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Hail Damage? – What you Need to Know

Help navigating a potential hail claim to your roof.

Hail Stones

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 your insurance protection:

Hail does not equal roof damage.

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. 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) may cause damage.

Hail is literally hit or miss.

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.

•Minor hail damage may not affect your roof’s life.

The insurance industry has standards as to how many “hits per square yard of roof area” 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.). Having coverage for matching roof and siding is important in case just a portion is damaged. Your Capitol agent can make sure you have this coverage.

Before turning in a homeowners insurance claim:

Never allow a roofer coming to your home after a storm inspect your roof. Many of these “storm-chasers” are not reputable contractors. 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 and turn in a claim. Find more about how to hire the right roofer.

Don’t wait to file a claim!

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.

Use a piggy bank.

We all should 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 home warranty policy.

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