What is hail damage and how do I find out if my property has been affected by the storm?

High winds and quarter-sized & larger hail can cause substantial damage to roofs, siding, gutters, downspouts, windows, doors, paint, decks, fences, and any other exterior component of your home or business. It only has to hail for a few seconds for property to sustain damage.

Damage to the roof is not always visible from the ground. Strong wind gust can rip loose shingles causing exposure of roofing underlayment and eventual leaking. Wind driven hail causes composition asphalt roofs to suffer granule loss. Granule loss causes premature UV sun-related cracking of the protective asphalt underlayment, decreasing the life expectancy of your roof.

How do I file a claim with my insurance company?

Call your insurance company property claims office and submit a wind and hail claim. You will be assigned an adjuster and a claim number. Your adjuster will call you to set up a time to meet with you and the contractor of your choice. Your contractor and the adjuster will jointly inspect your property for insured damage. The adjuster will inspect your roof for visible signs of hail damage. He/she will measure out a “test square” (10’ x 10’) on every slope of your roof. If he/ she can find a sufficient amount of bruises or breaks in each “test square”, your carrier will pay for a new roof, less the cost of your deductible. Likewise, if your siding, screens, gutters or downspouts are dented, you will be compensated for the replacement of “like and kind” quality.

Will failing to identify and repair my home for hail damage affect its future resale value?

Yes. If your home is located in an identified storm damaged area, it will be flagged by an appraiser during the resale process. During resale, your home will be inspected for hail related damages. If your home is found to possess unrepaired damages, the resale value of your home will be lowered accordingly. You have a limited period of time to file a hail loss claim, so please address this issue now rather than later.

My claim was denied or my insurance carrier only paid for some repairs. What can I do now?

You are entitled to two inspections, by two different adjusters representing your insurance company. Denied or partial claims often stem from insurance companies changing the scope of what they are covering under their hail policy. Initial inspections, especially those performed without a contractor present to advocate on the homeowner’s behalf, are often held to more stringent guidelines. If you notice neighbors getting substantial amounts of work done on their homes, have your home inspected by a knowledgeable contractor. If the contractor feels there is more damage than noted in your first adjustment, call your insurance company and request a re-adjustment. This is not an unusual request so do not be afraid to exercise this right. Have the second adjuster meet with your contractor of choice and jointly re-inspect the property. If the damage is there, you should achieve a more favorable outcome.