Will my Coverage Pay for Damage Caused By Hail?

Hail stones are composed of solid precipitation, which can wreak havoc on anything, no matter what size they are. Hail can also occur in any part of the country, and they are most often associated with severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. Unlike covering repairs from dogs digging holes in your yard, the good news is that a homeowner's insurance policy does cover damage that is caused by hail. The downside is that many homeowners lose out on their claims by underestimating the damage from hail, or by filing too late. There are important steps you can take to help your claim get through to the insurance company quickly so that you can receive repair work in a timely manner.

Assessing the Damage

Hail is often classified as penny sized or quarter sized, with larger stones equivalent to the size of baseballs. Although size can play a large role in terms of destruction of property, the fact is that damage can occur at any size. Whenever a severe storm rolls through your area, it is generally a good idea to check your property. In some cases, hail might have been associated with the storm, but the stones were too small for you to notice.

When determining the effects of hail on your home, it is always important to visually inspect your house. At the same time, you will want to decide whether you need the help of a professional. Many contractors are willing to check your premises and give you estimates for free--this can help you decide whether you need to file a claim on your insurance policy or not. If a great deal of hail moves through your area you should obtain a professional opinion whether you see any damage or not.

Unfortunately, many homeowners rely on a quick visual inspection to determine the possible effects of a hail storm. Hail can cause varying degrees of destruction, with some of the damage being more visible in some parts of your home than others. Roof damage from hail stones is particularly difficult to determine on your own, and related leaks and lost shingles could happen weeks or months following the initial damage.

Filing Your Claim

When it comes to hail damage and your home, the best course of action is to assess any destruction and file your claim immediately. Since the purpose of house insurance is to help you pay for unexpected damages to your home, then it is best to utilize it when you need it. Before you file your claim, there are a few steps you should take prior to the process to speed up the overall procedure.

When a severe storm rolls through your neighborhood, document the facts as much as you can. Take note of the date, and save news stories about any damages. If your neighbor suffered significant hail damage, take pictures of his home when possible. It is important to get as many pieces of evidence as possible in order to save time for the insurance company having to investigate the plausibility of your claim.

When you ask a professional to come and look at any suspected damages from hail to your home, you should ask for paperwork for their estimates of the cost. Submit copies of this paperwork to your insurance company so that they can see the validity of the damages. Keep in mind that the company may still send out their own adjuster to survey the damage. It is also important that you file your claim as soon as possible because each insurance provider has its own time limit for policyholders to make claims.

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"When a hail storm hit our town and destroyed all my windows, I was glad that I had found this site and was able to get a great rate on homeowners insurance. I've been able to make home improvements with the money I keep saving every month."

- Rita E, Atlanta GA