Even the sturdiest roof can take a real beating during a bout of extreme weather, and the most dangerous enemy your shingle or tile roof has is a heavy downpour of hailstones. The issue with showers of hailstones is that they’re completely unpredictable in their severity or when they occur – you’re just as likely to have severe hail in a temperate climate as you are anywhere else.
Hail can cause significant damage to a roof, which can result in either immediate leaks or functional damage leading to your roof leaking in the future.
If your home has fallen victim to a hailstorm, and you suspect that your roof has been damaged as a result, you’ll need to take the initial steps in making an insurance claim for damage to your roof. There’s a logical order to the steps you need to follow, the same steps we’ve included in our guide to filing an insurance claim the right way.
You need to record the details of the event as soon as it’s safe to go outside and inspect the potential damage to the roof of your home. Firstly make a note of the date and time of the hail storm – you will be asked for this information by your insurance company when filing your claim.
Once you’ve recorded this information you then need to get photos of the actual hail itself. You’ll obviously need to do this as quickly as possible, or it will have melted. Then again, if the hail was big enough to cause damage to your home it’s probably not going to melt straight away.
Finally take photos of any damaged or missing shingle or tiles on your roof. Please do take whatever safety precautions are appropriate for inspecting your roof safely.
Now that you’ve taken care of everything you can, the next step is to hire a professional OKC roofing contractor to inspect your roof. Again, this is something your insurance company will expect, and your claim will be treated more seriously as a result. You do need to be careful which roofing contractor you choose – only deal with reputable companies or you run the risk of filing a potentially fraudulent insurance claim.
The roofing contractor should determine and inform you of the areas damaged by hail, providing you with a set of photographs of damage to back up your claim. Under no circumstances should the roofing contractor make any alterations to your roof at that point, unless it’s to repair a water leak that is causing further damage to your property.
Step 1. Locate your insurance policy and then make a note of how much your policy deductible is. An insurance policy deductible is the dollar amount—which falls outside your insurance coverage—you have to pay towards the repair of the damage. You should be aware that certain forms of cheaper home insurance are only cheaper because the deductible figure can be several hundred dollars.
Step 2. Gather all relevant documentation, including photographs and call the insurance company to inform them that you’re making a claim for hail damage to your roof. You can also let them know you’ve already hired a licensed roofing contractor to identify the damaged areas.
Step 3. Your insurance provider will then issue you with a claims number, and will also appoint an insurance/claims adjuster to your case.
Step 4. The claims adjuster will visit your property to make sure that you’re filing a valid claim. It’s also a good idea to have your roofing contractor meet the claims adjuster when they visit your home or property.
Step 5. Once the insurance adjuster has inspected your roof, he or she will then compare notes with your roofing contractor. Most insurance adjusters will do their very best to downplay the amount of damage the hail caused to your roof, at which point your contractor may need to debate this point based on the evidence you’ve provided.
Step 6. The insurance adjuster will then present their findings, suggesting whether the roof can be repaired or should be replaced entirely. In some cases the insurance adjuster will propose a settlement figure to cover the cost of the repair while they’re at your home, but that offer usually comes afterwards by post or email.
Step 7. If you accept their offer, and you may need to negotiate with them what they’re willing to pay, then your final step is hiring the same roofing contractor who initially inspected your roof for damage to complete the task of repairing or replacing your roof.