Hail Storm Damage Costs Texans Billions in 2016
Texas property owners have suffered record-breaking hail storm damage in 2016. The loss information is available only for the first nine months of 2016, but many record-breaking losses have already been recorded.
Hail storms that hit the state throughout March and April 2016 cost more than $4 billion for Texas homeowners—some of the most damaging hail storm damage ever seen in the state, The Insurance Journal is reporting. Most of the damage to residential property happened in the Dallas and San Antonio metro areas.
On April 12, a single storm that struck San Antonio and parts of Bexar County left $1.4 billion in damage, surpassing a previous benchmark storm that in 1995. The cities of Arlington, Fort Worth, Plano, and Wylie also suffered some of the most expensive hail storm damage this year.
Billions of losses were also recorded due to vehicle damage. Another hail storm that struck El Paso on Nov. 4 damaged around 40,000 vehicles. Total hail storm damage to vehicles in 2016 is expected to reach $2 billion.
The 2016 hail storm damage in Texas already dwarfs that from last year. According to a senior actuary from the Texas Department of Insurance, insurers paid a total of $1.9 billion for hail-related losses throughout the state in 2015—which at the time was the record high paid in a single year.
Denied Insurance Claims for Hail Storm Damage?
By now, hail damage comes as no surprise to many Texans. Hail storms have become so frequent and destructive, they can be considered just one more cost of living in the state.
But even as hail storms have become an expectable fact of life in Texas, insurance companies don’t always honor claims for hail storm damage. Companies may deny valid claims even after the claimant has spent years paying premiums according to the terms of their policy.
In fact, the more hail-related damage increases, the more incentive insurance companies may have to save their own money by denying hail-related claims.
Even if the claim is granted, insurance companies may cut corners by undervaluing the claims—essentially short-changing the claimant at a time when they may need the extra cash flow to fund repair costs.
Companies sometimes try to justify denials or undervaluations by saying the policy does not cover the damage claimed, or that the claim was filed too late, or that the damage existed before the hail storm at issue.
Justifications like these may be accurate and true—but if they’re not, the claimant could have grounds to seek compensation through a bad faith insurance lawsuit.
Insurance companies don’t get to arbitrarily deny claims for hail damage. Texas law imposes certain obligations on insurance companies and deadlines by which the companies must meet those obligations. Claimants have a right to expect a fair and prompt decision on their claim.
If you have been denied a claim for hail storm damage in Texas, help is available. A consultation with a knowledgeable Texas hail storm damage attorney can apprise you of all you need to know about your insurer’s responsibilities and your legal options. Contact The Emma Law Firm in the Dallas area for a FREE consultation by filling out the form below.