Dozens of homeowners say insurance companies lowballed or denied roof damage claims from hail

Samantha Chatman Image
Friday, November 10, 2023
Dozens say insurance companies lowballed or denied roof damage claims
Dozens of Illinois and Indiana residents say their insurance companies, like State Farm and Allstate, lowballed or denied claims for hail roof damage.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Dozens more people are saying their insurance claims for roof damage from hail in the Chicago area and Northwest Indiana were either lowballed or flat-out denied.

READ MORE: Lake County, Indiana couple battles State Farm for months over roof repairs for hail damage

The Illinois Department of Insurance is now urging consumers to come forward with their complaints so they can hold all insurance companies to their policies.

Jen and Phil Hibbard are among those who have contacted the I-Team saying their insurance company left them high and dry. The Crown Point, Ind., couple said their home suffered three hail events over the last year and their roof damage was estimated at about $23,000.

But the couple said their insurance company, State Farm, denied their claims and then dropped them. They had made three hail claims in the last three years, but only four total claims in the last 19 years.

"State Farm was choosing not to renew our homeowners' policy because we've made too many claims--It was devastating," said Jen Hibbard.

Yolanda Castrejon of Skokie said quarter-sized hail caused more than $10,000 in damage to her roof last spring, but Allstate sent her a check in the mail for just $105.

"I was very upset. Disappointed most of all," she said.

According to research by the ABC7 Data Team, the state of Illinois has received more than 3,000 home insurance complaints since January 2022. State Farm has been leading home insurance complaints since 2022 with 1,224 or 36.8% of the total complaints. Allstate has the second most complaints since 2022 at 515, or 15.5% of the total.

Dana Popish Severinghaus, head of the Illinois Department of Insurance, said consumers experiencing problems with their insurance company should file a complaint.

"We're basically the front line for consumers who need help getting an answer," she said.

You can call, or submit a complaint online or in person. Once it's processed, the insurance company has 21 days to respond to the complaint. It then takes the Illinois Department of Insurance four to six weeks to investigate a complaint.

"We look to see if an insurance law has been violated, or if the company is not abiding by the guidelines in the policy, then we request corrective action," Severinghaus said.

Once a decision is made, the agency will send you a determination letter.

In a statement, State Farm said in part, "Following severe spring weather in Indiana and Illinois, State Farm continues to assist our customers. Year to date we have received over 83K catastrophe claims (excluding auto), and we have paid out over $800 million (also excluding auto) in these two states alone."

They also added that "State Farm serves more customers in the state of Illinois than any of our competitors."

Allstate said it addressed Castrejon's claim according to her policy, and added, "We are the second largest home insurer in Illinois according to the state and are rated as one of the best home insurers in Illinois."

But these homeowners still feel let down.

"Always paid our premiums on time. We did the cars, we did an umbrella policy, we did the house, everything. For them to look at us and go nope, it's very disheartening," said Phil Hibbard.

When filing a complaint with your state's department of insurance, include as many details as possible, including pictures and videos if you have them.

How to file an insurance complaint in Illinois or Indiana

To file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Insurance, call 866-445-5364 or click here.

To file a complaint with the Indiana Department of Insurance, call 800-622-4461 or click here.