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    Weathering the Storm: Surviving Hail Coverage Shifts in Texas

    Posted by Ron Wadley on Feb 20, 2024 4:45:48 PM

    Gene sat in his Lubbock kitchen, staring at the renewal documents for his home insurance coverage. The Texas sky outside was clear today, but Gene's mind was clouded with worry. Every spring's hailstorms have left a vivid memory etched into his mind. And now, his insurance company has changed how coverage on his roof worked. It felt like a storm was brewing, not in the sky, but in his life. This shift in policy wasn't just a minor detail; it was a potential financial tornado since he was now looking at a much bigger hail deductible. Nevermind that his insurance payments were going up about 50% as well. Gene's situation is all too familiar for many Texas homeowners, who find themselves navigating the shifting sands of Texas home insurance policies, particularly when it comes to hail damage.


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    Understanding Your Texas Home Insurance Policy

    The landscape of homeowners insurance in Texas is as varied and dynamic as the state itself. Insurance rates are not just on the rise, but reaching unprecedented heights state wide. Along with that, policy coverages are evolving and using words that don't quite make sense, often leaving homeowners searching for clarity. Gene was feeling this at a deep level while looking at those documents while also contemplating how he was going to pay for the premium increases he was experiencing.

    It's not secret to Texans that hail damage claims top the list of insurance claims that are filed annually in this great state. This underscores the importance of being well-informed about your homeowners policy specifics regarding damage from hail events. Unfortunately, the changes in terms and conditions might not always be communicated effectively by agents, leading to surprises for both Gene and you when it comes time for that roof claim. Familiarizing yourself with the intricacies of hail claims can make all the difference in how well you can protect your home against these natural events.

    Explanation of the Increasing Insurance Premiums

    The reasons behind the increasing homeowners insurance rates in Texas are multifaceted. Factors such as the frequency of hail claims, rising costs associated with claim payouts due to inflation, and the impact of extreme weather events all contribute to this trend. One thing contributing to these pressures listed is  the construction of homes in areas more prone to hail. This is especially true along the Red River north of Dallas-Ft Worth where homes are going up faster than a lightning strike!

    There is also a bit of a silent killer that you may not be aware of. Reinsurance is when the homeowners insurance companies buy insurance on the insurance that they are selling you. This is done so that they don't have to hold as much cash to pay directly for claims. But reinsurance costs also play a significant role in further driving up insurance costs as it has become more difficult to obtain this coverage. Understanding these dynamics is essential for homeowners who are trying to navigate the challenges of maintaining affordable yet comprehensive insurance coverage.

    Weathering the Storm: Surviving Hail Coverage Shifts in Texas

    How Do Homeowners Insurance Policies Cover Hail Damage?

    When hail strikes, the extent of your home insurance coverage can significantly impact the financial protection that you experience. A homeowner policy will typically outline specific coverage for damage caused by hail and wind from a bad storm. But the nuances of how claim payments are made during the process, including deductible requirements and claim settlement, are vital to understand. In areas like North Texas where the frequency of hail storms changes the math of costs, it's important to ensure your home is fully protected. This is why Insurance For Texans promotes thoroughly reviewing your policy's terms and conditions related to hail damage insurance claims.

    Filing a Claim for Hail Damage

    The process of filing a claim for hail damage involves several steps. It begins with a thorough inspection by a reputable roofing contractor before we ever contact the insurance provider. this is done to eliminate a false claim from appearing on your CLUE report. Once it is established that you do have a claim, documenting the damage and reporting it to your insurance company is the next step. The insurance provider will then assign an insurance adjuster who will work closely with you to ensure your claim is processed efficiently and correctly. The insurance adjuster will help you understand your deductible and establish the estimate for roof replacement or repair costs. Then the work can begin by the roofing company to get your back into tip top shape.

    Explanation of How Insurance Companies Typically Payout For Hail Damage

    While the method insurance companies use to pay out hail claims can vary, there is a standard process that is followed for most claims payouts for hail. As we mentioned, after the claim for damage has been filed with the company, the adjuster will work with you and the roofer to establish how the claim will be settled. This is an important part of how your homeowners policy works. The total amount paid out will be dependent on whether you have a policy with replacement cost or actual cash value for your roof. If you have an actual cash value policy, the final payment amount to you will be depreciated based on the age of your roof. This particular item is set by your policy terms.

    Once this is established, the homeowner will receive a check covering the replacement cost estimate minus any applicable depreciation and the hail/windstorm deductible. This check is used as a deposit to secure the roofing contractor so that the work can begin. Once all work is completed, the reputable roofing contractor will collect your deductible from you. If you have a policy with replacement cost, the hail claim typically concludes with the insurance company releasing the remaining funds once the repairs are completed.


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    Importance of Understanding Your Deductible

    Before filing a hail damage claim, knowing the specifics of your deductible is essential. This knowledge can help you determine whether the cost of repairs will exceed the deductible and whether filing a claim is financially prudent. This is why we stress having a trusted roofer who understands claims for hail damage to look at your roof before filing a claim. If they can simply do roof repairs for minimal damage, it is in your best interest long term. It's also important to note that high-risk areas may have different deductible requirements like. We are now seeing much higher minimum insurance deductible limits which is influencing the decision-making process for homeowners given the increased costs associated with these deductibles.

    Other Factors That Change The Amount You Receive For Your Hail Claim

    We are now seeing other factors influence the amount you receive from your hail claim. Many insurance companies are now using different words to specify the type of claim settlement on your standard home insurance policy. They are using the phrase "roof payment schedule" to describe actual cash value coverage. They have begun to also put different restrictions on policies with respect to who qualifies for a replacement cost policy.

    There are also additional exclusions such as the "matching roof materials" which can further complicate the claims process. Being aware of these potential limitations is vital for homeowners seeking to fully understand their coverage and the possible financial implications of filing a hail damage claim. 

    Can The Insurance Company Change How Hail Is Covered At Renewal?

    Many homeowners in Texas initially purchase policies that include replacement cost coverage for roofs. But we are now seeing the coverage terms can change at renewal for many unsuspecting Texans like Gene. The age of the roof, for example, can lead to adjustments in the policy. If your roof is too old you can experience the introduction of a roof payment schedule on that renewal. It's also not uncommon to see your separate deductible for wind and hail to be increased.

    While the Texas Department of Insurance has rules on how these changes are implemented, many people are finding out about them the hard way. It's imperative for homeowners to review their renewal documents carefully, noting any changes in deductible amounts or coverage terms. We strongly encourage you to engage in open dialogue with your insurance agents to fully understand these changes. If you do not have an agent, Insurance For Texans can help.

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    Get True Texas Home Insurance

    True Texas Home Insurance offers a level of coverage designed to meet the unique needs of Texas homeowners. This coverage ensures that roof replacement costs are addressed, providing peace of mind in the face of Texas's unpredictable weather and can only be found at Insurance For Texans. Partnering with an experienced agent who is familiar with the Texas insurance landscape can help homeowners navigate their options and secure coverage that best fits their needs.

    Working With Insurance For Texans To Get Coverage

    Insurance For Texans is dedicated to helping Lubbock homeowners like Gene and others all across this great state to safeguard their homes. Our agents do this with customized insurance plans that offer comprehensive hail coverage for you. By working with the independent agents at Insurance For Texans, homeowners can explore their coverage options, ensuring they receive the protection they need. This personalized approach underscores the commitment of Insurance For Texans to serve the best interests of Texas homeowners.

    Click The Button Below To Learn What Your Insurance’s New Hail Rules Mean for You

    Navigating the complexities of home insurance, especially in light of changes to hail damage coverage, can be daunting. True Texas Home Insurance is here to guide you through these changes, ensuring that you're well-equipped to protect your home against whatever the Texas weather brings.


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    Topics: actual cash value, deductible, Dallas/Fort Worth, hail, Home Insurance Tips, roofing schedule, TRUE Texas Home Insurance, lubbock