While our tropical climate means that we do not experience hail storms as frequently as other regions of the country, hail storms can cause significant and costly damage to the roof of your home. This damage can allow rain to penetrate and damage the home and personal property inside the residence. Many policyholders are misinformed about their rights and options regarding hail claims because of myths perpetrated by the insurance industry. As a Miami-Dade County insurance claims attorney, I have helped homeowners obtain satisfaction from their insurer for many types of loss. This blog post dispels some common myths perpetrated by the insurance industry.
Myth 1: Because you did not notify us immediately after the hail storm, you have no right to compensation.
There are a number of deadlines and timing requirements that impact insurance claims and potential remedies when insurance companies refuse to pay claims. Although you have a duty to inform your insurance company after a loss, you will not be automatically barred because you did not provide notice the day of the loss. Policyholders are well advised to carefully review their policy to identify any applicable deadlines or time sensitive duties. Because such deadlines can be based on law or contract, you might want to consult with a legal professional.
Myth 2: Since your roof is not missing any shingles, you did not suffer any damage to your home.
Insurance companies often use this myth to mislead homeowners into assuming they have no basis for an insurance claim. While missing shingles are routinely related to wind damage caused by tropical storms, hail can cause damage even though no shingles are dislodged from your roof. Damage may occur to the roof even though there is no evidence of damage to the shingles. While a roof leak might make it apparent that your roof has been damaged, these leaks might not occur until a period of time has passed following a hail storm. If your home is pelted with hail, you might want to have an expert inspect your property to determine if difficult to detect damage exists.
Myth 3: A claim will just make your homeowner insurance rates rise.
While this is not technically incorrect, the statement is extremely deceptive. If a harsh storm occurs, many people in the area will suffer damage to their homes and file insurance claims. Following a hurricane or other massive storm, insurance companies increase rates for all policyholders because of the costs associated with a high volume of significant claims. Any particular homeowner’s decision to file a claim will not impact whether an insurance company increases rates. If you abstain from making a claim, your premiums will simply be used to pay for the cost of repairing your neighbors’ homes while your home remains unrepaired.
If you are struggling to get your insurance company to admit coverage or pay your claim for property damage, you should seek the expertise of an experienced Miami insurance claims attorney. My law firm represents policyholders in claims disputes in Miami and throughout Florida. The Law Firm of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A. offers free consultations and case evaluations. No Recovery, No Lawyer Fees. Call 305-461-1095 or Toll Free 1-866-71-CLAIM.