Myths and Facts About Hail Damage Insurance Claims
Myths About Hail Damage
Myth: I looked at my roof and didn't see any problems. My roofer inspected it and there are no problems.
Fact: Roofing systems must be physically inspected by some one who has training and experience to determine if there is actual hail damage. Insurance companies send their adjusters too special training so they can properly identify hail damage to property. Unfortunately, there is not much ongoing training for the roofing or home inspection industries.
Myth: I'm not missing any shingles so I must not have damage.
Fact: Missing shingles are related to wind damage claims and can happen during a hailstorm if the winds are high enough. However hail damage is insidious in nature and may not physically cause leakage for years after a hail storm.
Myth: I only have one year to file my insurance claim.
Fact: Many insurance companies do have a one year time limit and some even less, however due to the nature of hail damage they may pay claims past the deadline. This usually happens if a hail storm is widespread geographically.
Myth: My roof is new so it's covered by the manufacturer's, home builder's, or contractor's warranty.
Fact: Manufacturers specifically name hail as an exclusion to their product warranty; so do home builders and roofing contractors. Newer roofs can actually be more susceptible to hail damage versus older roofs due to the time it takes a new roof to cure from exposure to the elements.
Myth: I was told my roof has minimal or very little damage and therefore I don't need to file a claim.
Fact: If your roof has any damage whatsoever you have a valid insurance claim and should file with your insurance company. Damage might not cause your roof to leak for years. This is why it's important to have a qualified person inspect your roof.
Myth: My insurance company will cancel my policy if I file a claim.
Fact: Most states prohibit insurance companies from cancelling policies for filing claims arising from severe-weather-related events. Check with your state however and your policy language as well.
Myth: If I don't file my claim, my insurance company won't raise my rates.
Fact: After a disaster, insurance companies may raise everyone's rates. If you are the only one who doesn't file a claim, your personal rate increase is paying for every one else's damage except yours.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2009 RDHayes