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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Hail Damage?
The Insurance Information Institute cites hail damage as the most frequent claim in the United States with 2.1 percent of insured homes filing a hail damage claim. In fact, from 2013-2017, the average claim severity for hail damage was $10,182.
To ensure you don’t have to pay over $10,000 to repair your home, brush up on your insurance policy as it relates to hail damage. Here’s what you need to know.
How to determine if my home insurance covers hail damage
How much does insurance pay for hail damage? It depends.
To determine if your home insurance covers hail damage, read through your policy. If you have any questions, speak with an agent. He or she will be able to pull up your specific policy and can tell you what kind of hail and roof coverage you have.
While reading about how your policy handles hail damage, look for any exclusions or policy limits in regards to hail. Depending on where you live, your policy may require you to pay for extra coverage. However, most standard policies protect against hail damage up to a policy limit.
If you don’t like what you see, you may need to find a different home insurance provider.
Location and hail damage
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the following ten states most affected by hail damage in 2017 were:
|State||Number of properties affected||Percentage of properties affected in the state|
|1. Texas||1,349,374||18 percent|
|2. Illinois||872,087||24 percent|
|3. Missouri||832,525||46 percent|
|4. Minnesota||737,375||44 percent|
|5. Oklahoma||644,803||55 percent|
|6. Kansas||513,941||57 percent|
|7. Indiana||456,215||18 percent|
|8. Virginia||400,529||16 percent|
|9. North Carolina||400,248||10 percent|
|10. Colorado||374,435||22 percent|
If you live in one of these states, speak to your insurance provider about your home’s coverage for hail damage.
Average cost of hail damage insurance coverage
A majority of people in the United States receive hail protection through their standard homeowners insurance policy. In fact, a vast majority of claims for hail damage are made through a standard homeowners insurance policy.
The average cost for a standard policy varies by state, but nationally the average is around $1,211 a year. This breaks down as follows:
How to file a claim for hail damage
To file a claim for hail damage repair, follow these six simple steps.
- Take pictures of your home and home’s roof before the storm. This is by no means necessary, but it can make filing a homeowners insurance claim for roof damage faster and easier. If possible, make sure the pictures are timestamped. It’s helpful to take periodic pictures in case you need them later.
- After the hail storm has passed, write down the date and time. Even if no obvious damage occurs, you may find something in need of repair later on.
- Take pictures of the hail. To give your insurance provider context, place a ruler beside the hail. Only do this once it’s safe to do so.
- Take pictures of your home after the storm. Do this the day of and timestamp your pictures if possible. Don’t forget to take pictures of your roof and HVAC system.
- Contact your insurance company and file a claim either online, over its mobile app or over the phone. When you’re finished filing, you should have a claim number. Record this number as you may need it for future correspondence.
- Contact a roofing contractor or adjuster for a quote. Make sure the contractor is one that will be covered by your provider.
After this point, follow any additional instructions from your insurance company.
How and where to save money on repairs
Hail damage can be expensive, but you can still save money on repair with a few tips.
- Always get multiple estimates from contractors. Talk to a few contractors to see which one has the lowest price for the best quality work.
- Verify that your contractor has experience and credentials. Though you can save money with a contractor who has less experience, you may pay more in the end if he or she charges by the hour. Plus, afterwards, you may need to hire someone else to come around and fix the first contractor’s work. Get references and examples of previous work.
- Research how much materials cost. Price gouging is real in the contractor world. If the quote you’re given for materials seems inflated, it likely is.
- Buy your own materials. It’s not in the contractor’s best interest to shop around for the lowest prices. Ask what is needed for the project and buy the materials yourself to save money.
- Don’t provide the contractor with unnecessary information. If the contractor feels as if you can afford to pay more, he or she may not give you the same quote as he or she would someone else.
- Get a written contract with an itemized list. If the contractor purposely leaves an aspect of the price vague or unclear, do not sign it until a concrete price is in place. Contractors will sometimes find ways to pad a final bill, which can cost you hundreds (if not thousands) more than the original quote.
- Be respectful. No one likes working for someone they don’t like or who is blatantly rude to them. Make the contractor regret taking your job and he or she may make you pay in the end.
How to protect yourself from future hail damage
The best way to save money on hail damage is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Here are a few things you can do.
Impact resistant roofing
The number one thing you want to do to protect your home from future hail damage is to invest in impact-resistant roofing. Though this type of roofing is more expensive than other options, it can save you money in the long run. Not only does it protect your home from hail, but it also protects it from other hazards such as high winds and wind related damage.
Hail can do a number on your home’s windows if you’re not careful. To safeguard your home, install storm shutters on the outside of your home. Get the real kind, not the fake kind that don’t close.
Just as there are many types of windows, there are also many types of shutters. Contact a specialist before buying. For storm shutters to do their job, they need to be exactly what your home needs.
Get the best policy
Sometimes insurance providers have specific stipulations when it comes to hail damage. Speak with a local agent to make sure you have the best type of coverage possible for your area. This is especially important if you live in a state frequently hit with hail.