Begin the process of creating an insurance claim immediately after a hail storm has passed. You'll need plenty of evidence and time to ensure that your claim is plausible. If you have existing sun damage or a leaky roof, it will not be covered by your claim.
Roof Hail Damage Claims: Step-by-Step
Make sure you're accountable for every part of your claim by following these steps in order:
- Examine your homeowner's insurance policy
- Get a roof inspection
- Gather evidence for your claim
- Call your insurance company and file a claim
Examine your policy
Get your insurance policy number. You'll need to provide it to almost everyone involved in processing your claim. Also make a record of your deductible so you won't pay more than you need to if your claim is accepted.
Get an inspection
Hire a licensed contractor. Make sure their work is insured as well. Have your contractor provide costs, labor, schedules, and payments in writing. Ask for references for credibility. Don't pay in full or sign for completion until the job is done.
Gather Evidence for Your Claim
Get weather reports for the day of the hail storm. Find the average hail size, take detailed photos, and grab videos if possible. Gather damaged items to provide to claims adjusters.
File a Claim
Check over your evidence and facts. Call your insurance company when you're ready and provide the information they ask for. Keep your policy number on hand and be ready with any initial questions you may have.
What to look out for
Hire a roofing company to perform your initial inspection. This first inspection will occur before the claims adjuster visits your home.
To avoid insurance fraud from artificial damage caused by roofers, consider the following:
- Hail is directional
- Hail damage is affected by regular sun and water damage
- The slope of your roof affects the type and amount of hail damage
- Hail will damage roofs weakened by poor ventilation quickly
Your house will be inspected for your insurance claim. The adjuster will look for signs that you or your roof inspector has tried to commit fraud. He or she will examine the integrity of your roof as well as the weather conditions at the time of the hail storm.
Identify the damage
You can inspect your roof yourself to make sure your claim is valid. Wood shingle roofs and composition shingle roofs will show different signs of hail damage.
Composition shingle claim
Composition shingles have a fiberglass or organic base. Their shell consists of asphalt, minerals and granules to weatherproof the base.
Bruising is the absence of weatherproofing granules. They leave the inside materials vulnerable to weather.
Hail doesn't cause cracks to composition shingle roofs. But it can make existing cracks worse. The impact from hail can push shingles out of alignment. Misaligned shingles put pressure on already compromised parts of the roof.
Are Composition Shingles Fixable?
Yes. A professional roofer can repair superficial damage on weatherproofing. They can also replace destroyed shingles without harming your roof's structure.
Wood shingle claim
Wood shingles are soft pieces of dense wood layered on top of one another. They weather which provides them with a characteristic grey-brown color.
- Splitting from Impact
These are severe splits in a single shingle due to impact. They have sharp edges and will expose fresh wood.
- Spatter Marks
Light impact points where the hail removed the weathered surface of the wood shingles
- Gouged Areas
These are places where the hail has hit the roof hard enough to pull out wood from inside the shingle.
Are Wood Shingles Fixable?
Yes. A reputable, licensed roofing company can safely repair or replace the wood shingles on your roof after hail damage.
Talk to Your Claims Adjuster
Present your evidence to your claims adjuster as he or she asks for it. Be honest with your adjuster and speak in as great of detail as possible. Photos and videos of hail are particularly useful when posing your claim. Date stamps are helpful as evidence. Your adjuster will be able to maximize your compensation if you present a strong case.
Receive Your Compensation
Most insurance companies will deal directly with your roof repair company. You won't actually see any money, but they will cover the cost of materials and labor to fix your roof. To keep your post-claim premium low, be as thorough with your repair company as you were with your inspection company.
If you receive cash compensation to fix your roof, you should still hold your roofing repair company accountable for all expenses. Again, get all expenses in writing and inspect work before you call it complete.
Hail Damage Insurance Fraud
You may find that the company you hired for inspection has damaged your roof in an attempt to extort insurance money. Keep a record of suspected fraudulent activities. If your claims adjuster determines that your claim is fraudulent, present him or her with the evidence you've gathered. You may still be able to continue your claim.