Having your property damaged due to hail is frustrating enough.
Then, having your insurance company tell you that your hail damage insurance claim is denied…well, frustration can quickly spiral into feeling helpless and victimized.
When this happens, it’s completely understandable to want to take action. The great news is that there are some things you can do in the days and weeks after being denied a hail damage insurance claim—things that may actually turn the tables on your insurance company.
At Matthew R. Osborne, PC, our team of legal professionals works hard every day to represent the interests of consumers who are victimized by insurance companies and other financial institutions. This week, we’re dedicating our blog post to the actions you can take in the wake of a hail insurance claim denial.
If there is clear hail damage after a hail storm and the insurance company isn’t budging on their claim denial, here’s what to do.
First: Know Your Consumer Rights
You pay good money every month or year for the insurance policy that protects your property against events like hail storms and other inclement weather.
Your insurance company should do everything in its power to make an honest assessment of hail damage after it happens, and then they should compensate you for the repairs required to bring it back to its original condition—all according to the terms and conditions outlined in your insurance policy documents.
If your insurance company fail to do this, or if the basis for their denial isn’t supported by the facts involving your property damage, you’re being mistreated as a consumer. Keep this in mind as you proceed through these actions.
Second: Schedule an Inspection with a Qualified Roofing Contractor
One of the most common mistakes home or business owners make after a hail storm is scheduling the insurance evaluation without a qualified roofing contractor present. In some cases, the insurance company may state that it is their ‘policy’ to conduct the inspection on their own. However, there is no law stating that a roofing contractor may not be present during an insurance evaluation of hail damage.
Even if your roof was already inspected by the insurance company, reschedule an inspection, and make sure someone who knows roof repairs is there with you on-site to confirm or deny the presence of any hail damage.
Keep in mind that weather conditions at the time of the inspection can sometimes be a variable for inspection results. Shoot for an assisted inspection on a clear day, so that all of the damage can be adequately evaluated.
Third: Understand the Appraisal Clause in your Policy
If the roofing contractor-assisted re-inspection reveals that there was no damage done to your roof, then it’s time to consider the possibility that perhaps the hail that took place actually did not, in fact, damage your roof.
However, if the roofing contractor can identify hail damage and the insurance adjuster disputes or denies it, your claim will often move to ‘disputed’ status.
When hail damage insurance claims wind up in this kind of deadlock, an appraisal is often the next step. This involves the insurance company hiring their own roofing contractor to pay you a visit, conduct yet another inspection, and provide a full appraisal. The way in which this is done is normally outlined in the documents that make up your insurance policy.
If you don’t have ready access to the appraisal clause of your hail insurance policy, request it from your insurance company.
Fourth: At a Roadblock? Contact Us for Legal Assistance
As much as we’d all like to believe that the insurance companies we deal with are all honest, upstanding organizations, not all of them are.
Unfortunately, many insurance companies are much more willing to prioritize profits over the financial welfare of their customers (you). If you believe that your property has sustained hail damage that is covered by your insurance—even if your claim has been denied—contact our offices.
We’ll review your case and provide you with some direction as to what to do next. And, if there is any potential benefit to you in litigating your case within the Colorado court system, we’ll explain your options regarding that, too.
There’s no reason why you should be left ‘holding the bag’ after your property takes an insured loss. Contact the Law Offices of Matthew R. Osborne, PC, and let our team help you defend your rights as a consumer.