Hail Damage Claims Lawyers in Florida
The hail damage claims lawyers in Florida at Smith & Vanture can help you if your home sustained damage due to hail. Hail can damage a roof or windows or cause structural damage to your home. Hail damage can be incredibly costly. Depending on the damaged caused, it can cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair hail damage to a home. In fact, the average hail damage claim payout is $12,000.
While most standard homeowner’s insurance policies cover hail damage claims, issues can arise and these claims can get complicated to settle. Hail damage often occurs alongside other types of damage, like wind-driven rain, damage due to other sources, like falling trees or debris, and other types of damage. Hail damage can also cause damage to a car, but homeowner’s insurance won’t cover hail damage to your vehicle. Your car insurance may be able to cover hail damage.
The amount of money you’ll receive for a hail damage claim will depend on the type of insurance you have. For example, the amount of settlement money you’ll receive can differ depending on whether your coverage is actual cash value or replacement cost. Other factors that can affect your settlement include your deductible and the value that adjusters assign to your claim. Issues can arise with hail damage claims when insurance adjusters fail to properly estimate the value of damages or repairs, or when insurance companies claim negligence and try to reduce liability. We’ll explore how some of these issues can affect your claim below. The key thing to keep in mind is this: if your hail damage claim was underpaid or denied, the hail damage claims lawyers in Florida at Smith & Vanture may be able to help you.
Ways that Hail Can Damage Your Home in Florida
There are many ways that hail can damage your home in Florida. The kind of damage hail can cause your home will depend largely on the size of the hailstones and the speed at which the hailstones were moving when they hit your home. If the hail hit your home during hurricane-force winds, they might cause more damage than hail that fell during a non-hurricane storm event. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, hailstones are formed when water vapor is carried rapidly upward into the high atmosphere, where the air is very cold. The water droplets (which would typically come down as rain), freeze, and then fall to the ground when the size of the stone becomes too large, or when the force of the updraft isn’t sufficient to keep the hailstone in the air. Larger sized hailstones aren’t formed in the upper atmosphere but are started there. As they are pushed around they grow in size as they draw water droplets toward them.
When hailstones eventually do hit the ground or a home, they can cause extensive damage. They can damage the siding of a home, damage a roof, or windows. Hailstones can also strike the limbs of trees, causing them to fall and resulting in more damage.
Signs of hail damage can include dented gutters or broken gutters, dents in the side of your home or holes in the side of your home, broken windows, roof damage, or any other type of property damage caused by something that impacted your home. If your home was damaged in a hailstorm, it is important to make a homeowner’s insurance claim as soon as possible. Contact the hail damage claims insurance lawyers in Florida at Smith & Vanture today. We are here to help you.
Understanding Hail Damage Claims in Florida
There are many factors that can impact the amount of money you’ll receive when you make a hail damage claim in Florida. The key thing to keep in mind is that your homeowner’s insurance company may have strict deadlines by which you need to make your claim. Document all damages by taking photos or videos and get at least one quote from a licensed contractor. Here are some factors that can impact your hail damage claim in Florida:
- The type of coverage you have. The type of homeowner’s insurance coverage you have will determine the value of your settlement. There are two main types of insurance coverage: replacement cost insurance coverage and actual cash value insurance coverage. Replacement cost insurance will pay for damages based on current costs to repair or replace hail damage. Whatever it costs in materials or labor to repair the issue, a replacement cost policy will cover after deductibles are met. Actual cash value coverage takes into account depreciation. For example, a homeowner will typically need to replace a roof every 20 or so years. So, if you roof is older, your insurance adjuster may only pay a portion of the value of repairs because your adjuster will consider the age of the roof and the lifespan of the roof. Insurance adjusters may not want to pay anything if your roof was already at the end of its lifespan and would have needed replacement soon anyway. If your roof was newer, your insurance adjuster will be on the hook for paying a larger percentage of repairs. As you can imagine, how your insurance adjuster estimates depreciation or estimates the lifespan of your roof can have an impact on the value of your claim. A hail damage claim lawyer in Florida at Smith & Vanture can look at the materials and age of a roof damaged by hail and negotiate with insurance companies to ensure that depreciation is properly taken into account.
- Insurance companies want to reduce their liability as much as possible. If hail hit your roof and water got in during the storm, your homeowner’s insurance policy should cover both roof damage and water damage. But if you failed to put a tarp on your roof after the storm, and water got inside in the days and weeks after, your insurance company may deny water damage claims due to negligence. Issues with claims can arise if your insurance company is claiming negligence, but you took steps to protect your home. A Florida hail damage claim lawyer in Florida at Smith & Vanture may be able to help you negotiate with insurance companies to get the best possible settlement permitted under the law.
- Cosmetic Damages. Some insurance policies won’t cover damages they deem to be cosmetic. An example might be a hailstorm that dents the siding or awnings of your windows, but doesn’t actually damage the structural integrity of the window or your home. Your insurance company might claim that the damage is solely cosmetic and therefore excluded if cosmetic claims are excluded under your policy. The challenge in this situation will be proving to your insurance company that the damage is not solely cosmetic. The reality is that definitions of cosmetic damage in insurance policies are often vague. If hail damages the siding of your home, this damage can result in your home values dropping because of the appearance of the damage. Homeowners pay insurance premiums to make them whole after a disaster or storm. If your insurance company is claiming that your damages are cosmetic, you may have more options when it comes to fighting for your claim. A hail damage claim lawyer in Florida at Smith & Vanture may be able to help you.
These are just some situations that can arise that can affect the value of your claim. Common issues with hail insurance claims include claims that are undervalued by insurance adjusters. Sometimes insurance adjusters might use algorithms or formulas to estimate the value of damages and repairs, and these formulas or estimates may not always reflect actual market conditions. For example, the blue book value of a car may accurately reflect the current market in some areas, but may not reflect the market value in others. If your insurance adjuster is offering you a lower settlement or a settlement that doesn’t cover repairs once you subtract your deductible, you may want to speak to a hail damage claims insurance lawyer in Florida at Smith & Vanture. Smith & Vanture are here to estimate the value of your claim, negotiate with insurance adjusters, and fight for your rights inside or outside of court. We are here to help you.
Contact a Florida Hail Damage Claim Lawyer Today
If your hail damage claim was denied or underpaid, the Florida hail damage claim lawyer at Smith & Vanture may be able to help you. Our attorneys can estimate the value of your claim, negotiate with insurance adjusters, and fight to help you get the settlement you may deserve. Our hail damage claims lawyers in Florida aren’t afraid to take your hail damage case to court. Insurance companies may sometimes try to reduce their liability, but they have a responsibility to honor their contractual obligations, and to make you whole in accordance with your homeowner’s insurance policy. Contact Smith & Vanture, Florida hail damage claim lawyers today.