Mansell, Engel & Cole

When insurers deny claims for hail damage

Roof damage from hail is incredibly common in Oklahoma. Unfortunately, it is also fairly common for insurance companies to deny claims when families claim coverage for the damages to their home. Oftentimes, these denials are made in "bad faith," meaning the insurance company should not legally have reason to deny your coverage. Do not try to shoulder the cost of home repair just because your claim was denied. Here's what you should do instead.

1. Understand why your claim was denied.

When an insurance company denies your claim, they must provide a written explanation for their reasoning. Review this carefully and make sure you have a full understanding of why they refused to cover you. This may clue you in to any bad practices. Some of the most common examples of "bad faith" are:

· They estimated a far lower repair cost than the contractor who reviewed your damages. In these cases, they may be trying to pay you less than you actually deserve or need.

· They blame the damage on another cause, such as natural deterioration or "settling" of the house that led to the roof being unstable and easily damaged. When insurers say this, they are trying to blame something that isn't covered by your policy so that they do not have to pay for the repair.

If you have trouble understanding why your claim was denied, the insurance company is legally obligated to explain it to you.

2. Review your insurance policy.

While the above examples are very common ways that insurance companies avoid covering costs, you should also read over your policy again. Understand what exactly you are covered for. If you should be covered for what happened to your roof, your insurance company was acting in bad faith by denying your claim.

3. Keep/gather any related information.

Hold onto any documents or important info about the roof damage. Take a lot of clear photos of the damages and keep your contractor's repair estimate, the claim denial, a detailed description of the damages, including date and time of when the incident happened, and anything else that's relevant.

4. Consult an attorney about the claim.

Call an experienced attorney who specifically practices in the area of insurance denials. You can call for a free consultation to talk over your situation and whether you have a case against your insurance company. Not only are you protected when insurers deny claims that should have been covered , but even financially small claims cases could yield enormous compensation. You don't have to face the financial stress of home repair after a storm. You and your family deserve to be covered by the insurance that you are paying for.

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