Take Steps to Protect Yourself from Storm Damage Insurance Ripoffs
Springtime in Texas means several things: bluebonnets, barbecues, and beaches. The spring and summer months also bring a much less pleasant event: bad weather. Last year, homeowners filed a near-record number of storm damage insurance claims across the state. This year has already seen nearly $120 million in storm damage insurance claims from tornadoes in San Antonio. However, homeowners can take steps to protect themselves from fraud and scam artists.
Texas Storm Damage Insurance Claims Tops In U.S.
Texas has both the highest number of storm damage insurance claims in the U.S., and some of the biggest single-event weather disasters on record. According to State Farm, the company received more than 66,000 storm damage insurance claims from homeowners in 2016, far outdistancing second-place Illinois (16,000). Insurance companies are in the business of insuring against risks such as these types of storms. And as insurance companies know well, severe weather in unpredictable. These storms have impacted areas across the state, from ice storms in North Texas to heavy rains in Houston and Galveston. Of course, Texas is the second largest state in the United States and, as Texans know, there are five different, very distinct climates in the State. So, although the numbers are large, they are not alarming.
Texas Storm Damage Insurance Claims Exceeded $4 Billion
A report from the Insurance Council of Texas showed that storm damage insurance claims across the state exceeded $4 billion in 2016. Many of these claims stemmed from spring thunderstorms and tornadoes in Collin, Dallas, and Tarrant counties in North Texas. A hailstorm in San Antonio last April caused an estimated $1.4 billion in storm damage insurance claims, the single biggest amount of hailstorm damage in the state’s history.
Texas Storm Damage Insurance Claims – An Unpredictable Pattern
The state’s wild weather patterns could lead to an even higher number of storm damage insurance claims in 2017. Several tornadoes struck the San Antonio area last month, leading to more than $120 million in storm damage insurance claims from hundreds of homeowners. In early March, a severe downpour struck the Houston area, leaving streets and homes flooded. And, each year, the Gulf Coast prepares for hurricane season. But from year to year, the unpredictable weather leads to unpredictable numbers of storm damage claims.
Documenting Your Storm Damage Insurance Claims
While no one can prevent severe weather, homeowners can take steps to ensure that their storm damage insurance claims will be honored. After ensuring that the property has been secured from potential dangers (e.g. structural damage, gas leaks, electrical failures), one of the first steps is to photograph the damage. Homeowners can use these photos to establish their storm damage insurance claims with their insurance carrier. Also, homeowners should watch out for mobile contractor operations who offer to repair the damage in exchange for a down payment. Many of these “storm chasers” are scam artists who will either perform the work with substandard materials, unqualified labor, or fail to show up after receiving their payment.
Know Your Rights in a Storm Damage Insurance Claim Lawsuit
To find out how we can help you with a storm damage insurance claim lawsuit, contact the Flowers Law Firm today at 903-965-2000. Our friendly staff will ask a few questions about your case and connect you to a storm damage insurance claim lawsuit attorney.