Get Experts For A Hail Damage Claim

Lawyers who handle hail damage claims can tell you that most of the time a person who has experienced hail damage and had their claim for benefits denied, needs to have an expert help them in the lawsuit that will result. An insured can always walk away and accept the insurance company denial but if you want to fight for the benefits you have paid for, an expert is well worth while.
Usually the roofer who will be doing the repairs will qualify as an expert and just as often he will not charge an expert fee or if he does, it will be minimal. An experienced insurance lawyer can tell you if your expert will be a good witness.
When an expert is not hired,or he does not do a good job, the result will be a disappointing loss like one of those described in the Insurance Journal in June, 2016. The Insurance Journal story is titled, Texas Insurers Hope Court Decisions Will Curtail Hail-Related Lawsuits.
The Insurance Journal story tells us following a severe hailstorm in south Texas in 2012, insurers were beset with homeowner property lawsuits — sometimes after claims were paid and repairs were completed — even though data from the Texas Department of Insurance show few complaints were filed during 2013-2015.
Some insurers have seen hundreds of lawsuits being filed simultaneously immediately or sometimes months after a storm, the Insurance Council of Texas reported.
Insurance companies began to challenge many of the questionable lawsuits and ICT suggests that recent court decisions may work to deter such litigation.
For instance, in May, a six-member jury in Houston didn’t fall for the story that a hail storm resulted in a woman’s leaky roof, the ICT said. The claim involved water damage from a leaking roof, and was supported by a roofing expert who claimed the leak was the result of hail damage. The homeowner was seeking $46,000 in damages.
The insurer, the Texas FAIR Plan, countered by arguing that the leaking roof was the result of long-term poor maintenance. The insurer also pointed out that the homeowner did not examine the roof until six months after the lawsuit was filed.
The jury deliberated for less than a minute before returning with their verdict.
“I don’t think the jurors even sat down before making their decision,” said Lori Daves, of Jay Old and Associates, who defended the Texas FAIR plan in the case. “It was the quickest verdict I have ever been part of.”
Many of these lawsuits also have found their way into federal court where some have been dismissed after appraisals were completed.
In one case, a federal judge in McAllen admonished a plaintiff’s attorney, asking him why he shouldn’t be sanctioned for bringing factually unsupported hail claims against insurer, the ICT said.