Yes, most property insurance policies in the state of Florida cover damages to a property from hail. There were 4,611 major hailstorms in the United States in 2020 according to the NOAA’s Severe Storms database. Hail-related claims resulted in almost $14.2 billion in claims in 2020.
While not as widely discussed as hurricanes in Florida, hailstorms are also a natural phenomenon that cause millions of dollars of property damage in Florida every year. Although hailstorms may be short storm events, sometimes lasting only a few minutes, these storms can cause significant property damage that may be covered under your insurance policy.
Identifying Hail Damage
Any part of the exterior of a home or building can be damaged by hail, but the roof is traditionally where hail damage is most common. Signs of hail damage following a hailstorm including the following:
- Loss of granules
- Damaged or bruised shingles
- Cracking in shingles
- Blown off or missing shingles
- Dents in metal flashing, fascia, chimney, and ventcovers
- Dents in metal panels
- Scratch or splatter marks
- Roof coating failure or rust
- Chipped tile
- Broken tile corners
- Cracked & fractured tiles
- Splatter marks
- Loss of water-shedding capacity
- Water stains on ceiling or walls
- Water stains in/around light fixtures
- Water stains in closets
- Mold/mildew on walls or ceiling
- Attic water seepage or wet
- Water stains in the garage
Other Signs of Hail Damages
- Dented gutters and downspouts
- Mailbox damage
- Damaged siding
- Damaged windowsills/casings
- Damaged window/door/pool screens
- Door dents or paint damage
- Hail damaged cars in the neighborhood
- Paint chipped satellite dish
- Broken/cracked skylights
- Damaged outdoor lights
- Garage door dents/dings
- Dented AC condenser/heat pump
- Dented dryer vents or wall vents
- Chips or dents to deck stain/paint
- Damage to painted wood surfaces
- Damaged pool pump equipment
- Gutter leaf guard deformation
- Dented chimney covers
Factors That Affect The Level Of Hail Damage
Roof Slope: The slope of the roof or wall can affect the level of damage. A lower sloped roof is going to take more of a direct hit from the hailstones than a roof that has a steeper slope. A sharper angled roof is likely to deflect more of the hail and cause less damage.
Direction of the property: The direction a property faces related to the direction of the storm can affect the level of damage. Roof slopes that directly face the oncoming hail are more susceptible to damage as the hail will strike those areas straight on as opposed to glancing hits on the opposite or adjacent roof slopes. It is not uncommon for one slope of a roof to have significant hail damages and the opposite slope to have far less damage.
Trees & Landscaping: Trees and landscaping can play a significant role in shielding a roof from hail damage. Large mature trees in close proximity to a home that provide shade to the home can also prevent or lessen the impact of hailstones striking your roof.
Size, Shape, Density and Speed of Hail: Hail comes in different sizes and shapes. The larger the hailstones the more likely they will cause severe damage to the roof. Denser hailstones have the ability to cause more damage due to their higher momentum when failing. The height at which hail is formed and falls, along with the wind speeds carrying hail through the atmosphere, affects the speed at which the hail will hit surfaces.
File Your Claim As Soon As Possible
You should file a claim as soon as possible if you believe your property has been damaged by hail. Failure to timely report a hail damage claim can be a valid basis for your insurance company to deny insurance coverage. If you are unsure if your home sustained damages from a hailstorm, you should have an independent professional inspect your home and roof to determine the presence and extent of damages.
The Florida Insurance Claim Bill of Rights requires insurance companies to pay the full value of a policyholder’s damages without delay. Under § 627.70131, Fla. Stat., your insurance company has 14 days to acknowledge and respond to your communications and has 90 days to pay or deny your hail insurance claim.
Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Hail Damage?
Almost all Florida standard homeowner’s insurance policies cover damages from hail. Some insurance policies have a separate deductible for hail damage. The deductible can be a flat amount or a percentage of the dwelling coverage limit. If you have questions about the amount of your hail insurance claim deductible, review your policy declarations page or contact one of our expert insurance claim attorneys who can review it for you.
Too often insurance companies either improperly deny hail claims or underpay the amount of the hail claim. These actions leave insureds without the resources and insurance benefits to which they are entitled to adequately and properly repair their hail-damaged properties. Our attorneys have extensive experience helping homeowners and business owners with the insurance claims process and have prosecuted insurance companies for improper denials and underpayment of hail claims for years. Our attorneys have taken improperly denied hail claims to a jury trial, and we will not back down in the fight against your insurance company.
Murray Law Group Can Help
If you believe your insurance company has denied, delayed, or underpaid your hail insurance claim, contact one of the expert insurance claim attorneys at Murray Law Group. Consultations are always free.