How to Know if You Have Hail Damage

Daniel Crichlow
Written on August 23, 2021

In July of 2021, as seems to occur every few years, a hail storm did significant damage to roofs throughout Central Indiana.  It is only natural, when observing hailstones, to wonder if the roof of your house was damaged, particularly if you hear your neighbors say they had damage and their insurance companies are paying for new roofs.  Few of us know what to look for, and aren’t inclined to go climbing around on our roofs to inspect them anyway.  What, then, should a person do to know if a house has sustained hail damage?

Many people call us, asking that we send someone out to inspect their roofs.  We are happy to do that, but we understand people are reluctant to have complete confidence when a claims adjuster looks at a roof and says “no damage.”  After all, that adjuster would seem to have the insurance company’s interest more at heart than yours.

The second option is to have a roofing contractor take a look at it.  While there are many reputable contractors who would never say there is damage when there isn’t, there are also many who are like ambulance chasing attorneys that never saw a roof where they couldn’t also see some damage, real or imagined.  They would seem to have your interest, and their own, more at heart than the insurance company’s.

That leaves the homeowner caught in the middle, not sure whom to believe.

I can tell you unequivocally I have never known a claims adjuster from a company we represent that would tell our customer there was no hail damage if they realized there was.  However, I have seen inexperienced and/or incompetent adjusters who are no more qualified to determine if there was hail damage than you or I would be.  Many times, due to the sheer volume of claims, companies will send adjusters in from other areas to assist with the process, and who knows if they have ever even seen hail damage. Recent use of drones for inspection have made it easier for experienced eyes to take a look at your roof.  Adjusters do their best, but like in any endeavor, the system isn’t perfect.

Here is what we suggest.  Start with a reputable, local, roofing contractor and ask for an inspection.  If they say there is no damage, you may be sure there isn’t.  That knowledge will mean we don’t need to turn it in to your insurance company where sometimes even filing a claim where there is no payment can have long term negative effects on your record.

If the contractor says there is damage, call us and we will file a claim.  Normally, that will be the end of it – the adjuster will work with your contractor to get repairs authorized.  In the rare event the insurance company disagrees with the contractor, it is time for us to get involved.  Call us and we will help you get a third opinion.  Often an independent engineering firm can be utilized.

Hailstorms are a pain in the neck for everyone.  We are here to make that pain as light as possible and to be sure you receive fair and prompt payment for any damage you sustain.   Don’t hesitate to call us with questions or assistance.