In the winter, having a hailstorm come through your area is one of the most stressful things you can have happen. Hail can cause severe damage to outdoor decorations, it can do a lot of denting to your car’s roof, and as we are going to talk about today, can wreak havoc on your roofing system.
When you get hail, there’s a pretty strong chance that you’ll need some form of roof repair, or maybe even a replacement if the damage is spread wide enough, or if your roof is of that age. Those projects can get really expensive too. Roof repairs can cost a couple hundred or even a couple thousand dollars depending on what needs to be done, and an asphalt shingle roof replacement on a medium sized home will likely cost between $10,000-$14,000.
These costs are hard to stomach at all times of the year, but especially in the winter months. Holiday travel is happening, gifts are being purchased, and if you’re like me, you’ve spent way too much on limited-time only holiday drinks and desserts. Looking at you, Chick-fil-A Peppermint Chip milkshake.
With all that said, there are different ways that you can try to keep your up-front costs down. One of those is financing, which would help you break the lump sum into monthly payments, but the one we’re going to talk about today is using your homeowner's insurance, if you have it.
Homeowner’s insurance should cover the costs of repairs needed due to hail damage to your roof.
In today’s blog, we’re going to talk about:
Let’s get started!
Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Hail Damage?
The short answer here, as we mentioned earlier, is yes! Your homeowner’s insurance policy should cover the costs to repair damage caused by weather events like a hailstorm. It should, in that same vein, also cover things like tree and wind damage.
The first step that you should take if you believe you’ve received hail damage, is to get in touch with your insurance company. Calling out a roofing contractor first is an option, but you’d still need to go through your insurance first to get your claim approved, instead of trying to reach around them.
If your roof is newer, you’ll have a much harder time getting your insurance company to replace your roof, as there’s a much lower chance it actually needs to be replaced. If your roof is getting close to the end of its life, however, your insurance company may cover the full cost of a replacement, as it will reduce the chance of them having to pay for more serious weather-related repairs in the future.
There are also plenty of places on your roof that you can look for hail damage before making your claim, if you are able to.
How to Tell if Your Roof Received Hail Damage
Getting up on your roof can be dangerous, and difficult, especially after severe weather, so I don’t recommend doing this right after a storm, and definitely not if your roof has a steep slope.
If there are areas you can see from the ground, or if your roof is safe enough to get on, there are a few key places that roof inspectors, and insurance adjusters will look at to determine the extent of hail damage on your roof.
One of the easiest places to see hail damage appear is on the metal pieces that are around your roof. Some of these include: your roof vents, pipe boots, gutters, and your roof flashing.
These usually consist of a softer metal material, that is easily dented when chunks of hail hit them. Those dents don’t only show you that you received damage though, as they also compromise the integrity of that metal. Getting dented like that weakens those parts of your roof, and could even lead to holes being torn through them in the future.
You may also be able to tell that you received some hail if there are dents in your shingles, or if your shingles have started to crack. If your shingles are weak enough from age, or if the hail is particularly large, it may cause parts of your shingles to crack and break off. That opens your roof up to leaks, and could create a lot more trouble down the road.
So if you see dents in your vents and gutters, or you’re seeing cracked shingles after a storm, there’s a good chance your roof took some hail damage.
How the Insurance Claim Process Works
After the storm clears, and you’ve received some hail damage, you’ll need to file the claim through your insurance company to get those repairs taken care of. After you’ve done that, you’ll begin working with one of their adjusters, who will inspect the roof and try to determine if the storm did in fact cause the damage.
The quality of coverage you’ll receive will depend on your insurance policy. If your claim gets approved, you’ll get a check for your roof’s Actual Cash Value, or Replacement Cost Value, according to your insurance policy.
Actual Cash Value (ACV) is the depreciated value of your roof, meaning that your insurance company would only send you a check for the roof’s current value.
Replacement Cost Value (RCV) is the higher amount of the two, as your insurance will be paying for the cost of a new roof.
After you’ve received payment from the insurance company, you’ll need to use it to get the work done, and send proof to your insurance company that the repair or replacement was completed.
Want to know more about using insurance for roof replacements?
If you’re looking to learn more about how to use insurance to replace your roof, check out our blog on that topic!
On Tops Roofing has been helping Raleigh homeowners navigate the roof insurance process for over 30 years. We’ve got loads of experience working with homeowners and insurance companies alike, so we’ll make sure you get the right price for the work you need done!