How do I know if my house has hail damage?

Hail damage on roof between shingles

Hail damage on your roof

Here in Oklahoma, we’re considered part of Tornado Alley, and with tornados comes hailstorms, which we had our share this spring.  This year, 2020, has been a year for the books in so many different ways, starting with a certain fast food chicken restaurant running out of a chicken sandwiches and an exotic tiger collector going to jail, then a movie based on his life that led to jailtime. Then we throw in the COVID-19 pandemic – whew! If your homes didn’t experience any hail roof damage, consider yourself one of the odd things of 2020! 

Hail is damage in the waiting around these parts. You can expect something of yours to get it at least once a year, even if its only a rose bush getting plummeted. The big one though is hail roof damage as the rooftops of our homes are the highest point, next to the trees, it takes the blunt of most hailstorms. If you haven’t experienced hail roof damage, or any type of hailstorm damage, you may not know what hail damage looks like, or what typical hail damage fixes your insurance will accept a claim. 

Does homeowner insurance cover hail damage?

There is always some level of confusion by homeowners what the coverage for hail damage and insurance companies cover. Most, if not all, homeowner’s insurance policies will provide coverage for certain storm damage repairs and replacements. Each policy is different, and each insurance company has different standards, so it is always best to check your own homeowner’s policy on hail roof damage and other hail or storm damage coverage. Never assume that since your neighbor’s claim was denied or paid, your claim will follow suit. 

The typical storm damage results from hail, lighting, and wind for the most part is covered by standard homeowner’s insurance policies includes the following:

  • Ice and Water Damage
  • Lightning Strikes and resulting Power Surges
  • Broken or Fallen Trees, Hail Roof Damage and Wind Damage

Now, we’ll look a more specific at each of these categories, including hail roof damage, the biggest storm damage claim in the country. 

Ice and Water Damage

Water is a damaging substance from spring thunderstorms causing hail roof damage to frozen ice causing roof damage. Hail roof damage and ice roof damage are typically covered by most homeowner’s insurance policies – but there are limits – and those limits are specifically broken down in each policy regarding what coverage is allowed for water damage. These paid claims will vary based on the cause of the damage. An example would be that your homeowner’s insurance will provide coverage for busted frozen pipes, but what water damage is covered may have exclusions listed in your policy.

Lightning Strikes and Resulted Power Surges

The damage resulted from a lightning strike to your home or other structure listed within your policy is covered – fire or smoke damage. Not all homeowner’s insurance policies will cover damaged caused by resulting power surges from that lighting strike, like appliances, computers, televisions, etc. A review of your policy with your agent will help you understand what is covered and give you the opportunity to make any amends.

Broken or Fallen Trees, Hail Roof Damage and Wind Damage

Hail roof damage isn’t the only thing that can be damaged from strong storms with hail. Surprisingly, the siding on your home can suffer hail damage along with the roof, even have some siding ripped off like the shingles get ripped off by the strong winds. Typical homeowner’s insurance will cover wind damage for the siding and the roof, as well as hail roof damage. Coverage will typically cover damage from hail and wind-driven rain and/or snow that gets inside your home as the roof or walls collapse or suffer damage. The majority of homeowner’s insurance policies also have some coverage for trees that have broken and fallen on or near your home during high winds and storms. 

Can hail damage a metal roof?

Contractors and homeowners, along with insurance companies, agree that metal roofing is tough with a high resistance to hail roof damage because it can’t penetrate metal panels like it does asphalt shingles. Metal roofing has the highest rating by Underwriters’ Laboratory (UL Class 4) when it comes to hail roof damage. 

A test with a two-inch steel ball to resemble a two-inch hail stone, thrown into a metal roofing panel twice did not dent the metal. An asphalt shingle roof would have resulted in hail roof damage with one hit of the same two-inch steel ball. It is for reasons like this that insurance companies provide discounts for homes with metal roofing. 

Should I file a hail damage claim?

The contract between you, the policy holder, and your insurance company gives you right to file a claim for legitimate damage to your home and property. The insurance company is in contract to pay for legitimate claims. The question comes to is the claim legitimate and who decides. Too often homeowners are found to be in error of what is a legitimate claim, and that error can cost the homeowner thousands of dollars. Here are mistakes you need to avoid in filing a claim on your homeowner’s insurance: 

Mistake One: Not Filing a Claim

Your homeowner’s insurance policy is for your protection, but if you’re afraid to use it because it will increase your rate, you’re making a mistake. Yes, it is possible that a high-risk claim or too many claims could increase your rates or cause cancellation, but it isn’t just your claims that make those decisions. 

It is a collective number of claims for the same thing that make those decisions. A dog bite on your property is all on you, but multiple hail roof damage claims for the entire neighborhood is what will make the rates go up, and it won’t matter if you filed a claim or not.  

Mistake Two: Unnecessary Claim

Your homeowner’s insurance is for damage and loss from major events like a fire, hail roof damage, windstorm, or a fallen tree limbs and trees on your home. Stole bicycles or one broken window are not major events, even though they may be legitimate and valid. Consider your policy deductible of one to two percent versus the cost of replacing the bike or window. Is it worthwhile? After a storm, inspect your home and look for dents in the shingles, gutters, and down spouts. Are there dents in the fascia board, siding or is there major chipped paint, is the air conditioner coil damaged, or cracked window frames, windows, and skylights? If the skylights are cracked, then you probably have hail roof damage too and those would be worthy of filing a claim. 

 Mistake Three: Hiring a Storm Chasers

They appear after a large-scale storm left wide-spread hail roof damage. The established and legitimate contractors are busy, and these fly-by-night contractors appear in droves. Storm chaser is a fitting name for these “businesses” that appear out of  nowhere, from storm ravaged areas to the next, hawking their special on hail roof damage repair and replacement service. Before you sign any contract with a roofing contractor, check their references, insurance, and licenses.  

Mistake Four: Not Paying the Deductible

A big mistake that many homeowners make is accepting a hail roof damage repair bid that doesn’t require you pay your deductible. There is no such thing as a “free” roof, and this is usually from those storm chasing contractors. By not paying your deductible, it is considered fraud in most states. If they suggest putting their sign in your yard in exchange for not paying your deductible, it is scam, it is a breach of contract between you and your homeowner’s insurance company. 

damage to shingles

Should you replace roof after hail?

Usually, there isn’t any immediate threat from hail roof damage. Not because it isn’t there, but because it isn’t easy to see to the untrained eye. This is why it is always best to have a professional, trusted, established roofing contractor inspect your roof after a hailstorm. 

If there is anything compromising your roof’s health, the worst thing you can do is assume there isn’t any damage since you didn’t see it. What could be a minor repair job could grow into a  larger problem and then your hail roof damage claim be denied. 

Since filing a hail roof damage claim on your homeowner’s insurance is so confusing, why not get the best roof you can that can weather a hailstorm? So, what roof is best for hail? Rubber! Yes, rubber roofing will have the highest impact resistance of any roofing material. Think about the tires on your car and what impact they resist. 

Okay, so that may seem a bit too out of the box for a residential property. The next best option is metal roofing for environmental endurance and hail roof damage stability. Metal roofing today doesn’t look like the old metal barn out in the country. It is available in many colors and can be ordered to look like regular shingles. Call (405) 470-9115 today for your hail damage repair needs in Yukon and Oklahoma City, OK.