As the storms seem to become more frequent and more intense, the state of Texas finds itself at the center of a crisis with regard to lawsuits for hail damage. It is estimated that lawsuits are filed every day claiming hail caused significant damage to a metal roof and, perhaps predictably, many insurance companies are trying to avoid paying claims by claiming the damage to the roof was “cosmetic” and did not affect the roof’s function at all.
Many metal roof hail damage claims denials are bogus and unfair on their face. The idea that a metal roof can’t be damaged by hail except cosmetically is ridiculous. Hail can cause “cosmetic” dents in the roof, but it can also reduce the lifespan of the roof, harm it’s water shedding capabilities, and damage seams between metal panels, leading to leaks, which can cause further damage. Therefore, what can sometimes seem to be “cosmetic” damage to a metal roof can often lead to losses down the road.
Cosmetic Metal Roof Damage Is Still A Direct Physical Loss
Also, the “cosmetic” nature of the damage shouldn’t matter. Even if the damage to the roof was “only” cosmetic, it still meets the definition of a direct physical loss, if we assume that “damage” is defined as physical loss or harm that results from a type of event, or covered loss, under the insurance policy. When you look at it closely, before the storm, the policyholder had a roof without dents and now the roof has multiple dents that will deteriorate over time and may even cause leaks now; that is damage, and it reduces the value of the property by a certain amount, which means even if an adjuster considers it to be “cosmetic,” it should be covered. The purpose and principle of indemnity is to restore the policyholder to the state they were in just before the incident occurred, which means returning you to having a damage-free roof.
Read Your Insurance Policy Carefully: Look For Cosmetic Damage Exclusions
The problem of denial has become so acute that some insurance companies are writing exclusions for what they call “cosmetic” damage into their policy. And since their adjusters call virtually all hail damage to a metal roof “cosmetic,” they are effectively writing policies that cover nothing. In doing so, the insurance companies are claiming that, because minor dents don’t allow leaks, reduce the service life of the roof in any significant way, they shouldn’t be covered. Unfortunately, these policy exclusions may soon become the norm, especially in areas more prone to hail, such as the Midwest and large parts of Texas.
Insurance companies advertise themselves as protectors and promise to cover everyone when your business or your home is damaged, but in reality their main purpose is to collect as much money as possible and pay out as little as they can get away with. The latest wrinkle, when it comes to excluding “cosmetic” damage to metal roofs, is unfair and needs to be stopped. Insurance companies need to be held accountable for doing what they say they will do whenever you suffer damage to your property.
Raizner Slania Handle Metal Roof Hail Damage Claims Nationally
If you have suffered damage to a metal roof and the agents for your insurance company are trying to label the damage “cosmetic” to avoid paying for it, contact the Texas Insurance Attorneys at Raizner Slania LLP as soon as possible, so that we can help you protect your rights. Our attorneys have a long history of fighting insurance companies and winning on hail damage cases and we know how to counter the tactics of insurance companies and get a resolution to your situation.