The hailstorm that lashed the San Antonio area on April 12 was the costliest in Texas history. It severely damaged residential and commercial properties while generating more than $1.3 billion in estimated insurance losses. In the storm’s wake, insurance companies have been clambering to determine their costs and assess each hail damage claim dispute.
Hours after the storm, Safelite AutoGlass received almost 4,000 requests for the replacement of windshields throughout the area. More than 20,000 were anticipated. By 11 a.m. the next day, USAA Insurance had fielded 11,000 auto and 5,500 property claims, with numbers increasing throughout the weeks that followed.
Although Texas isn’t considered to be part of the “hail belt,” the state has endured its share of hail storms in recent years. State Farm Insurance Co. reports that Texas sustained the most hail and wind damage in the nation in 2015. A total of 52,477 claims were filed for hail, as were another 11,843 for wind damage.
Some insurance companies have switched from charging a flat deductible for a policy to one determined by a percentage of the insured value of the home. Typically, the percentage of hail and wind damage claims exceeds those of other claims such as fire and theft.
While a fire claim deductible might be about one percent of a home’s value, it can be two, three, or up to five percent for damages from hail and the wind. Depending upon the homeowner’s policy, the deductible for a $250,000 home could range from $5,000 to $12,500, and be ripe for a hail damage claim dispute.
The money a Texas claimant must pay before the insurance company pays a dollar has increased dramatically in recent years. Depending on the policy, a homeowner could bear the total cost of repair for hail damage because the expense doesn’t rise to the level of the deductible.
The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) has advised Texas property owners to save all receipts for all inspections, repairs, and materials. Owners should also secure their property from additional damage and theft, and be able to provide photographs of its damage to the insurer.
Doyle LLP attorneys have already helped residential and commercial property owners receive the settlements they’re due. Many Doyle attorneys have firsthand knowledge of a hail damage claim dispute and the insurance companies’ tactics in legal litigation. Call us anytime.
Image credit: saaby on flickr.