Hail storms are a frequent occurrence in certain US states and they can cause roof damage to the tune of thousands of dollars. The cost to repair the damage varies by the size of the hail, the angle it hit, and the duration of the storm. Most insurance companies in those areas place restrictions on the damage you can claim, especially in high-risk states such as Texas. Homeowners insurance will cover hail damage as a named peril, but special restrictions may apply depending on your state.
So, does homeowners insurance cover hail damage? Yes, homeowners insurance policies such as HO-3 and HO-5 cover damage caused by hail damage. The insurance company will pay the cost of repairs for damage to the roof, windows, and side structures of the home. Certain restrictions apply in high-risk states such as Texas where nearly 16% of all hail damage claims are filed nationwide. Hail storms can happen in every state in the country, and regardless of whether you live in a risky region, you should still make sure you’re protected. Consult your insurance provider to learn about the limits you’re entitled to and raise those limits accordingly.
States with the highest number of reported hail damage are in the heartland with Kansas, Texas, and Oklahoma. If you live in one of these states, you likely have restrictions on the repair amount you can claim for hail damage. There may be even limitations on the kind of damage you can claim. This guide will cover all the essential information you need to know about hail damage and how it’s covered under an HO-3 homeowners policy.
How Much Does Hail Damage Cost To Repair?
Hail damage shouldn’t cost a lot to repair. Even the worst damage caused by hail can be fixed for as little as $1000-2000. Smaller damage can be fixed at less than $50 for each dent. The homeowner’s insurance policy covers hail as a named peril under every standard HO-3 policy. The insurance company will pay for the cost of repairs, but you’ll have to chip in a deductible.
The most important thing to remember is that you must file a claim as soon as the hail damage occurs. Do not wait to file your claim and document the damage thoroughly. Avoid making repairs to the home before you contact your insurer and cover the damage in the meantime. The average insurance company allows a 6-12 month window for claiming damages to the roof.
Pro Tip: You may not even be aware you have roof damage on your home after a hail storm until you notice a leak or a mold forming on the top floors. Always inspect your roof after a storm.
There are rare exceptions when an HO-3 policy will not cover hail damage and only offer it as an add-on, usually in high-risk states. In most states, you can expect this coverage by default. You only have to file the claim, pay a deductible, and wait for the insurance check. How much will the insurance company pay? The answer is that you can expect a full payment after an adjustor investigates the damage and gives you an estimate on the repair costs.
If a repair costs $1500, the insurance company will have to pay the amount minus the deductible. The deductible always depends on your specific insurance policy. In some cases, it is not recommended to file a claim for hail damage. For instance, if your deductible is $1000 and the damage costs $2000 to repair, it’s not worth filing a claim because the mere act of filing a claim can raise your premiums. In the long run, you’ll end up paying thousands of dollars more for regular insurance while you’d only have to spend $1000 more to fix the roof by yourself.
Hail and Deductibles: Things to Know
The insurer will determine how much they’re going to pay for the hail damage based on a few things. The most important is the assessment of the damage. They will deploy an adjuster to your property who will analyze the damage and estimate the repair costs. In some cases, the insurance company will fix the roof by deploying its own contractors. However, there is another cost when you file a claim called a deductible. Even when you have to fix small damage to the tune of $1000, you have to pay a deductible for each claim.
The deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket to carry out the repairs for every claim you file. Let’s say you have a large hailstorm that damages a significant portion of your roof and you need to replace $4000 worth of shingles. The deductible could be $1000 while the insurance company pays out $3000.
Will My Insurance Rates Go up after the Claim?
States such as Texas ban insurance companies from raising premiums after the first claim. If the damage is significant and costs tens of thousands to repair, the insurance company may raise your premiums because you’re now considered a high-risk client. Rates also tend to go up with every claim you make because you start to cost the insurance company money.
However, due to the fact that hail is a natural cause and the roof damage is not caused by your negligence, the insurance company may decide not to increase your premiums. Also, there are other aspects that shape their decision such as your past claims history. If you’ve filed a claim within the last 3 years, the insurance company will certainly raise your premiums.
How to File a Successful Claim for Hail Damage
To file a claim for damages, you need to provide documentation to the insurance company. First, it’s best to have photographic evidence of the original state of your home. Use a camera or a Smartphone to take pictures of the home from all angles while it’s in perfect condition.
Start by taking pictures of the exterior and the roof. When a hail storm comes, you can document the damage in the same manner. You can then use this evidence to file a claim with the insurance company. Ultimately, the decision for how much you get paid out depends on the contractors and roofing adjustors who assess the damage and consult with the insurance company.