Hail Storm Preparedness
Preparing: Before the storm
The most common types of hail damage involves roofs, producing an estimated $1.6 billion in damages annually, but window and siding damage are also frequent causes for insurance claims. Insurance can provide coverage for hail damaged homes.
Insurance can also provide coverage for hail damaged cars. Comprehensive coverage provides protection against losses other than collision, such as fire, theft, vandalism, hail damage, and many other weather events.
Are you prepared for hail and severe weather?
Do annual insurance checkups.
- Do you know what your policy covers?
- Do you understand replacement cost vs. actual cash value?
Know what is and isn’t covered.
- Hail damage is typically covered in a homeowner insurance policy.
- Consider comprehensive coverage for you auto policy.
- Damage from flooding is not covered in your auto policy.
Create a home inventory.
- Use your smartphone to make a home inventory and document all your belongings.
Ready: After the Storm
What to do after a hailstorm.
Assess the damage.
- Check trees, shrubs, and plants around your house. If they are stripped of their foliage, there is a possibility that your roof is damaged. You should also check for roof damage if patio covers, screen, or soft aluminum vents are dented.
- Check your car for dents and broken or cracked glass.
Protect your property from further damage
- If you find signs that hail has battered your property, take immediate steps to protect it from further damage.
- Cover any broken windows and holes in your roof so that no water can enter and damage your home’s interior.
- Cover any broken glass in your car to prevent damage to the interior from rain and remove glass from the interior to prevent cuts in the upholstery and carpet.
File your claim
- Call your Armed Forces Insurance agent as soon as you notice damage. Practically all homeowner policies cover hail damage. Your car will be covered if you purchased comprehensive coverage.
- If your agent requests you to do so, follow up your call with a written explanation of what happened.
- Save receipts for what you spend and submit them to Armed Forces Insurance for reimbursement.
Selecting a contractor – Don’t be victimized twice!
- After an insurance adjuster has surveyed the hail damage to your property, select a reputable roofing or auto body shop to make repairs. Only work with licensed and insured contractors.
- Require references, and check them out.
- Get more than one estimate. Don’t feel pushed into signing a contract right away.
- Get everything in writing.
- Be wary of out-of-town roofers, they move into town make promises, and leave before work is complete.
- Never sign a blank contract. Don’t make final payment to the roofing company until your roof has been inspected and you are satisfied.
- Don’t get pressured into signing a contract, but if you do more than half the states have increased consumer protections which allows consumers to get out of a roofing contract within a specified time period.
After the Storm
Your roof is the most vulnerable part of your home, so when building a new home or replacing your roof consider using impact-resistant roofing products. Most insurance companies either surcharge or only offer a percentage deductible for wood shake or non-impact resistant roofs. When hail destroys roof coverings, it can lead to water damage to your ceilings, walls, floors, appliances, and personal possessions.
Getting the roof right
The insurance industry recommends when replacing your roof that you talk to your contractor about the many products that are considered hail resistant. Your Armed Forces Insurance agent can recommend a list of preferred products, but the choice is yours.
Having the right materials on your roof is key to its performance during a hail storm. When repairing or replacing a roof, look for roofing materials rated by UL 2218 or FM 4473 as Class 3 or 4. These standards are recognized by any roofer or building materials store and they indicate the material has been tested for impact resistance.