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Storm damage: Claim denial is often a first response

As many residential homeowners and commercial property owners know well, things can sometimes get a bit problematic when an insurance claim is filed following damage that occurs as a result of a storm.

And as we all know, storm damage can result from a number of causes. In Minnesota and throughout the Midwest, snow and ice dam damage is a common occurrence that necessitates the filing of many insurance claims. Lightning and fire damage is also the source of significant property damage.

Then, too, there is hail damage. To many Midwesterners of a certain age, stories of golf-ball -- or even larger -- sized hail are far more than just anecdotal. Hail strikes can gut roofs, bust windows, kill animals and virtually destroy cars. When hail brings significant property damage, it is important that insured parties are fully and promptly compensated for their losses.

Sadly, and as well evidenced from numerous and recurring media reports, that doesn’t always happen. In fact, many insurers commonly deny hail-related claims.

When that happens, a frustrated policy holder should contact a proven insurance recovery attorney well experienced in dealing with property insurance companies. Central to the advice given recently by a public adjuster in a media article discussing hail damage is that an insurance claimant should “seek legal advice” in the event that an initial contact with an insurer does not yield an equitable result.

In that cited media story, a church is still trying to get a national insurer to pay off on a claim many months after a hail storm damaged its building, resulting in leaks and substantial water damage. The insurer has consistently denied the claim, stating that the worship center’s roof was not damaged in the storm.

The church pastor scoffs at that contention. “Facts are facts,” he says, noting that the leaks that now inundate his building did not exist prior to the storm.

Sadly, insurance denial in such a case is far more common than many people think. An experienced attorney with proven acumen in representing insurance policy holders can forcefully promote a claimant’s interests when an insurer balks at doing the right thing.

Source:, "Church struggles after denied hailstorm insurance claim," David Grasso-Ortega, May 28, 2014

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