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A hailstorm just blew in through your neighborhood. Suddenly, there are people at your door telling you they can repair your home’s damage quickly and easily. What would you do?
While some hail damage may be obvious, you can’t always trust that someone showing up at your door has your best interests in mind.
The size and density of a hailstone will determine the severity of the damage you’ll find after a storm. While some hailstorms can cause severe damage to your car and home, others can leave little to no harm at all.
If you’ve recently battled a hailstorm, here is what you need to know about hail, roof damage, homeowners insurance, and common scams.
When the storm has passed and it’s safe to go outside, inspect any damage that may have occurred to your car or home. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) recommends contacting your insurance agent immediately if you suspect hail damage. Your ERIE agent knows the ins and outs of your specific policy and can help you determine whether you should file a claim to help cover the cost of repairs.
To help your agent, be sure to record the date and timeframe the storm occurred and take photos that can help support your claim.
For more hail safety tips, read our guide on what to do before, during and after a hail storm.
You may spot hail damage in a few different places on your property including roof, siding, windows, outdoor furniture and vehicles. Damage can look different depending on the object.
While some damage can be easy to spot, you may not always be able to see the damage hail has done to your roof.
An insurance adjuster knows the difference between roof damage from hail versus regular wear and tear. We recommend letting a trained and trusted professional up on your roof to check for any potential problems.
Having to deal with weather damage is bad enough. Unfortunately, there can also be fraudulent roofing contractors that emerge after a storm, sometimes called “storm chasers.”
They often appear quickly after a storm and claim that your roof has been seriously damaged by wind and hail. Many “storm-chasing” contractors are transient, moving around the country following recent storm activity to increase their chance of landing a sale.
The IBHS and the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) recently teamed up to offer this list of tips to spread awareness of roofing contractor fraud.
Storm chasers may point out pre-existing damage, create their own damage, or say that there is damage when there isn’t. Here are some signs that you should think twice:
If you do find damage to your roof or other areas after a storm, a trustworthy contractor will work with your insurance company to help fix the damage.
As you begin your search for a contractor, here are some tips:
The average cost for a hail damage claim can average about $15,000 – which varies based on how long the storm was, the size of the hail, and the amount of damage it caused. Generally speaking, most homeowners insurance policies cover damage from hail and wind caused by storms. Coverage can vary, however, for example, manufacturing defects that existed prior to the storm might not be covered under a hail damage claim. Check with your insurance agent about the specifics of your policy.
Uncertainty is part of life, but that’s why you have insurance. Talk to an insurance professional like your local Erie Insurance agent. They can tell you more about the options ERIE offers and help you get you a free quote customized for your home.
This story was originally posted in 2014. It was updated with new information in 2020.
Haven’t heard of us? Erie Insurance started with humble beginnings in 1925 with a mission to emphasize customer service above all else. Though we’ve grown to reach the Fortune 500 list, we still haven’t lost the human touch.
Contact Kartsonas Agency, Inc. today to experience the ERIE difference for yourself.