Spring is here. Baseball, wildflowers and seasonal allergies are upon us.
Out of the south, winds will gather steam, giant clouds will dominate the skies and give birth to every insurance company's worst nightmare . . . hail storms like you wouldn't believe. You may have seen it tonight. Local weather people take over your television as the rotational clouds increase and the Larger Hail falls from the sky with reckless abandon. It's all fun and games until Pete Delkus gets excited and sheds his coat WFAA in Dallas-Ft Worth.
Are we being dramatic? To a certain degree, but that doesn't nullify that we at Insurance For Texans have helped a myriad of Abilene homeowners with home insurance claims based on roof damage done to their home via hail damage. Our agents use True Texas Home Insurance to work to make sure that Austin homes that have experienced damage from hail are reassembled properly and you out of pocket costs are minimized as much as possible by your insurance policy.
In fact, we've seen enough severe hail storms to advise Lubbock homeowners what to do, and what not do after a hailstorm leaves you with signs of hail damage. Let's take a look at best practices when the ice-rocks come falling and calling leaving you with roof hail damage.
Texas Home Insurance Hail Damage Claim Checklist
- Do not, under any circumstances, ever, ever, ever think about letting a roofer file a claim on your behalf!! If there was a cardinal rule to hail claims, this is it. Most roofers have one goal in mind, to make as much money as possible during hail season. Your claim history does not matter to that roofer who is knocking on your door the day after a storm. If your claim for hail damage is not approved by your insurance company, who pays the consequences? You, the Amarillo homeowner. That's who. And your prior new best friend who could not care less if you end up paying extra on premiums later on due to a denied hail damage claim.
- Do only work with local, reputable roofers who are known to do things the right way and steer clear from those promising to pay your deductible. Texas has outlawed the practice of not charging you a deductible. They are asking you to break the law if they don't make you pay it. And any guy named Chuck can put a sign on his truck and mean bad luck faster than a chicken can cluck and make you say what the heck when he runs off with your deposit money. Only reputable roofers. We can't say this enough.
- Just because you hear the hail falling doesn't automatically mean "new roof". You need to have copious amounts of damage which means you have to let the claims process happen to determine if you get a new roof. How is this determined? By calculating the number of hail impact strikes within a square chalked on your roof . Most insurance adjusters don't deserve the bad rap they get from time to time. They aren't out to get you. They are simply looking for obvious damage rather than light hail damage to make sure that your insurance provider is getting stuck with a bad claim. Having a reputable roofer inspect your roof hail damage prior to starting a claim can help you avoid having a claim denied.
- Hail impact on your roof can make small problems turn into big problems when it involves ceilings and water leaking through from the outside to the inside of your Waco home. Attic spaces, closets, decking - all of this can mask hidden damage and add up to a problem much larger later on. After a storm, it always makes sense to check those attic spaces and decking to see if water has seeped in through places that are not readily visible. Water in hidden spots means the eventual forming of mold, and you don't want to add that remediation on top of other repairs from a hail damage insurance claim.
- Only use TRUE Texas Home Insurance to protect your home. There are components that make sure that your home is protected from things like wind driven rain, water damage to your home from a storm, and keeping replacement cost on your roof rather than actual cash value. The plan also keeps your deductible as low as possible per location guidelines. If you aren't sure if you have TRUE Texas Home Insurance, you should have a review done by Insurance For Texans.
Other Considerations For Hail Impact To Your Area
While you do have a time limit to file a hail claim, you do not have to replace your roof immediately. It is not uncommon for some areas to have multiple hail swaths blow through during a spring storm season. If your roof is not compromised, delaying the replacement of your roof until closer to Father's Day can prevent you from having to pay multiple deductibles inside a few months.
Also, if you have a metal roof on your Permian Basin home, it is likely standard for you to have a cosmetic damage exclusion on your home insurance policy. However, if you have a traditional shingle roof that is a clause on your policy that you would like to avoid.
What Can Texas Homeowners Do To Prevent Bad Claims?
As a local independent insurance agent, hailstorms keep us up at night. But not for the reasons it does most Texans. We know the potential for claims coupled with the potential for denied claims because homeowners aren't informed about the differences in policies when a fast-talking agent uses words other than actual cash value for policies that pay that way. TALK TO US FIRST. We have answers on whether you should make a claim, how it would be settled , and can even pass along information for the good guy contractors you would want to use for repair or replace.
If you want to understand your homeowners policy, we are here to help you. Whether it is a hail damage insurance claim situation or just general knowledge about your insurance, that's our specialty. We are in this mix daily and will be glad to advise. Click the button to start that conversation now!
Ron Wadley is an owner and General Solver of Problems for Insurance For Texans. Ron is a resident of North-East Tarrant County in the Dallas-Ft Worth area. He loves riding his many bikes and watching his Baylor Bears play football and basketball. Send him your insurance questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.