may be entitled to receive, and how Potts Law Firm can help with your claim.
The most visible damage that will typically be seen in the aftermath of a hurricane is damage to the roof, which includes damage to the shingles, sheathing, and framing of a property. In the event of a Category 4 hurricane, the speed of the winds produced can tear or lift even the strongest roofs off homes and buildings.
Whether you receive adequate funds from your insurance company for your damaged roof will depend on several factors, such as the age/quality of construction of the roof and whether it had been damaged before. If it was relatively new, most policies should pay to repair it back to its initial condition or even grant a full replacement.
Structural and Foundation Damage
The foundation of a property is crucial to safe living. Hurricanes often cause significant damage to homes’ structures by shifting and leaving detrimental cracks in them, possibly leaving the property uninhabitable.
The powerful winds from a hurricane can also disrupt electrical, telecommunications, and water utilities. Telephone lines, powerlines, internet, and water-systems could all be affected, leaving many home and business owners with no choice but to file an insurance claim.
The interior of properties can also be damaged by hurricanes. During fierce storms, it is not uncommon for roofs, windows, or doors to be torn off, allowing for heavy rains and flying debris to enter the building. This can cause extensive damage to walls, floors, and furnishings inside one’s home.
It is also quite common for an insured’s property to have received water damage to the interior of the home. In some cases, there is widespread water damage to every room in the house. One of the main concerns with water damage is the possibility of mold growth. Unfortunately, most policies have limitations for this type of property damage.
Property owners may experience equipment damage and failure. This can include damage to your heating and air conditioning systems, appliances, transformers, generators, hot-water boilers, and pool equipment.
Common Damages in Hailstorm, Hurricane & Tornado Insurance Claims
The exact damages you can receive in your hailstorm, hurricane, or tornado insurance claim will depend on a variety of factors, including the losses you have sustained, the overall extent of the damage, your covered losses and benefits, and more.
Some examples of common damages in these types of claims include:
- Structural and foundational damage
- Roof damage
- Vehicle damage
- Crops and livestock damage
- Water damage
- Damage to personal belongings
- Loss of business income
- Temporary relocation
- Additional living expenses
You could be entitled to compensation for these and other expenses/damages. Reach out to the hailstorm, hurricane, and tornado insurance claims attorneys at Potts Law Firm today for help with your insurance claim.
What to Do If Your Property Has Been Damaged by a Natural Disaster
There are several steps to take that will allow you to receive everything owed to you under your insurance policy.
If your home or commercial property has been damaged by a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, hailstorm, or tornado, you should try to do all of the following:
- Ensure Your Safety: Make sure that you and all members of your household are safe. You should also ensure that it is safe to enter your home or property before doing so.
- Prevent Further Damage: It is important to remedy the damages you find once you return to your property (turn off the water supply if the pipes have burst, board up broken windows, etc.). Do not let the damages continue to escalate, as this can adversely affect your claim.
- Document the Damage: Carefully detail the damages and losses you have suffered. Take pictures of the damage, including your damaged belongings, if possible. The more evidence you have proving your losses, the better.
- Review Your Policy: You should take the time to get to know your policy and understand the coverage you paid for under that policy. Review your covered losses and benefits outlined in the policy before filing a claim.
- Prepare Necessary Paperwork: In addition, you should have the necessary paperwork and relevant financial figures ready for the insurance adjuster. This can help save significant time and prevent unnecessary delays.
- File Your Insurance Claim: File an official claim with your insurance company. Provide information about and proof of your losses, including damage to your home, property, and personal belongings.
If the insurance company disputes your claim, contact a hailstorm, hurricane, or tornado insurance attorney as soon as possible. It can be extremely difficult to go up against an insurance provider, even when they are acting in bad faith, without the help of a powerful and knowledgeable legal team.
Potts Law Firm is ready to fight for you and the compensation you are owed. Depending on the specific details of your policy, you could be owed damages including the amount of the initial claim plus interest, as well as pain and suffering, emotional distress, economic loss, and more.
Please contact us online or by phone at (888) 420-1299 to schedule a complimentary case evaluation.
We understand the process of reporting property damage claims can be overwhelming for many homeowners, as insurance policies are not exactly easy to understand or navigate. It is the insurers’ duty to honor legitimate claims, but more often than not, this does not happen.
You should consider taking legal action if your insurer is failing to settle your claim or is exhibiting bad faith tactics toward you. An attorney here at Potts Law Firm can help fight these insurance companies. We know how to prove the cost of your damages and are prepared to aggressively advocate for the compensation you rightfully deserve.
We tirelessly pursue the best possible results for our clients, not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because we understand the mounting emotional and financial hardships that can ensue from the aftermath of a destructive hurricane. We take the time to get to know each of our clients, providing the personal attention and support they deserve. With multiple offices located throughout the U.S., we serve clients in all types of insurance disputes nationwide.
If you are unsure if you have a case, don’t hesitate to call us today for a free consultation. Our team of experienced attorneys are ready to review your claim and fight for you.
Q:Does my policy cover hailstorm damage?
While policies vary across property types, most property insurance policies will cover hailstorm damage. Refer to the declarations page of your policy for more information regarding your coverage.
Q:A recent hailstorm caused several dents on my roof. As of now, the roof is not leaking. Can I still file a hail damage claim?
Many insurance coverages have a cosmetic damage waiver attached to the policy, which denies claims for cosmetic damage alone. However, many times this endorsement is used by insurance providers when there is functional damage to your roof. Just because your roof is not leaking immediately after a storm does not mean your roof hasn’t suffered functional damage. If your roof was impacted at all by a hailstorm, you should contact a roofer to investigate. Many roofers offer an inspection free of charge.
Q:What are common reasons/ways insurance companies delay, underpay, or deny recovery?
Some of the most common ways in which insurance companies delay, underpay, and deny claims include:
- Attributing the damage to wear and tear
- Stating the damage is merely cosmetic
- Claiming damage occurred during a previous policy year
- Claiming there was no opening created by the wind to cause the interior damage
- Underpaying/omitting certain repairs to result in a repair cost that is below your deductible
- Delay in handling and payment of the claim
Q:How are tornadoes formed, and when are they most likely to occur?
Most tornadoes are born out of severe thunderstorms or hurricanes. The most destructive and deadly tornadoes occur from “supercells,” which are rotating thunderstorms with a well-defined radar circulation. The highest classification for a tornado is F5 in which winds reach speeds between 261 and 318 mph. Tornadoes most often occur between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Q:How are hailstorms formed?
Hailstorms can be caused by severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes. They are one of the quickest-forming natural disasters, making them hard to predict or prepare for.
Q:What are common recoveries that result from insurance litigation?
Some common damages resulting from insurance litigation include:
- Actual damages
- Interest from the date that you should have been paid
- Penalties (imposed on an insurer) under the Insurance Code for knowingly underpaying or denying a claim
- Attorney fees
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