April Showers Bring May Hail Claims

Tony Grahn
Written on April 8, 2019

There is nothing you can do to prevent a hail storm from hitting your house, but if one does, here are some things you need to know as it relates to insurance protection:

Not all hail storms jeopardize the integrity of your roof.

During most hail storms, roofs aren’t damaged because of the size of the stone or due to the direction it hits and bounces off. Newer shingles are now more resistant to extreme weather including high winds and hail.

Not all hail storms cause significant enough damage to be covered by your homeowners insurance policy.

Pea sized hail (1/4 of an inch) or marble-sized hail (1/2 inch) might not cause damage. Anything larger, say a dime or quarter (3/4 to one inch) can cause serious damage.

Just because your neighbor suffered damage and had their roof replaced by their insurance company doesn’t mean your roof is damaged to the same extent or covered by insurance.

Due to the nature of wind and the way hail storms occur, it can damage one side of your roof, but not the other. It can also hit some houses, but not others in the same neighborhood.

You might have minor hail damage and not get paid.

The insurance industry has standards as to how many “hits per square yard of roof aea” or what size of dent constitutes hail damage. They might not pay for some very minor damage that doesn’t affect the life of the roof and is invisible. This is because there has been no economic loss. Some people try to treat their insurance policy as a sort of maintenance agreement and use it to get a new roof for the most inconsequential damage. Any success they have raises the rates for the rest of us.

Not always a total replacement.

When a roof is covered by insurance, it’s not always a total replacement. Sometimes it might be to a portion of the roof, and or to the “soft metal” (air-conditioning unit, gutters, etc.).

Before turning in a homeowners insurance claim:

Have a reputable roofer out to determine the extent of damage, and to have them give you an estimate. They work with claims adjusters every day and have a good feel for if it might be covered by insurance. If they believe it’s not, but you disagree and want final confirmation, contact your insurance agent a turn a claim in.

If significant hail damage occurs, as your insurance agent if there is a time limitation on when the claim needs to be reported to the insurance company.

Many insurance policies are now using a 1-year after loss notification period. This helps them better manage and predict claim impact, and encourages insured’s to monitor the health of their property better. That not only helps them remain solvent, but also helps keep premiums more stable.

Create an emergency fund by budgeting years in advance for roof replacement.

This is the same for how you save for unexpected home repairs. A roof replacement is generally the most expensive replacement item you have, other than vehicles. So, budget appropriately, and don’t look to your homeowner insurance policy as a warranty policy.

Contact us if you have any questions or concerns! (317) 253-1155.