Do Insurance Companies Cover Hail Damage?

July 14, 2011 No Comments »


Insurance Q&A: “Do insurance companies cover hail damage?”

Sorry to hear about your roof. The good news is you’re likely covered for this type of property loss on your homeowner’s insurance policy.

While 99% of us are “OK” here, there are a few situations where things may not work out for you.

(Why insurers don’t pay some roof claims.)

When Good Roofs Go Bad

There aren’t many insurers foolish enough to bind coverage on a home insurance policy when the roof is clearly in bad shape. The idea of trading your +/- $1,000 deductible for a brand new roof from the insurer doesn’t work for them.

An insurer may exclude coverage or only offer an actual cash value (versus replacement cost) loss settlement as an option if your roof is in “questionable” condition to begin with.

(Top homeowners insurance companies)

All that aside, here’s some information you may find helpful in navigating the insurance claims process if you are in the 99th percentile and your roof was respectable to begin with.

Speed Counts

If the storm was big and nasty enough, your home is likely not the only one with roof damage . You should contact your insurance agent or insurer as soon as possible if you think you’ve suffered damage.

There may be thousands of other claims filed as a result of the storm, so try to get your place at the front of the line. This is your best shot at having the process move expediently.

Be Proactive

Get a roofer (or two) to look at your roof (also as soon as possible, before they get booked up by the neighbors).

Insurers want you to get the ball rolling. Have a reputable roofer (check references) get up there and take a look for you. They will be able to make an assessment of the damage and prepare an estimate for the insurance adjuster to review.

Without boring you with the details, many roofers use the same estimation software the insurers use to determine the cost to repair or replace your roof.

If this is the case, the adjuster can approve the “bid” and your check will come faster.

Tip: Make sure your roofer is licensed, bonded and insured prior to giving them “dime one.” There are a lot of unscrupulous “contractors” out there who prey on people after storms hit an area.

Check Your Deductible

Choosing a higher deductible is one way to lower your overall insurance premium. However, if you go too high, you may be uncomfortable at claim time.

For example: a 2% deductible on a home insured for $200,000 would be $4,000. A deductible this high likely saved you a couple hundred dollars on your annual insurance premium.

But if your roof damage doesn’t exceed $4,000, you can expect a payment of ZERO dollars.

Every claim is different, so we’re not going to pretend to be able to give you the thumbs up (or down) regarding your claim.

Ultimately, your claims adjuster will determine how much money you are offered, if any, for repairs or a complete replacement of your roof if necessary.

(photo: Will Merydith)

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