Hailstorm, Tornado or Storm Damage Claims Lawyers
Filing a Hail, Tornado, or Storm Damage Claim
You’ve just gone through a severe natural disaster in Arkansas and seen your home ruined by a tornado. Yet, you’ve faithfully paid your insurance premiums for years, believing that your insurance company would be your safety net during times of crisis. But when you submitted your claim for the extensive damage incurred, the insurance company rejected your claim. How can they do that?
Most insurance companies step up and do the right thing when you’ve been through as disaster, but unfortunately, this story is not unique. Numerous policyholders face the harsh reality of insurance companies who refuse to handle storm damage claims promptly or ethically. When homeowners need them most, these insurers turn their backs and make the road even more difficult for families. Denied claims, lengthy delays, and inadequate compensation have become hauntingly familiar, leaving Arkansas homeowners stranded and their dreams shattered.
Storms, hail, tornadoes, and severe weather events can wreak havoc on our homes and properties. Insurance policies are designed to provide financial protection in these situations. When insurance companies deny, delay, or underpay your storm damage claims, where can you turn for help?
At Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, our storm damage attorneys are here to help you rebuild your life after a tornado, hail, or severe weather event. We know that some insurance companies don’t play fair. When they do, we fight back and stand up for homeowners throughout Arkansas and Tennessee. Contact us at (800) 434-4800 to learn how we can help you.
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Most Common Types of Hail Damage Claims
Hailstorms can cause significant damage to properties, vehicles, and personal belongings, leading to various types of insurance claims, including:
- Roof Damage
- Shingle Damage
- Leaks in Roofs
- Siding and Exterior Home Damage
- Dents and Dings in Vehicles, Boats, and RVs
- Window and Glass Damage
- Broken and Cracked Windshields
- Damage to Outdoor Patio Furniture, Grills, and Garden Sheds
Filing a storm damage claim after a tornado or hail damage is crucial to recovering and rebuilding. After a storm, policyholders rightfully expect their insurance company to fulfill their contractual obligations and provide the necessary financial assistance.
The reality is that insurance companies often do not meet these expectations. Despite faithfully paying their premiums, some insurers may engage in tactics that result in delayed, denied, or underpaid claims. This can be a frustrating and disheartening experience for homeowners who are already dealing with the aftermath of a devastating tornado or hailstorm.
Most Common Types of Damage Caused by Tornadoes
Tornadoes are extremely powerful and can cause a wide range of damages to homes and businesses across Arkansas and Tennessee. The type of damage varies depending on the intensity and duration of the tornado, as well as the structures and objects in its path.
Here are some of the most common types of damage caused by tornadoes:
- Roof damage
- Wall damage
- Foundation damage
- Collapsed or Leveled Buildings
- Debris Impact
- Broken Windows
- Damaged Siding
- Dented or Destroyed Vehicles
- Uprooted Trees
- Water Damage due to broken pipes or sewer lines, as well as flooding
- Roof and Ceiling Leaks
- Broken or Damaged Personal Belongings, Furniture, and Appliances
Common Tactics Employed by Insurance Companies
Homeowners in Arkansas must understand that insurance companies don’t always have your best interest in mind. They may aim to pay you as little as possible after storm damage. They may not be concerned with your family or with repairing your home. But we are. Our Arkansas storm damage attorneys know the common tactics insurance companies use, and we know how to fight back.
When dealing with denial, delays, or underpayment of storm damage claims, look for these common insurance company tactics.
Denial of Claims
Insurance companies will often deny storm damage claims hoping you won’t fight back. They’re hoping you go away and pay for the home damages yourself. The reason for their denial might even seem legitimate until you talk to an experienced Arkansas storm damage attorney.
Common denial tactics include:
- Policy Exclusions. Insurers may point to specific exclusions in the policy that they claim exempt the damages suffered from coverage. It is essential to review your policy to understand the scope of coverage carefully.
- Pre-existing Damage. Some insurers might argue that the damage existed before the storm, attempting to remove the responsibility from themselves. Thorough documentation and evidence can help counter such claims.
- Inadequate Evidence. Insurance companies may demand extensive documentation and evidence to support the claim, making the process more burdensome for policyholders. Maintaining detailed records and collecting evidence promptly after the storm strengthens your claim.
Delayed Claims Processing
Intentionally prolonging the claims process is another tactic employed by insurance companies. Insurers may request repetitive or excessive documentation, causing unnecessary delays and frustration. Some companies might schedule multiple inspections or assessments, each taking additional time before approving or denying a claim.
Slow response times and a lack of clear communication can exacerbate the financial strain on policyholders. They know that you want your home repairs to get done quickly. They’re hoping that by delaying your storm damage claim, you’ll give in and move on with your life.
Underpayment of Claims
Insurance companies may undervalue storm damage claims, offering inadequate compensation for repairs or replacements. Insurers may apply depreciation to the value of damaged items, resulting in lower payouts. They may only consider necessary repairs or replacements, resulting in insufficient compensation. Seeking professional opinions and independent assessments can help ensure a fair evaluation of damages.
Some insurance companies may deliberately offer lower settlement amounts, hoping that policyholders will accept them out of desperation or lack of knowledge.
Steps to Take When Faced with a Denied, Delayed, or Underpaid Claim
Carefully examine the communication from the insurance company, noting the reasons for their decision. You must understand the specific grounds on which they based their denial, delay, or underpayment.
Reach out to the claims department for clarification and a detailed explanation of their decision. Ask for any additional information or documentation they may require to reconsider your claim.
Find an attorney with experience handling storm damage cases and denied insurance claims. They can review your case, assess the validity of the insurer’s decision, and provide guidance on the best course of action. They can also negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure a fair resolution.
Appealing a Denied Claim
You can file an appeal if the insurance company denies your storm damage claim. The appeals process is complex, and you should contact an experienced attorney to help. Your attorney will know the deadlines, requirements, and procedures for submitting an appeal.
Your legal team will work diligently to collect additional evidence, expert opinions, or documentation to support your claim and appeal. This may include photographs, videos, repair estimates, witness statements, or reports from independent inspectors or contractors.
Contact Our Arkansas Storm Damage Attorneys
If you have been denied, delayed, or underpaid on your insurance claim after suffering storm damage, our injury law firm is here to help.
We know that you’re in between a rock and a hard place. You need your home fixed, but the insurance company refuses to uphold their end of the bargain. That’s where we come in. With nine offices in Arkansas and Tennessee – Little Rock, Little Rock-Corporate Hill, Springdale, Conway, Hot Springs, Bryant, Jacksonville, Jonesboro, and Memphis – our car accident lawyers are here when you need us most.
We offer free evaluations and consultations, so you can finally get the home repairs you deserve. With our help, you can hold insurance companies accountable and fight for you and your home. Contact us today! (800) 434-4800
We’re here to help.
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