You were there. You heard the hail pound against your roof, siding, and windows. You saw the hail fall in your yard. You contacted a roofer to inspect the roof. The roofer told you that your roof was definitely damaged by hail so you made a claim to your insurance company.
While you waited for your insurance company to inspect the damage, you saw your neighbor’s insurance companies step up and do the right thing, and cover their roof damage. Yet to your surprise, your insurance company told you there was no damage to your roof. Or perhaps, they told you that any damage caused to your roof was from wear and tear rather than hail. Your insurance company denied your claim.
This situation is far too common.
Over the years, we’ve represented many Wisconsin businesses, condominium associations, and homeowners with their denied hail claims. In this article, we’ll discuss how we got State Farm Insurance to reconsider the denial of one of our client’s hail damage claims.
How To Refute the Insurance Company’s Claim That No Damage?
The scenario described in the intro to this post describes a case that our attorneys handled for a condominium association whose roofs were pounded by hail. The surrounding property owners had their roofs replaced but our client’s claim had been denied.
State Farm Insurance took the position that there was no damage. State Farm hired an expert who opined that there was no hail damage because the expert didn’t believe that the hail wasn’t big enough to cause damage. The condominium association knew this explanation was nonsense. So they hired Murdock Law to contest the denied claim.
We reviewed the insurance company’s denial letter. We closely reviewed every citation in State Farm’s expert’s report. After we did so, we discovered that State Farm’s “expert” had made a significant error. The sources that he had cited undermined his conclusion. Specifically, the sources that the expert had cited actually concluded that roofs would be damaged 100% of the time when hit by hail stones the size that hit our client’s roof.
We then collected additional evidence. We had sworn statements from our clients and the neighbors regarding what they had seen and collected photos that showed the size of the hail stones. Armed with this evidence, We sent this letter to State Farm:*
How did the Insurance Company Respond?
We’re happy to report that State Farm quickly reconsidered its position and agreed to pay the claim without a lawsuit. This story has a happy ending as our client was able to get a new roof for the building.
Our client in this case did some things that can work for other property owners:
- Do not take an insurance company’s “no” for a final answer.
- Carefully review the denial letter you received. Understand the specific reasons for the denial and gather all relevant documents, policy information, and evidence related to your claim.
- Gather additional evidence. Talk to your neighbors and get them to provide statements. See if any of them have photos of the hailstones.
- Obtain opinions or estimates from independent contractors or experts in hail damage assessment. Their professional evaluations can serve as additional evidence to support your claim. Make sure they are willing to state their opinions in writing.
- Don’t be afraid to challenge the basis of the insurance company’s denial. Often insurance company experts use the same boilerplate language that may not apply to your claim.
- If all else fails, consider consulting with an attorney specializing in insurance claims. They can provide legal advice and represent you in your claim with the insurance company.
Where To Find Help?
Murdock Law, S.C. helps people and businesses with their insurance claims. Contact the attorneys at Murdock Law if you feel like you’ve been treated unfairly by your insurance company, or you’re just not sure where to start. We’ll double-check your insurance policy and work with you to make sure you’re getting what you deserve on your claim.
*Redacted to preserve client confidentiality. Please note that like financial advisors’ disclaimers, past results do not guarantee success.