A homes roof must be physically inspected by a person who has training and experience to determine if there is actual hail damage. Insurance companies send their adjusters to special training so they can properly identify hail damage to a home. And, the insurance company is generally NOT ON YOUR SIDE. You may be thinking to yourself that you remember a hail storm but looked up at your roof and did not notice any damage. The fact of the matter is you can’t see hail storm damage from the ground.
The truth is many home inspectors do not even know what to look for because they receive no formal training on hail damaged roofs.
A homes roof must be physically inspected by a person who has training and experience to determine if there is actual hail damage. Insurance companies send their adjusters to special training so they can properly identify hail damage to a home. And, the insurance company is generally NOT ON YOUR SIDE.
With hail damage you will see some of the tiny granules of a roof missing.
Over time the roof damage will get progressively worse and shorten it’s lifespan. Eventually your roof will end up leaking.
Even if your roof has minimal damage you have a valid insurance claim and should file with your insurance company. The damage caused by a hail storm might not cause your roof to leak for years. This makes it critical to have someone who is qualified inspect your roof.
Making a Hail Storm Damage Roof Insurance Claim
In the streets leading up to a neighborhood where a hail storm just hit there were at least fifteen homes that had roofing contractor signs in the front yard. This has been big business for the roofing contractors in the past. In fact if the damage was so wide spread there might even be contractors from out of state getting into the fray. Out of state roofing companies are often known as “storm chasers”. It is not uncommon for home owners in areas where damage has occurred to be offered a “free” roof. You may find that roofing companies call you or stuff your mailbox with their fliers looking for business.
So what do you do if you think you may have hail damage to your roof and want to file an insurance claim? You should 1st check your home insurance policy and make sure you are covered. As long as you are, put in a call to your insurance agent. They will get a claim started on your behalf and ask an insurance adjuster to visit your home and look at the roof.
At the same time you will also be wanting to get in touch with a local roofing contractor to give you an estimate on replacement. You should actually have the roofing contractor/contractors visit 1st to verify you do in fact have hail damage.
Often times the insurance adjuster is going to want to get together with the roofing contractor to make sure they are on the same page. The roofing contractor you are hiring should have no problem meeting the adjuster with you. The adjuster will take pictures of any damage and then explain what the next steps will be. Some adjusters may give you a settlement quote right on the spot while others may take up to a few weeks. The adjuster and roofing contractor are more than likely going to compare notes to see if the total roof measurements are about the same.
If the insurance adjuster happens to think there wasn’t any significant damage you will need to have your contractor debate it with them. If you are not able to have your roofing contractor at the home when the adjuster can be there most insurance companies will agree to have the adjuster come back at a later date.
You should also keep in mind that many insurance policies have some kind of deductible that you will need to pay. In my experience quite a few of the local roofing contractors will absorb that fee in order to get your business. As with any other business it would be prudent to get references and make sure the roofing contractor is licensed and insured.
If you don’t ever remember any hail storms but have been approached by a roofing contractor for a new roof don’t fool yourself into thinking you are going to get one if there is no damage.