Frances Badayos | author
ICHQ | Site Author
State Farm homeowners insurance typically provides financial protection for hail damage, but news of State Farm denying hail damage claims has some homeowners concerned. This guide from Insurance Claim HQ’s hail damage lawyers explains the circumstances in which State Farm may deny a hail damage claim and what you can do to get your impacted property covered.
Is State Farm Denying Hail Damage Claims?
A standard homeowners insurance policy from State Farm provides coverage for hail damage unless your policy excludes this coverage by endorsement.
However, there are some circumstances in which State Farm may deny your claim or only cover a portion of your hail damage.
What Are Possible Reasons State Farm May Deny a Claim for Hail Damage to a Roof?
The most common reason State Farm denies claims for hail damage to a roof is that the adjuster determined the damage was not caused by a covered cause of loss. Oftentimes, this is because State Farm says the damage is from normal wear and tear or aging, which homeowners insurance does not cover.
Some policies in regions that experience frequent hail damage have a cosmetic damage exclusion. If your policy has this exclusion, State Farm will not pay for hail damage that only affects the appearance of your property.
Other reasons State Farm may deny your claim include:
- Not submitting your claim within the hail damage claim time limit
- Trying to claim for damage occurred before the policy period started or after it ended
- Not providing sufficient proof of loss or damages
- Violating the terms of the insurance agreement
If State Farm determines that hail caused part of your damage and wear and tear or old damage caused the rest, it may pay only the portion of your damage the adjuster determined the hail caused.
What Are Ways State Farm Denying Hail Damage Claims May Be in Bad Faith?
A recent State Farm press release says that the company has paid out $1 billion more in hail claims in 2022 than it paid in 2021. Some policyholders believe that State Farm has been denying hail damage claims in an attempt to save the company money.
While State Farm can take steps to reduce costs, such as educating homeowners about preventing hail damage, applying for rate adjustments, increasing deductibles, or excluding coverage by endorsement, the company can’t simply decide to deny valid claims. Louisiana law requires insurance companies to act in good faith when settling claims.
Per Louisiana statutes, State Farm may be guilty of acting in bad faith if the company:
- Misrepresents relevant facts or insurance policy provisions related to coverage
- Denies your State Farm hail damage claim or attempts to settle it based on an application someone altered without your consent
- Doesn’t pay your claim within 30 days of a written agreement to do so
- Fails to pay your claim within 60 days of the date you provided proof of loss in a manner that is arbitrary, capricious, or without probable cause
- Misleads you about the applicable prescriptive period
State Farm must establish evidence-based claims processes and follow these internal processes when adjusting hail damage claims.
Claimants have accused the company of intentionally misrepresenting hail damage to roofs as damage from wear and tear by either intentionally not training field adjusters to recognize hail damage or by arbitrarily determining damage is due to wear and tear even when evidence from the field adjuster doesn’t support that determination.
While insurance companies have the right to deny claims when there is evidence that the damage is not covered by the policy, denying claims arbitrarily or without probable cause is against Louisiana law. If State Farm has denied your valid hail damage claim, you may be able to pursue a bad faith lawsuit against the company.
What Can Policyholders Do About State Farm Denying Hail Damage Claims?
Policyholders who find evidence of State Farm denying hail damage claims in bad faith can pursue a bad faith lawsuit against the company. However, proving an insurance company violated the law can be difficult. The experienced bad faith insurance lawyers at Insurance Claim HQ can help you get the settlement you deserve. Contact us today in Louisiana to schedule a case evaluation.