How To File An Insurance Claim For Hail Damage

insurance hail storm

If you follow our blog, you know that hail can do quite the number on your roof. While standard home insurance covers hail damage in most states, coverage varies from the insurance company, where you live, and your policy set up. 

Today, we’re going to explain how home insurance pays for hail damage to your house and how to file a claim from your policy. 

Why Is Hail Bad For Your Roof?

Hailstorms can cause significant damage. Most times, wind and hail damage to a roof can be repaired without a full roof replacement or total home repair. If hail has damaged your roof, it’s best to contact an expert for an independent assessment before you decide to file a hail damage claim with your insurance company.

Payouts For Hail Damage

The average homeowner claim totaled nearly $12,000, according to State Farm 2020 hail claims data. Of course, your claim may be higher or lower. Regardless of the amount, an insurer will usually cover the damage minus the deductible. 

How Does Hail Damage Insurance Work?

In many states, a standard homeowner’s policy includes hail damage to the roof as part of your protection coverage. Homeowners file a claim, pay the policy deductible, and then the insurer pays to fix the damage. A deductible is an amount you have to pay toward a loss before your insurance company pays a claim. 

When deciding whether to file a claim, you should always be sure that the amount of the insurance payout exceeds your deductible by enough money to make financial sense. For instance, if your house sustains $2,000 worth of damage and your deductible is $1,000, it might not be prudent to file a claim. Filing a claim may raise your rates. This means you would pay more for filing a claim than paying for the damage out of pocket in the long run.

Most standard policies require filing a claim within one year of the hail storm damage. Policyholders need to file promptly when hail damages your home. You should also take photos of the damage. Do not make repairs before contacting your insurer. Protect any damage with a tarp or other type of covering. 

How To Make A Hail Damage Roof Insurance Claim

The dwelling coverage portion of your homeowner’s insurance covers your home, including the roof. Typically, a standard home insurance policy covers roof damage from wind, fire, hail, or the weight of snow.

A replacement cost policy pays to replace your roof based on current construction costs. An actual cash value policy decreases your payment based on the age or wear on your roof. 

Here’s an example: Let’s say it costs $30,000 to replace your 10-year-old roof after hail damage, and your home policy has a $3,000 deductible. A policy with replacement cost will pay $27,000 ($30,000 – $3,000). A policy with actual cash value coverage will subtract the depreciation for the age of your roof. If the value of your roof depreciated by half after 10 years, the policy would pay $12,000 ($15,000 – $3,000).

Once your claim is filed, you have to pay the deductible. It’s usually a percentage of your coverage amount or the amount you chose when you bought the policy. Some policies have a separate deductible for windstorm claims.

If you have replacement costs, typically you receive two payments from your insurance provider. The first is for the actual cash value of the roof. Then, after they replace the roof, the company will pay the rest.

To File A Claim, Do This:

  • Document the damage.

Take photographs, and if possible, measure or estimate the size of the hail.

  • Submit your claim.

Contact your insurer and have your policy number and an explanation/summary of damages. Your insurance agent will discuss your current policy, what’s covered, and your next steps.

  • Get repair estimates from local contractors before the adjuster shows up.

Get three to four estimates from contractors in your area that you trust. However, do not sign any contracts or make any type of payment or hire anyone for the work yet. It is important not to begin repairs until after the adjuster has inspected your home, as that may lead to not receiving compensation. Keep a record of these estimates for future meetings.

  • Schedule an appointment with an insurance adjuster.

After filing a claim, they will ask you to schedule an appointment with an insurance adjuster. If possible, ask a trusted roofing contractor to attend the meeting with the adjuster. That helps ensure you get a fair assessment, and that damage isn’t overlooked.

  • Meet with the insurance adjuster.

The adjuster will help determine the cause of damage and assess the total cost. You will share your notes, photos, and estimates at this meeting. The adjuster will then create a report with all the details that will be submitted to the insurance company to help process the claim.

  • Hire a contractor to do the repairs.

Once your claim has been approved, and you have settled for the cost of repairs, you can hire someone to repair your roof. You should review the background of any contractor or company you hire and the person or business should be licensed. Typically, your insurance provider will pay in advance half of the total cost to allow you to begin repairs. The last half will be sent upon completion, minus your deductible.

If you owe money on your home’s mortgage, the insurance company will usually send a check made out to your mortgage company. You’ll then have to work with the mortgage company to get the money released for repairs.

What Is In An Estimate

If your roof was damaged by hail and you need to file a claim, and want to get repair estimates, we advise the following be included:

  • Quantity of all materials needed (include all roofing items including vents, flashing or other wind or hail damaged items)
  • Labor charges
  • Work specifications
  • Approximate starting and completion dates
  • Payment procedures
  • Building permits secured
  • Warranty details 

Free Estimates

We can provide you with a free estimate if you suspect that your roof has been damaged in a hailstorm Call us at (636) 699-0449 to get started.