You Get What You Pay For

Takeaways from CLM's recent webinar, "Weather Data in Hail and Wind Claims: You Get What You Pay For"

November 29, 2023 Photo

CLM’s Property Community recently held a webinar entitled “Weather Data in Hail and Wind Claims: You Get What You Pay For,” which discussed the benefits of utilizing a forensic meteorologist in weather-related claims rather than conserving money but potentially receiving inaccurate weather reports. Below are a few takeaways from the presentation.



Howard Altschule, Certified Consulting Meteorologist, CEO, Forensic Weather Consultants, LLC

Steven Badger, Partner, Zelle LLP


Steven Badger 

“We always ask these three questions…. Number one: Was there a hail event? Number two: What was the size of the hail? …Number three, the key question: Have there been previous hail/wind events (and claims) at the loss location?”


Steven Badger

“There is nothing wrong with the $39 hail report. It is a great place to start—but remember…you get what you pay for…. We know if there is a dispute as to what happened, we can start with the $39 hail report, but we can’t end there.”


Steven Badger

“Our simple rule: Whenever the weather is in dispute, we can retain, for a reasonable amount of money, a forensic meteorologist…who can help us get to the right answer during the adjustment process and not [wait] for litigation to happen.”


Howard Altschule

“Forensic meteorology…is an in-depth analysis of various types of historical weather data from many different locations. It helps us determine the past weather conditions at a specific property…and it helps us determine if the weather conditions caused or did not cause an incident or accident to occur.”


Howard Altschule

“Adjusters use our reports in the claims phase to make coverage decisions…pre-litigation. …That’s happening more and more, and we’re getting retained very frequently—multiple times a day—by insurance carriers for all [differently-sized] cases and claims before litigation.”


Howard Altschule

“Attorneys [use] our reports a lot in findings for motion practice, or to help settle or defend lawsuits that may involve our deposition testimony or trial testimony.”


Howard Altschule

“Many adjusters, engineers, and attorneys rely on $39 vendor hail reports for small to even large loss claims and lawsuits. Many are based on unknown methodology [resulting in] different hail sizes for the same date and location from different vendors…. These reports are often used as the basis to deny coverage, or to provide coverage.”


Howard Altschule

“Non-meteorologists use NOAA hail reports alone to ‘prove’ that hail did or did not occur at the property. That’s an issue because what happens is storm intensity frequently changes—sometimes over the matter of a few blocks.”



About The Authors
Angela Sabarese

Angela Sabarese, Associate Editor of CLM.

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