Lawyer: Don't get intimidated when insurance denies roof damage claim

CHOLUOTA, Fla. – Julie Voyles said she has been fighting her insurance company for weeks after a May hailstorm damaged several roofs in her Chuluota neighborhood, including her own.

[WEB EXTRA: Examples of people fighting insurance companies and consumer guide]

But Voyles said even though her neighbors had their insurance companies replace their roofs due to hail, her insurance company, Tower Hill, has so far refused to replace hers.

"The insurance company is saying it couldn't be caused by hail," Voyles said, even though she said a roofing company told her the damage was caused by the hailstorm.

Veteran attorney Mark Nation reviewed the visual evidence for News 6 and disagreed with insurance company Tower Hill's position that the damage was not caused by hail.

"It looked like there's wind damage on the roof and there is hail damage on the roof," Nation said. "And she has damage to the soft metal and the screen from the hail, and then there's videotape of the hail in the neighborhood, and we have neighbors throughout the neighborhood getting their roofs replaced because of hail. It must be very frustrating for her, but that's what I'm here for."

Nation has been fighting insurance company denials for 25 years.

"Every case I've ever won all started with 'No,'" Nation said. "So I don't want people to get intimidated by a denial from their insurance company."

News 6 producer Sean Lavin wrote to Voyle's insurance company, letting them know Nation disagreed with their denial. The result?

"I didn't even have to call them," Voyles said. "He sent one letter and within 24 hours I get an email back: 'We'll meet with whoever you want us to meet there, whenever it's convenient to you."

After News 6 got involved, Voyle's insurance company sent a roofing inspector to provide a second opinion on the potential hail damage.

"I thought the fight was over. I tried once, I tried twice, I tried supervisors, I tried calling everybody," Voyles said. "Nobody would listen. I was like, 'OK, I'm going to call Channel 6, because everyone calls Channel 6.' It worked. You guys get results."

Voyles got the impression the inspector would recommend her claim be approved. If it's not, Nation would be willing to take the case head on.

Tower Hill declined to comment to News 6, citing customer privacy concerns.

Industry insiders told News 6 that insurance disputes are often up to interpretation. The state offers a mediation service where insurance companies and customers can try to work out a disagreement.

Check back for updates on this story.