Nature is unforgiving and can severely damage your property, leaving you to foot the bill. In general, hail damage is prevalent in the U.S., with over 4,600 storms reported in 2020. Even worse, hailstorms are becoming more frequent nationwide due to climate change.
In most cases, homeowners insurance covers hail damage to your shingles and home, but the level of protection can vary depending on where you live. If your region experiences frequent severe weather events, there will be different levels or limits to your coverage and sometimes an increased policy cost.
Those limits include not covering “cosmetic” damage, where the insurance company won’t pay you anything if there’s no functional damage to the roof itself. Some policies include a special deductible for wind and hail damage. For example, Floridians can keep that coverage in their policy or decide to take a separate deductible to protect their roofs from hurricanes.
Does home insurance cover your roof? Most insurance companies will pay to replace your roof if it sustained damage in a storm, but they won’t replace a roof if it experiences issues stemming from a lack of maintenance. Since roof upkeep is the homeowner’s responsibility, insurance policies don’t cover regular wear and tear or the lifespan expiring. That’s why it’s crucial to regularly inspect and care for your roof.
Assessing Damage and Filing a Claim
After hail damage, time is of the essence. You shouldn’t wait too long to document it, get an estimate and file a claim. If you choose to delay, you’re inviting further damage to your home that your policy doesn’t cover. If the original damage becomes unclear, it can give your insurance adjuster a reason not to give you a justified payout.
Here are the steps to take after you notice hail damage to your roof.
- Note the date and time of the storm: These details represent the first step to getting all your facts together. When filing a claim, it’s best to know what got damaged, to what extent and when it happened. You could even contact the National Weather Service for a storm report to understand how big the hail was and how fast it was traveling.
- Take photos of your yard, home and property: Visual documentation is another crucial step to reporting the damage as accurately as possible. Take ample hail damage roof pictures and other photos of the issues you plan to claim
- Schedule an estimate: Get a free hail damage roof inspection from Kautz Construction. With over 45 years of roofing experience, our company has the perfect blend of people managing and field management to give your roof a high-quality remodel.
- If you have damage, file a claim as soon as possible: The absolute latest you can file your claim with most policies is one year. However, waiting to fix your damaged roof can lead to more damage, which could leave you paying for those additional costs yourself.
- File a hail damage roof insurance claim: Your insurer will ask to see the estimate and let you know how much they are willing to reimburse you for your roof repair. Even if you get multiple estimates, only submit one to your insurers — they are likely to go with the lowest one, which could include subpar materials.
Homeowners Policy Deductibles
A homeowner deductible is the money you’re responsible for before your insurance company pays you for your loss. The other part of your policy payment is premiums, which correlate to how high your deductible is. Think of premiums as the monthly payment you’ll pay to insurance companies and deductibles as the out-of-pocket payment you’ll make when filing a claim.
You’ll likely have to pay a deductible on any insurance claim before you can get coverage for damage to your home. Deciding how much you can afford to pay yourself will determine which choice is best for you. The amount your insurer is willing to pay toward roof repair or replacement depends on their assessment of the damage, which is why it’s essential to get an honest estimate from a trusted company.
People can choose between a couple of types of deductibles depending on their insurance company.
- Flat deductible: You’ll pay whatever your deductible is, which for most people ranges between $500 and $1,500.
- Percentage deductible: Your deductible is a percentage of the total amount your policy covers. So, if you had a 2% deductible and you file a claim for $200,000, your deductible would be $4,000.
Disaster-prone regions of the country can involve specific deductibles depending on the typical weather there. For example, hurricane deductibles are common in Florida and other East Coast states. Wind and hail deductibles are typical for states in Tornado Alley, and earthquake deductibles are standard in West Coast states.
Protecting Your Home From Hail
Hailstorms can strike at any time, so it’s best to prepare for an unexpected storm, which can lessen the potential damage to your whole home. Having an expert come to your property twice a year for regular roof inspections can help identify potential problems before they turn into a dangerous situation. If your roof needs repairs or even a replacement, it’s best to invest in it and use durable and quality materials like impact-resistant shingles to ensure a long lifespan.
Protecting your windows is the next step to take, and you can start by investing in shutters to protect them from the storm. The other way to help is to close all blinds or curtains to prevent any debris from entering inside. Buying wind and impact-resistant windows can protect from most storms as well.
You can’t prevent hail-related roof damage, but you can help minimize the consequences.
Looking to Repair Your Damaged Roof? Kautz Construction Is Your Expert!
You’re giving your home a better chance at withstanding any damage by proactively protecting against storm damage. By taking the steps listed above and understanding your insurance policy, you’ll be in better shape for the next storm.
If you think a recent hailstorm has affected your roof or would like to be proactive in preventing significant damage, contact us today for a free roof inspection.