Spring storms, especially in the Texas Panhandle, sometimes bring hail damage.
Large hail can break glass, damage roofs, dent siding and kill plants. And it can all happen in a matter of minutes. So what do you do when it is your home, office building, your car or your crops that are damaged and lost due to this severe climatic condition?
Step one is you call your insurance provider. But what do you do if step one fails and the settlement from your hail damage claim is slow in coming or less than adequate? Step two is to call a laywer. A lawyer may be your best and perhaps your only recourse in getting the settlement you need and deserve.
What Should You Do If You Have Hail Damage?
Before you do anything, take pictures of all areas of potential damage. This will give a record of the damage for you, your insurance company and if need be your lawyer. If you can take pictures of the damage with the hail still on the ground, that is even better.
Next, call your insurance company and start the claim process. They will likely give instructions on what you should do, and not do, while you are waiting for the adjuster to arrive. If the roof has been damaged or a window broken, they will tell you to cover the damaged area to prevent further damage.
The insurance company will send out an adjuster. The adjuster will check the damage and give an estimate on what the insurance company will cover. Before you get the work done, you will need to get a contractor to estimate the repair work on the property. Having a couple of contractors come out to provide independent estimates is better than relying on a single quote.
When you get the estimate back from the contractor and compare it to the claim estimate by the adjuster, you may find a problem. The gap between the estimates can be significant. Insurance companies are notorious for estimating things very low. They assume the lowest costs on labor and materials. That will not work in many cases.
If you are not satisfied with the proposal you get from your insurance company, you may need to contact an attorney to explore your options. An attorney can outline what legal outlets you have. The insurance plan that you signed is a legal contract. You can contest the claim by asserting breach of contract for failure to properly adjust the claim.
If you and the insurance company cannot come to a resolution, you may need to pursue your claim in court. One option available is to ask the court to appoint a neutral third-party in the event that the appraiser that you choose and the appraiser the insurance chooses cannot agree upon the amount of the loss.
If you are facing hail damage, and your insurance company doesn't want to pay, give the experts at Stockard, Johnston, Brown & Netardus, P.C. in Amarillo, Texas, a call. Our attorneys have plenty of experience dealing with insurance companies in and out of court, and are well-versed in first party insurance claims. You do not have to accept what the insurance company is trying to give you.
Contact us today for a free consultation and we can get started immediately.