When your home sustains hail damage, you can be hit with a financial loss even if your insurance covers wind-related incidents like hail storms. That’s because your policy’s deductible might be based on a percentage of your home’s value or might be set at a high dollar-value level. The good news is that if your home suffers major damage from hail, you can get help from your homeowners policy.
The most important thing to do if you suspect that your roof or any part of your home has sustained hail-related damage is to make an insurance claim as soon as possible. Here are the key things to keep in mind if your property is damaged during a hail storm.
Get an Inspection and Damage Estimate
Have a professional estimate done as soon as you think that hail might have damaged your house. Why? Two reasons. First, most policies include time limits for filing, so you need to be fast. Second, hail damage isn’t always obvious. Your roof and siding might look fine now, but it’s possible that leaks and cracks won’t become obvious for months. That’s why an inspection is essential. Professionals can spot all kinds of hail damage and help you document your claim quickly.
Semper Fi Construction, a Chicago-based expert in inspecting, estimating and repairing all kinds of structural problems, is currently offering free roof and siding estimates and inspections for homeowners who suspect that hail, wind storms or anything else might have caused damage to their homes. Remember that getting documented estimates from competent professionals is the first step in a successful insurance claim. The Semper Fi Construction team has long experience with all home repair issues and is always glad to help their customers with insurance filings from start to finish.
Repair Damage ASAP
If you let a damaged roof go too long without repair, you’re asking for more trouble. Weather can wreak havoc on a roof that’s been compromised by a hail storm. Small leaks become big ones. Cracks and dents in siding only get worse with the passage of time unless they’re repaired as soon as you notice them. Hire a professional inspection team that can not only document and repair the damage but can also help you with the often-complex insurance claim process.
Check Your Policy
Read your homeowners policy carefully and focus on its hail damage coverage. Find out all the pertinent details like what you deductible is, whether it can be lowered, how soon after a hail storm you must file a claim, whether certain kinds of storm damage is excluded from the policy, and how to file a hail damage claim. If you have any questions be sure to speak with your insurance agent. It’s better to know where you stand now rather than wait for a storm to hit. Adjust or amend your policy if necessary based on the hail risk in your area.
Consider Changing Carriers
Illinois ranks second in the nation for the dollar amount of hail damage done to homes and businesses. Some of the major carriers have a “percentage-based” deductible keyed to your home’s value. This is usually not a good deal for homeowners. If your current carrier uses a percentage deductible method, consider switching to an insurance company that offers a fixed-dollar deductible for hail damage. In most cases, you’ll be better off when it comes time to file a storm/hail damage claim if you have a fixed-dollar amount deductible.