Thunderstorms in the midwest are very common during the summer months. With big thunderstorms comes the potential for high winds and even hail. In 2017 alone there was more than 10.7 million properties affected by hail storms, according to report by Verisk, Hail: The Hidden Risk. Another study by Aon found that hail damage can cost on average between $8-14 billion a year. Which makes it that much more important to know what to do if you get hail damage to any of your property.
How to Make a Hail Claim
1. As soon as the storm is over look for any damages and take note. It is super important to file your hill damage claim as soon as possible since most insurance policies only cover a year after the event. Errors can occur often for hail damage to roofs as they can go unnoticed.
2. Document the date of storm, this is called “Date of loss” and make sure to find your policy. Once you have your policy, look at your policy number and what your deductible amount is. Also, if possible document the size of the hailstones next to a tape measure to gage the severity of the storm. Try to take photos and videos of any damage that might have been done to your roof, windows, fences, doors or other property.
3. Get in touch with your insurance company and a reputable contractor as soon as you can and set up a time for all of you to meet to discuss your claim.
Tip: Keep track of your assigned claim number, your adjuster’s name and contact information, and note every conversation you have as a reference point.
4. Provide your documentation of the damage (done in step 2) to the adjuster. This also might include any estimates you have already received.
5. Talk to and get independent estimates from a minimum of 2 licensed contractors. You do not have to go with the contractor recommended to you by your insurance provider. Make sure you get all estimates in writing and check your contractor’s references to ensure their legitimacy.
Tip: Don’t pay the contractor in cash and never pay for work upfront. After large storms some contractors will flock to areas and offer their services with no intention of providing quality repairs.
6. Compare your insurance company’s pay out offer and the contractor’s estimates to make sure they match up for the repairs.
Top 12 States with Hail Claims
- North Carolina
The best way to protect yourself and your property from hail and wind damage is to make sure your policy covers this type of damage. Talk to one of our agents today to discuss your policy or how FCIS can help you protect your property better.