Hail damage to the roof of a property can put a lot of undue stress on business owners. While there are ways to mitigate roof damage before a hailstorm, damage may still occur and the property owner will need to file a commercial property insurance claim. With this in mind, it’s important to know how long claimants have to file for roof hail damage to ensure the claim is processed effectively, so they can get back to business.
Filing a Commercial Roof Hail Damage Claim
Dealing with hail damage to a roof is an unfortunate reality for many commercial property owners in Texas. While hail activity is usually at its highest during March and May, it’s not uncommon for the Lone Star State to experience hail during the summer months as well. Texas is one of the leading states across the nation that experiences hail activity. From 2017 to 2019, Texas residents filed over 638,000 insurance claims for hail damage.
The impact of hail can cause devastating damage to roofs in particular. For instance, a roof that has sustained prior hail damage will likely see punctures through the roof and roof membrane during future hailstorms. In addition, having roof punctures present can cause further damage to the interior of a commercial structure, as water can more easily enter the building. Hail damage to a roof can be incredibly costly too, as in some circumstances the damaged roof will need to be replaced entirely. Considering these and other factors, policyholders seeking to file timely hail insurance claims must:
Understand Texas Hailstorm Law Deadlines
Texas has certain deadlines and statutes of limitation that must be taken into account when filing a claim for hail damage. This is because policyholders that do not timely file a hail-related claim within the applicable limits could be subject to legal penalties. Although the timeframe for filing a hail damage claim ultimately depends on the stipulations listed within a commercial insurance policy, the Texas statute of limitations for filing a hailstorm claim is usually two years from the date of the covered event. Despite this, it is of paramount importance that policyholders file their claim for hail damage as soon as the damage has been assessed. The quicker a claim is filed (while still being appropriately thorough, of course), the more likely it is to be approved by the insurance provider.
Keep and Maintain Damage Records
After hail damage has occurred, the insurer will need several pieces of information to properly evaluate a claim. This includes photos and videos of the damage, notes on any inventory that may have been lost, and any out-of-pocket expenses related to the damage. Keeping and maintaining these records about company assets, payroll, and holdings can help the claims process go more smoothly.
Review Commercial Wind and Hail Policies
Commercial property owners must have a thorough understanding of their policy or policies and what is or is not covered. In some cases, policies can be broken down into Replacement Cost Value (RCV) and Actual Cost Value (ACV) coverage. RCV provides that a policyholder will receive the amount necessary to replace covered damage at present cost for items of like kind or quality. On the other hand, ACV is the amount that a lost item was worth at the time of purchase, or the amount equal to the replacement cost minus depreciation of the damaged property at the time of loss.
In addition, wind and hail policies may have to be purchased separately from standard commercial property damage policies, which do not always cover hail-related damage. It is common for business owners to incorrectly assume they have hail damage coverage under a commercial policy when in fact they do not. A wind and hail insurance policy can be obtained through private insurers or from the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA). Having a wind and hail policy in place can help to cover the cost of direct hail damage to a business. However, policyholders should note that even with a wind and hail policy in place they can still be taken advantage of by their insurance company. Because of this, it’s important that business owners consult with legal counsel to determine the full extent of coverage available before disaster strikes.
Commercial Hail Damage Coverage Attorneys
At Raizner Law, we understand just how frustrating and time-consuming it can be to deal with hail damage. This frustration can become exacerbated if a valid claim is denied, delayed, or underpaid by an insurance provider. If your commercial property has suffered hail damage and you need assistance with a claim, contact our office to see how we can help.
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