How the Weather Expert Can Help Your Homeowners’ Insurance Case
If you are involved in a lawsuit against your homeowners’ insurance company, you may expect that your case needs experts in order to win. Because homeowners’ insurance cases deal with the nature and extent of damage to property, you may expect those experts to be people in the construction industry—engineers, architects, electricians, to name a few. You may not expect your friendly weatherman to be of help to you.
How a Meteorologist Can Help
In fact, the weatherman is actually a meteorologist, someone who has studied in the very serious discipline of weather and weather patterns. In more and more cases, meteorologists are being used to help homeowners in lawsuits where there is a dispute over how damage to homes was caused.
Almost every homeowners’ insurance policy has exclusions to the policy—causes of damage that the insurance company does not have to pay for. Because insurance companies make money by paying as little as possible, they will often try to claim that the damage to your home is excluded from coverage.
When damage because of a weather event is covered, and damage by some other cause is excluded, the meteorologist can step in with an expert opinion to help a homeowner show that the cause of the damage was due to a weather event.
Disputes Over Weather Patterns
For example, assume that a homeowner says that a strong rainstorm caused parts of the roof to break off, causing leakage into the home. The insurance company contests this, saying that there has been no storm recently with winds strong enough to cause such damage.
An expert meteorologist can review historical weather data, and from the data, give opinions on how strong winds were at a given time, at a given location (in fact, it is well known that there can be hurricane force winds even in regular strong afternoon thunderstorms in Florida).
The same can apply for disputes about tornadoes or hail damage. These conditions can happen on one block but not on an adjacent block. A meteorologist can testify as to where exactly conditions were ripe for hail or a small tornado to occur.
Limitations on Testimony
A meteorologist’s testimony must be in conjunction with a building professional, because a meteorologist sometimes is not legally qualified to testify that a certain type of weather is capable of causing a certain type of damage to property. For example, a meteorologist would testify that winds of X miles per hour occurred, while a building professional would say that winds at X miles per hour are capable of causing the damage that the homeowner experienced.
Meteorologists are being used more and more in homeowners’ insurance coverage dispute cases. A good homeowners’ insurance attorney will look to experts in any fields needed in order to get the evidence to refute a homeowners’ insurance company’s denial of coverage.
Make sure your attorneys are ready to fight your insurance company if needed in any dispute over coverage. Contact the Miami property damage insurance attorneys at Velasquez & Associates P.A. today with any questions you may have.