Verify Your Roof Damage Is From Hail!
Hail storms can severely damage a roof; yet most insurance adjusters would agree that it is difficult to determine whether it was caused by a storm or by a preexisting problem. The average person does not climb up on their housetop to look for problems on a regular basis. Most commonly look at roofs while standing on the ground which makes it hard to see any signs of destruction. True storm damage is difficult for the untrained eye to detect. Most insurance adjusters are properly trained to distinguish whether the damage to the structure was caused by the recent storm or had occurred prior to the inclement weather.
Importance of a Physical Inspection
After a hail storm strikes, homeowners should hire an experienced inspector to perform a physical inspection of their roofing structure to determine if the storm caused any actual damage. Any minimal problem can progressively worsen over time and possibly shorten the lifespan of the structure.
Homeowners will have a valid insurance claim even if there was only a minimal amount of damage caused by the hail storm. Once a claim has been filed, the insurance company will send their representative to inspect the roof and identify any problems caused by the storm and their severity. The process of detecting the damage can be readily handled by a trained eye; however, the untrained eye has a difficult tie with this process.
Detecting the Damage
Homeowners whose roofs incurred extensive damage due to a hail storm can help support their claim before contacting the insurance company to file the claim. It is wise for homeowners to determine the condition of their roofing structure to ensure they will have a qualified claim. This can be done by examining the structure as follows:
Downspouts – Check the downspouts around the home. If there is a deposit of a highly concentrated black material around the downspouts, this could be evidence for a claim.
Interior Damage – Look for discolored patches or holes on the ceilings inside the house as this is evidence that there is a leak most likely due to shingle deterioration possibly from the hail.
Physical Examination – Get a ladder and actually climb onto the roof to perform a physical check on the shingles. If small dimples are noticed on some of the shingles, this is a subtle sign of hail damage.
Calling an experienced contractor to thoroughly inspect the structure is a very helpful step in attesting to the findings of the homeowner.
Filing an Insurance Claim
The following steps should be helpful for homeowners when filing an insurance claim:
Call in Claim – A policy holder should call their insurance agent. The agent will get the claim started.
Obtain Estimate – Contact a local contractor to see if they can provide an estimate for the cost to repair or replace the roof. The homeowner should ask the contractor to send someone to inspect the housetop to verify the problem and to determine if there is a need for replacement or repair.
Meet with Contractor and Adjuster – Get together with the contractor and the insurance adjuster. The adjuster will probably take photos of the affected parts and explain the steps involved in filing the claim. If the adjuster thinks that there is nothing significant enough to make the claim, the contractor can compare their findings with those of the adjuster and debate on behalf of the homeowners.
Pay Deductible – Once the insurance claim is approved, the homeowner will need to pay the deductible and hire a contractor to perform the repairs or replacement of the structure.
The roof is the one part of the house that usually requires the most significant investment. It is imperative that homeowners be sure that their insurance policy coverage covers the loss caused by hail storms. Either way, it is important that the structure is strong enough to withstand any harm that could be caused by this natural calamity and to make sure their roof storm damage experience is storm-related!