What is the first thing I should do after a hail storm?
Many people call their insurance company first, but you should always seek representation from an certified public adjuster first. As an insured party, you have certain duties and obligations you must abide by at the time of the insurance loss. If you miss any of them, you could seriously jeopardize the outcome of your insurance claims process. A certified public adjuster will be able to guide you through the process to ensure you do not miss any steps and you recover a fair amount to repair your house.
How long after a storm can I file an insurance claim for hail storm damage?
Each insurance provider has different policies regarding when you can and cannot file an insurance claim. Some require you to file a claim within 12 months, but it is in your best interest to file a claim as soon as possible after a storm. Always check with your provider to see what their policies require.
Should I get a second opinion after my insurance provider sends someone to inspect for roof damage?
Insurance companies often use their own contractors or programs for damage claim estimates. While the inspectors insurance companies send are usually qualified, they are paid by the insurance company and thus are biased towards them, often looking to minimize the amount paid for damages. It is always in your best interest to hire an certified public adjuster who is licensed by the department of banking and insurance.
My neighbors all have roof damage after a hail storm, but mine looks fine with no missing shingles. Should I also file an insurance claim?
You should always have an assessment done after any major storms; especially other homes in your area were damaged. Roof damage can be difficult to spot, especially using an untrained eye from the ground. If you have had a hail storm, call a professional roofer or certified public adjuster to get an unbiased inspection of your roof to check for damage.
Can the insurance provider raise my premiums after a hail storm?
Generally speaking, no. Most companies cannot raise premiums on holders due to a hail storm or other “Act of God” storm damage claims. They can, however, raise premiums for everyone in the affected area after the storm.
Can my insurance provider cancel my policy for filing an insurance claim?
Most states strictly prohibit a provider from canceling a policy due to extreme weather claims. Each state and provider is different, so always read your local laws and your insurance policy to make sure you are covered in the event of hail or other storm damage.
How can I tell if my roof needs to be repaired or replaced due to hail damage?
Your insurance company will likely send someone to inspect any damage to your roof after a major hail storm, often an independent adjuster. You can inspect your roof for damage yourself, but to ensure that you have an unbiased and accurate assessment you should always seek representation in the form of an certified public adjuster, who will be on your side throughout the process and can refer you to an unbiased professional roofer.
Contractors have come by to offer their services to me and neighbors, should I just hire them?
There are many people who go to areas affected by large storms to try to capitalize on the situation. Always check references or reviews of anyone you hire, especially for major repairs like roof damage. Be wary of contractors who contact you immediately after a storm or who aggressively pursue you or your neighbors for business, and do not accept consultations that you did not ask for as not all opportunistic contractors and roofers are properly qualified or licensed by the department of banking and insurance.
If I have a new roof, can I just file a warranty claim to cover any hail damages?
Even if your brand new roof has a 20 year warranty, many specifically exclude hail damage from warranty claims. You should have a public adjuster analyze your policy and warranty information to make sure that you are covered in the event of hail damage to your roof.