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A hail storm can wreak havoc on your home, particularly the roof or other exposed portions of your property. Luckily, hail damage is covered by your homeowners insurance in most instances.
Find out how home insurance companies handle claims related to hail damage — including how your rates are impacted — in our guide below.
Home insurance and hail damage — table of contents
- Home insurance and hail damage
- Should you file a hail damage claim?
- Does a hail damage claim raise home insurance rates?
- How to file a hail damage claim
- States most affected by hail damage
- Hail storm coverage: considerations
Your home's roof can take a beating during a hail storm, but it’s not the only part of your home that can be affected. Hail can damage shingles, siding, skylights, chimneys and gutters. Luckily, these parts of your home are covered by your policy’s dwelling coverage.
While hail damage is a covered peril for most policyholders, those who live in certain coastal regions may find coverage for hail is not guaranteed by default. Those in hurricane or windstorm-prone areas may be subject to a separate deductible, often known as a windstorm deductible. This deductible may vary but is typically a fixed percentage of your dwelling coverage limit — usually somewhere between 1% and 10%.
What if a garage or shed is damaged by hail?
Hail damage isn’t limited to your primary dwelling. Other parts of your property are susceptible to hail storms as well. Any structure attached to your house (such as a garage or fence) is covered by your policy’s dwelling coverage. For freestanding buildings on your property, homeowners insurance covers hail damage through other structures coverage. This part of your homeowners policy provides coverage for a number of unattached structures on your property.
While hail damage is generally covered by other structures coverage, it's worth consulting your insurance agent to verify what your homeowners insurance policy does and does not cover.
Filing a hail damage claim shouldn’t be taken lightly. Bear in mind that you will have to pay a deductible which, depending on the severity of the damages, could be more costly than the actual repairs. This means you may need to have the damage independently assessed by a roofing company or contractor to determine whether or not a claim is warranted.
Generally, if the damage is minimal — and would cost less than your deductible to fix — it should be repaired out-of-pocket. If your home suffers from more extensive damage, having your home insurance pay for the damages can be a good idea. See how hail damage claims affect your homeowners insurance premium in the section below.
Lastly, before you file a claim, remember that home insurance doesn’t cover general wear-and-tear, so the damages would have had to have been a direct result of a hail storm in order to be covered.
Hail damage insurance claims can affect your rates. Not only that, but a policyholder who files too many homeowners claims may even be non-renewed by an insurance company. This can make it hard to find another affordable insurance policy later on.
The national yearly average for one hail damage claim comes in at $1,611: $133 more than the average with no claims ($1,478). See below our insurance company-specific rates to see how hail damage claims can affect your insurance premiums.
AVERAGE HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE RATES AFTER HAIL DAMAGE CLAIMS
|Insurance Company||No Claims||One Hail Claim||Two Hail Claims|
The claims process works much the same as it does with other perils. If a hail storm has caused significant enough damage to your home that a claim is required, you’ll want to take the following steps in order to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
- Take pictures: It’s always a good idea to snap a few pictures and create a visual record of any hail damage.
- Take steps to prevent further damage: A damaged roof shouldn’t be left for too long. If the impact is severe, you are responsible for preventing further damage. This could mean covering the affected area with a tarp in order to prevent leaking or water damage. However, do not attempt to make repairs on your own if you are considering filing a claim, as this could make you ineligible for a payout.
- Get an estimate: This isn’t always required but may help you decide whether or not filing a claim is worth it. An independent contractor or roofer can assess the damage and provide an estimate before filing.
- Contact your insurance company: Follow your insurance provider’s claims filing process. If you've received an estimate from a roofer or contractor, it’s best to let the insurer know at this point. Many insurers allow claims to be filed online, which allows you to upload any pictures or further information.
- Have the damage inspected by a claims adjuster: In most cases, a representative from your insurance company will come by your home to assess the damage.
- Fix the damage: Once approved by the insurer, contact a roofing contractor to fix the damage. Your deductible will be subtracted from the overall payout.
Some parts of the country are more susceptible to hail damage than others, particularly the South and Midwest. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the following states are responsible for the largest numbers of hail damage claims in 2019:
|Rank||State||Number of Hail Claims in 2019|
Hail damage can be a costly fix. As such, you’ll want to make sure that your insurance provider not only provides ample coverage but also has a good track record with handling claims. If you are worried about a rise in premiums due to filing a hail damage claim, chances are that you may be able to find cheaper home coverage elsewhere.
With The Zebra, looking for a new carrier is as simple as entering your ZIP code and answering a few quick questions. Compare insurance quotes and coverage options side-by-side to find the policy that is right for you.
Compare homeowners insurance quotes in just a few minutes.
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About The Zebra
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