Most home insurance policies cover structural damage to the roof of your home caused by hail. If you live in an area that gets frequent hailstorms, however, your home insurance policy may limit how and when it covers hail damage. It also might require a hail deductible.
In this article
Is my roof covered against hail damage?
A standard home insurance policy covers your roof along with the rest of the structure of the house for most hail damage under your policy's dwelling coverage section. Dwelling coverage usually protects the roof, siding, windows and attached structures of the house. Dwelling coverage pays out up to the dollar limit you set.
Home insurance exclusions for hail damage to the roof
Home insurance usually won't cover cosmetic damage that does not reduce the integrity of the roof and other structural points of the house. Excluded types of cosmetic damage include:
- Impacted siding
- Dented roof shingles
- Chipped paint
While cosmetic issues with your roof being excluded may not be too much of a problem in the short term, that cosmetic damage can lead to functional damage down the road. For example, a few dents in your roof may seem harmless, but in time they can turn into structural breaks. Since home insurance only covers sudden and accidental damage, your policy wouldn't cover this damage either.
If your homeowners insurance policy excludes cosmetic damage due to hail, or has other limitations associated with hail damage, ask your insurer what options are available. Some home insurance companies waive the cosmetic damage exclusion in exchange for a higher premium.
In some regions with heavy hail, insurers may not offer hail coverage as part of their standard policy. If you encounter this, talk with your provider to see how much it costs to get hail coverage added. It will probably lead to a higher premium, but compared to the thousands of dollars it can do to your home, it may be worth the extra cost.
You should also note that areas with high incidents of hail will sometimes have higher average home insurance premiums. Given this, use the opportunity to compare quotes from multiple providers to find the coverage you need at the best price.
See how much you could save with a new home insurance policy
What is a hail deductible?
If your home is in a region with a history of severe hail, your home insurance provider may require you to pay a hail deductible instead of a standard deductible. With a standard home insurance policy, also known as an HO-3 policy, all perils are covered under the same deductible. This means that whether you're filing a claim for fire, theft or vandalism, you're paying the same deductible amount.
Hail deductibles are different. A hail deductible is often set as a percentage, usually between 1% and 5%, of your HO-3 policy's property coverage limit. This means your hail deductible can easily work out to be higher than your regular policy deductible.
For example, if your HO-3's property coverage is $250,000 and you have a 2% hail deductible on your policy, you would have to pay $5,000 on a hail damage claim for your roof before your home insurer covered the remainder up to your coverage limit.
How do I file a claim for hail damage to my roof?
Here are the steps to take when making a home insurance claim for hail damage.
The best place to start is before you even need to file a claim due to hail. Take a "before" photograph of the following:
- Your roof
- All the siding of the house
- Every window and frame
Take these photos and keep them with your other home insurance files and documents. Some insurers even have a database linked to their website where you can upload "before" pictures for storage.
Assess the damage
Hire a licensed contractor to assess the hail damage as soon as possible after the damage occurs. Some contractors will offer an inspection for free in the hopes of gaining future business. If you do have to pay, however, make sure it's at minimal cost to you and doesn't commit you to hiring them.
Also, make sure to go with someone reputable in your area. When a hailstorm damages several homes in an area, "storm-chaser" contractors with questionable practices and backgrounds can show up, costing you more money than you need to pay.
Is a claim worth it?
Once your contractor has given you an estimate for repairs, decide if you really need to make a claim. Your home insurance premium will usually go up after you file a claim. Also, claims often stay on your insurance record for about five years. Your home insurance premium can increase by as much as 20% after making a claim. Add together the potential premium increase over five years plus your deductible cost. If the total is less than the repair cost, consider paying for repairs out of pocket.
Contact your home insurance company
If you decide to go ahead with your claim, contact your homeowners insurance company to start the claim process. Your insurer will arrange for its adjuster to come out and examine the damage.
If needed, dispute the settlement
Based on the adjuster's findings, your home insurance provider will either pay out or deny your claim. If you feel the denial is unfair, or you're not satisfied with the payout amount, you can contest it. Consider hiring a public claims adjuster to present your case to the insurer. Public adjusters are well-versed in the claim process. They may be able to get you a better, more favorable claim decision.
QuoteWizard.com LLC has made every effort to ensure that the information on this site is correct, but we cannot guarantee that it is free of inaccuracies, errors, or omissions. All content and services provided on or through this site are provided "as is" and "as available" for use. QuoteWizard.com LLC makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation of this site or to the information, content, materials, or products included on this site. You expressly agree that your use of this site is at your sole risk.