Is your home insurance company trying to underpay for your roof damage following a storm?
Although most wind or hail storms are about half an hour in duration, they can sure pack a mighty punch and do considerable damage in that short amount of time. Between thunderstorms, windstorms, and hailstorms in addition to more lengthy and severe tornadoes and hurricanes, there is a good chance that your property may suffer from some type of destruction during a storm.
Of particular concern, roof damage can be substantial and can cost thousands to repair, not to mention that a damaged roof may make your home unsafe and uninhabitable.
If your property suffered damage after a recent storm and your insurance company is offering a settlement that is below what is needed to do a full repair, contact the experienced bad faith insurance attorneys at McDonald Worley today to make sure that you are fairly compensated.
Types of Storm Damage That May Affect your Roof
According to the National Storm Damage Center, there are several types of roof damage that may be evident after a storm. Damage can come from golf-sized (or larger) hail, damaging winds, trees or other debris that may have fallen on your roof, in addition to heavy downpours that can compromise the roof structure.
Common types of roof damage include:
- Shingles that are missing
- Asphalt roof shingles that are dented, bruised or otherwise damaged
- Tile, concrete or slate shingles that are broken or cracked
- Downspouts or gutters that have collected granules
- Leaks in the roof or ceiling of the building
- Seams that are torn or split
- Dents that appear on gutters, vents and flashing
- Missing sections of roof due to severe damage
Unlike readily visible areas of your home or property that have sustained damage such as broken windows or other obvious damage, your roof is not an area that is typically inspected, and you might not know the extent of the damage until later. It might not be until you notice an area of discoloration in your ceiling that you may suspect a leak from a damaged roof.
When Having Homeowner’s Insurance Isn’t Enough
Most homeowners feel that they are adequately prepared in cases of roof or other property damage since they have sufficient property insurance for their home—and maybe they even purchased additional coverage for hail storms, wind storms, and the like.
However, what they may not be prepared for is an outright denial of their roof damage property claims or severe underpayment of their claims that did not adequately pay for repairs.
Insurance companies do not want to lose money, so some have been reportedly known to pay as little as possible or deny claims altogether, to keep profits high. The term for the insurance company practice of not holding up their end of the bargain to properly pay for damages incurred is known as bad faith insurance. Companies are said to be acting in bad faith when they issue insurance policies they have no intention to fully financially support.
Some bad faith insurance tactics that may be used to deny or underpay claims include telling homeowners that the damage was not covered under the policy, that the roof damage was pre-existing, that the claim was not filed on time, or that not enough evidence was provided, among other reasons that may not be entirely valid.
Get Help Today With Your Underpaid Insurance Claims
If you have had denied or underpaid insurance claims following filing roof property damage claims, you may be able to take legal action to recover the monies that should have been properly paid to you. In fact, some homeowners may be eligible to file for damages that are triple the original value of the damage, plus attorneys’ fees.
The attorneys at McDonald Worley can help guide you as you contemplate taking further action to recover the funds necessary to pay for your home repairs. We can provide you with a free, no-obligation case review to discuss your legal options to recover funds due to you from your property insurance company.
An attorney can help with the filing of an appeal, reopening a claim, providing documented evidence of your roof damage, renegotiating your settlement with the insurance adjustor and can help you file a lawsuit if you have exhausted all of your options in working directly with the insurance company.
If you have been offered a settlement by your insurance company, you can have an attorney review the settlement before you accept it to ensure that it is fair and meets the terms of your policy before you proceed.
It is important to act quickly, as some state law imposes strict deadlines when property damage claims resulting from storm damage can be filed. Insurance policies also have time limits for filing storm damage claims. It is imperative that homeowners have properly filed these claims with their insurance company prior to bringing a potential bad faith insurance lawsuit against the insurance company for nonpayment.