Even if you have filed an insurance claim before, chances are you’ve never done one for hail damage. Most homeowner’s aren’t even aware hail can severely damage their home, let alone know that insurance companies will pay for the damage. We wanted to take a minute to explain the ins and outs of filing an insurance claim for hail damage. Have a more personal question? Contact us directly.
How do I know I have hail damage?
The issue with hail is that most people assume they will be able to easily identify the damage. In our 25-years of experience, we have only had one or two storms where the damage was extremely obvious; broken windows, holes in siding, holes in shutters and shingles in the yard. These storms were historic and the hail size was a rarity for the East Coast in general, let alone this area. It is safe to say that in general, hail damage to your home will be harder to spot. To the untrained eye, hail hits may just look like a scuff mark from normal wear and tear.
Okay, I might have damage. Why should I file a claim?
We also encourage homeowners to file a claim if they suspect they have damage or even if they live in area where hail reports were confirmed. When an area is hit with a severe storm, the amount of insurance claims rises and this means the longer you wait to file, the longer it will for an adjuster from your insurance company to come out. We’ve seen waiting lists as long as two or three months! So, we also say file first as there is absolutely no penalty for it. If you are unsure, you can always have an Haag certified inspector come out to your home before you file to validate your damage, if there is any.
Won’t my premiums increase?
The truth is, severe storms are considered an Act of God by your insurance company meaning your premiums will not go up. However, sometimes your rates will increase just from the amount of claims being filed in your area. In this case, you may as well file anyway if you are going to pay like you did!
I have filed a claim, now what?
Once you have filed a claim, your insurance company will send out an adjuster to inspect for hail damage. Sometimes, adjusters are extremely qualified and do a thorough inspection. Sometimes, however, they are rushed due to claim volumes, from out-of-town an unaware of Maryland building codes, and just plain untrained in hail damage. This is why we recommend you have a Haag certified professional or someone experienced in identify hail damage during that adjuster meeting. This ensures your home is being thoroughly looked over and the more eyes on something, the better. Once your adjuster, your certified roofer like Modern and you agree on the scope of damage, colors can be picked and work can begin.
If you have any specific questions about the insurance claim process, feel free to contact us directly or call our office at 410-569-1732. We are happy to help!