Hail can do a lot of damage to your property and unfortunately, we’re no strangers to this kind of storm in Boca Raton, especially in the face of a hurricane. The clumps of ice can rain down on your house, car, and even on your head if you happen to be caught outside. The devastation that they cause can be intense, resulting in thousands of dollars in damage to your personal property. Your car and roof are most often the biggest victims of a hail storm, either because of the hail itself or the wind and rain that often comes with it. A lot of people take comfort in the fact that their personal property is covered by insurance, only to be shocked when their claim is denied. Suddenly, a little hail becomes a very big, very expensive deal.
Our insurance lawyer in Boca Raton can help. We’ve assisted hundreds of clients in fighting the big insurance companies to get the compensation they are entitled to from their policies. Our years of experience have taught us the best ways to prepare for a storm, what to do immediately after it, and how to fight the insurance companies to get the money you deserve. Here are some of our best tips to get you started, but if you are looking for more help you can contact our firm to schedule a consultation with our insurance team.
How to Prepare for Hail
Hail is going to go wherever it wants to go; in that regard, there isn’t much that you can do. But you can limit the number of personal belongings that are at risk. If you know that a storm is coming, you’ll want to get as many of your items in a shelter as possible. If you have a garage, be sure to pull your vehicle inside. Once your vehicle is protected, think about any other large items that you might have outside, including gardening equipment, patio furniture, and outdoor toys. Get these into a garage or shed as well. Not only will this prevent hail from damaging the items, but it will also prevent them from causing damage of their own if they are picked up by the wind. Finally, if the storm is going to be especially severe, you might want to consider covering up your windows with sheets of plywood. At the very least, though, pull your curtains closed during the storm. This will prevent broken glass from entering your home if something hits the window and injuring you or your loved ones.
What to Do Once the Storm Passes
- Perform an inspection of your property immediately. There are several reasons that you’ll want to do an inspection right away. First, the longer you wait to find the damage, the more the damage can spread and the more expensive the repair work is going to be. Secondly, the insurance companies will only give you so much time to file your claim. Some agencies give you as much as a year, but the longer you wait the weaker your claim will be and the more chance there is that the claim will be denied. And finally, the longer you wait to report the damage, the longer it’s going to take to get fixed. That could leave you with a leaky roof or damaged vehicle far longer than you’d want.
- Call your insurance company to report the damage. If you do see signs of damage, you’ll want to get the process going with your insurance company as quickly as possible. Make sure you are familiar with your policy so you know what to expect when you call them. They may ask you to get a number of estimates yourself or offer to send out an adjuster for you. If you aren’t sure about what they are asking you to do or believe that what they are asking you to do is against your policy, you’ll want to hire an insurance lawyer right away to represent you.
- Document as much as you can in as much detail as you can. Take pictures, note times and dates of phone calls, and keep records of any paperwork that you get regarding the hail damage. The more information you have and the better the records you keep, the better your chances are for a fair payout from the insurance company. Those records can come in handy if the case needs to go to court, too, and can help you lawyer make a stronger case on your behalf.
What If the Insurance Company Won’t Pay?
Remember, the insurance companies want to pay you the least amount possible for your property damage. The less they pay you, the more profits they are making. While that might be good news for their shareholders, it’s not great for the people paying for their policies. Insurance companies will find any excuse not to pay for repairs to your roof or automobile after a hail storm. They might claim that the damage was already there or that you hadn’t properly maintained the roof. They might also say that the bare amount of repair work is necessary and leave you holding the bill for the actual work that needs to be done.
None of this is fair. It’s important to remember that you do not have to accept their first offer as the final word. There is room for negotiation, but it means going up against their team of lawyers to do so. That’s why you need an experienced insurance lawyer on your side, fighting for your best interests. The Law Office of Chad Robinson, PLLC can help you. Let our experience go to work for you. We can help you fight the insurance company and make them hold to their policy; it’s a legally binding agreement between both of you. You paid your insurance premiums on time and upheld your end of the contract. Now that it’s time to pay, they need to do so, too.
Give us a call or contact us through our website to schedule a free consultation where we can review the details of your case with you and give you some options for moving forward.