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    How Long Do I Have To File A Home Insurance Claim For Hail Damage

    Posted by Ron Wadley on Apr 17, 2019 4:58:31 PM

    If you own a home in Texas and have been paying any amount of attention to your homeowners insurance policy, you likely are coming to terms with a couple of things. Number one, the insurance rates have gone "plumb loco" in the words of Willie Nelson. Number two, the insurance companies are making it tougher and tougher to make claims on your standard home insurance policy. And while we understand that this chaos in the marketplace is due to a lot of factors, it seems like the roof claim process is a bit out of hand given how many claims are made each year for roof hail damage. So what's a Texas homeowner to do?

    If you live anywhere in this great state of ours, you have likely experienced a hail storm in the last 18 months. And one thing that always follows a hail storm are the roofing contractors that knock on your door wanting to do a hail damage roof inspection. We always recommend having an inspection done by a local, reputable, experienced roofing company to evaluate your entire roof for the need to file a hail claim. This inspection process can weed out if you only have roof hail damage that can be repaired for a cost below your hail deductible. We have been through this process with countless Texas homeowners and it is absolutely a best practice. But what happens if your roof is bad enough for a hail damage insurance claim? That's where having a great insurance agent like Insurance For Texans can be worth their weight in gold!

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    Quick Rundown On Claims For Hail Damage

    We understand that you want to get your roof repaired or replaced as quickly as possible so that life can get back to normal ASAP. However, we also understand that some of you may want to wait to replace it because you understand that we get multiple hail storms per season and that you run the risk of making multiple claims in a short time period for roof hail damage! So how does this process work? Here is a quick step by step on the actual insurance claim process.

    1. File the claim for roof damage with your homeowners insurance company.
    2. The Insurance Adjuster will do a hail damage roof inspection to confirm your claim and evaluate any additional damage beyond the roof itself.
    3. Estimate the total replacement cost of the hail damage per the guidelines of your home policy.
    4. Issue an initial check to you for the depreciated cost similar to an actual cash value payment, less the hail deductible amount.
    5. You will use that depreciated check as a deposit with your roofing company to initiate the complete roof replacement.
    6. Once the work is completed by your roofing contractor and verified by the adjuster, you will then pay your deductible for hail damage directly to your roofing company as required by state law.
    7. At this point, the insurance company will release a second check to make up the difference between the depreciated amount and the remaining cost of the job that will be paid to your contractor.

    Now that we've established this process, there is a common question that is asked by Texas homeowners affected by storm damage. Do I have to replace my roof immediately? The answer to this question at its base level is no. So let's look at your options.

    How Long Do I Have To File A Home Insurance Claim For Hail Damage

    Deciphering Your Insurance Policy: The Lone Star Guide to Hail Damage

    First things first, let's dissect what an insurance policy entails when it comes to hail storms and roof damage. It's not just about fixing up the damage; it's about understanding the nuances of the claims process, insurance adjuster time limits, and what your policy covers in terms of hail and wind damage. But what if those hailstones are on the smaller side? Does that mean you should hightail it to replace your roof immediately? Well, partner, let's break it down.

    Option 1: Quick Draw - Immediate Replacement

    In true Texan style, if your roof takes a beating from a hail storm, filing a claim and getting that roof replaced might seem like the obvious choice. We Texans are known for our 'get 'er done' attitude, and many homeowners prefer to tackle roof repairs head-on. This approach simplifies the claims process for both you and the insurance company, minimizing the number of open claims. However, if another storm whips up not long after, you might be facing a second deductible for yet another roof replacement. It's a bit of a gamble, but sometimes that's the way the cookie crumbles. This option is the only option if you have a roof leak that is causing extra damage. You've got to get it take care of before extra damage from leaks causes a much bigger problem.

    Option 2: Patience Pays - Delaying the Repair Process

    Now, if your roof's integrity isn't immediately compromised (think no risk of a pesky roof leak), you might file the claim, get it approved, and then ponder holding off on that replacement. This strategy can be a savvy move, especially if you're playing the long game against Texas' unpredictable weather events. Postponing repairs until the current storm season winds down can save you from forking over a second deductible for weather damage. The downside? Your insurance company might not be thrilled about leaving claims open. Plus, there's the risk of unseen water damage creeping in, which can be as sly as a fox in a henhouse.

    Waiting More Than 12 Months To File A Hail Claim Can Cost You Big

    Option 3: The Waiting Game - Postponing Your Hail Damage Claim

    Some homeowners might lean towards waiting before filing that claim for hail damage. It's an understandable strategy, especially when you're hoping for calmer skies before dealing with repairs. This approach, while cautious, isn't without risks. You've got to keep a sharp eye out for signs of damage that could lead to bigger problems, like water damage. And don't forget about those insurance adjuster time limits. Many insurance companies give you a 12-month window from the time of the hail event to file your claim. However, we are now seeing many home insurance companies shorten this window to a meager six month window. Miss this deadline, and you could find yourself high and dry without coverage for roof hail damage. And that is a terrible place to be!

    Replace Your Roof After A Hail Claim Against Home Insurance

    The Best Laid Plans: Insurance For Texans' Two Cents

    At Insurance For Texans, we're all about giving you the freedom to make the best choice for your homestead. Our advice? Whenever your neighborhood gets a visit from hail larger than pea size, it's wise to have a reputable local roofer come out and assess your entire roof for damage. If they advise to file a roof claim and give you the green light that immediate replacement isn't necessary, we recommend getting that hail damage insurance claim filed posthaste. This way, you secure the approval and depreciated funds for repairs while still inside your time window to make a claim so that you can decide how you want to proceed from there. Otherwise known as Option 2 above. While waiting on the replacement can be a smart move, delaying filing the claim is something we advise against. We've seen our fair share of Texans get stung by waiting, and we're here to make sure you don't join that rodeo.

    Wrangling with Hailstorm Aftermath? Give Us a Holler!

    If you're feeling as lost as a calf in a hailstorm when it comes to understanding hail damage, replacement cost vs actual cash value, or the ins and outs of the claims process, don't fret. We're here to help Texans just like you. Uncertain if your policy's got your back? Let's have a sit-down and sort it out. As your neighborly independent insurance agents, we're here to guide you through these hail-battered times with a bit of that Texas charm. And with TRUE Texas Home Insurance, you will understand what your policy stipulates about hail coverage on your prized homestead.

    Stay safe, y'all, and remember, Insurance For Texans is always ready to lend a hand when those big ol' Texas hailstones come a-knocking! 🤠🏠🌩️

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    Topics: home insurance, North Texas, Dallas/Fort Worth, hail, homeowners insurance, Home Insurance Tips, basics of home insurance