Have you sustained hail damage from the recent storms? I’m going to give you a rundown to prepare yourself for filing a hail claim with your insurance company.
Here’s what you can look for and document before the adjuster comes out. Why would you want to do this? Because it’s your home, your most valuable asset, and you should want to be proactive in finding damages to your home. Let’s face it- not all adjusters are created equal. Luckily you have me to help you out!
Here’s how to prepare:
Don’t get too brave and climb on your roof. Get a contractor you trust to perform a free inspection and provide an estimate of damages. YES- have the estimate ready for the adjuster. Trust me; you don’t want your adjuster waiting on your contractor’s estimate. You know why? Because the adjuster is absolutely not going to wait for your contractor’s estimate. Look at it this way; you are letting your insurance company know that you are confident that you have damage and seeking payment. It’s NOT a guarantee you will get your claim paid. I repeat, IT”S NOT A GUARANTEE YOU WILL GET PAID BECAUSE YOUR ROOFER SAYS THERE IS DAMAGE.
Walk around the exterior of your home and look for damage. Here’s what could have damage from hail:
- vinyl window trim
- window screens ( legit damage please)
- vinyl siding
- gutters and downspouts, gutter guards
- vinyl coated aluminum fascia
- chipped paint off wood siding, fascia
- fresh splatter marks on fencing (not damage, shows the existence of hail)
- chipped paint off of a coated fence/ gate that exposes the metal to rust
- personal property left outside
Things to consider:
- Are your neighbors getting new roofs? It completely annoys adjusters, including me, when homeowners tell me there neighbor is getting a new roof. But it’s something worth noting.
- Don’t forget to check for interior damage to ceilings and in the attic.
- Make a copy of the property damage checklist (located within the property insurance claim packet) once completed to give to the adjuster. If they find more damage than you, then great!
- Do you have photos of the hail falling? It doesn’t hurt to show the adjuster the size of the hail.
Please understand that not all hail causes damage to your home. The bigger the hail, the more likely damage is present. Hail affects materials differently. Just because you have hail damage to your soft metals on the roof does not mean the actual shingle is compromised and warrants replacement. You must consider that an older roof will most likely sustain damage versus a newer roof. That could be one reason why your neighbor down the street got a new roof, and you do not. Most companies do not accept granule loss as damage. You maybe could fight them on this; however, I’m in no place to give you that advice!
- Get a free inspection and estimate from a trusted contractor.
- Use my property insurance claim packet to document damage & give a copy to your adjuster.
- Hail affects various materials in different ways. Not all hail causes damage.
- If your claim gets denied and you really feel that you have damage, you could always ask for a re-inspection.
- Landscaping damage due to hail is not covered.
- Please do not waste the insurance company’s time and money. If you don’t have damage, then do not file a claim. PERIOD.
I hope this article on preparing for your hail damage claim has empowered you! For many people, their homes are the most important asset, and you should know how to protect it. You pay a pretty penny for homeowner’s insurance and should know what to do in the event of a claim. That’s why you have insurance in the first place!
The Curious Confidential: Have you ever filed a hail claim and been denied even though the roofing company told you that you had hail? Let me know in the comments.