Hail damage and insurance claim tips

A recent hailstorm in our area has brought up a number of questions from concerned homeowners including, “Did the hail cause damage to our roof and siding?,“ “What’s the best way to check if there is damage?,” and, “Should we call our insurance company?”

To answer the last question first, beware about calling your insurance company before making sure there is damage to your roof or siding. Some insurance companies may log in your inquiry as a claim, which might adversely affect your insurance rating and rates, even if it’s found that there is no damage. Since hail damage to a roof is not always visible from ground level, it’s best to first call a reputable roofing contractor in your area and schedule an inspection as quickly as possible to determine the extent of the damage, if any. If damage is found, it is recommended that the homeowner submit a claim to their insurance company as soon as possible, since hail damage can many times lead to roof leaks. Many contractors may also assist you in the claim filing process.

Once your claim has been filed, your insurance company will require your home to be inspected by an insurance claims representative.  This is where you want your roofing contractor to be there at the time of the insurance inspection to make sure the inspector sees the same problems they saw.  Insurance claims can get quite tricky and intricate, so having a reputable local contractor handle the issues that arise is very important.

Every insurance company sets its own guidelines for compensation for damages and replacement. Sometimes it will work in the homeowner’s favor and sometimes it won’t. Just because you have hail damage to your roof or siding doesn’t necessarily mean your insurance company will automatically cover you for the full cost of replacement or repair. Some insurance companies may only prorate the cost of a roof replacement based on how old the roof is. The older the roof, the less money will be given you for the replacement.

If you are thinking of seeking out the services of a roofing/siding contractor, be careful that they are a professional and reputable company. Many less-than-reputable contractors “chase” storms and prey upon neighborhoods that have been in the path of a recent storm. Do not agree to any contract to do work on your home before getting a second opinion by a more local contractor to compare price and reputation. Many times, the storm-chasing contractors are more expensive and have less than adequate credentials. We recommend that you work with only licensed and insured Class A contractors who can also provide you with a list of local references. Lastly, if you discover you do have hail damage and need to repair your roof or siding, the most important thing is to make sure that your roofing/siding contractor, the insurance adjustor and you are on the same page for repair cost and timing of when the work is to be performed.

For a list of reputable and trusted roofing/siding contractors, call me! I will be happy to share my list with you.

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