Hail Claims And Insurance Policies

Hail damages claims can be tough and this 2023 opinion doesn’t help.  The opinion is from the Northern District of Texas, Amarillo Division.  It is styled, Phouthasith Amphay v. Allstate Vehicle and Property Insurance Company.

Plaintiff alleges hail damage to his dwelling and made a claim against his insurer, Allstate.  Allstate filed a motion for partial summary judgement because “Plaintiff’s alleged damage to the metal roofs is cosmetic damage and not covered by the express terms of his Homeowner’s Policy.

Summary Judgment is proper if the movant shows there is no genuine dispute of material fact.  A fact is “material” if resolving it one way or another would change the outcome of the lawsuit.  A genuine dispute over that fact exists if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the non-moving party.  Courts must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-movant and resolve factual controversies in the non-movant’s favor.

The opinion cites the entire relevant policy language but essentially the policy does not cover damages unless surface damage to the metal roof results in water leaking through the surface of a metal roof.  Both of Allstate’s experts confirmed that the damage to Plaintiff’s metal roof is cosmetic and does not allow water to enter the interior of the home.  Plaintiff’s expert admits he did not observe any areas where water entered the interior of the home.  Plaintiff’s expert speculated that the roof could leak sometime in the future.  But he did not quantify the amount of time, days, months, or even years, that it would take for sediment to eventually cause roof failure.  This type of speculation is insufficient to create a fact issue.

This opinion on cosmetic damage case along with the wording in the policy is bad for homeowners.


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