Plink . . . plink . . . PLINK! PONG! THUD! WHACK! PONG! BOING! CRASH!
If you've lived in Texas long enough to encounter your first hailstorm, then you are familiar with the sounds that frozen water drops from the upper regions of the thunderstorm clouds make during a full assault on your roof. Hail is unnerving to say the least.
Maybe you've weathered the Texas hail storm battles enough to tingle your good sense to move your vehicle into your garage well ahead of time and preventing you from having to wear a bike helmet and padding during a deluge. For those using their garage as a storage unit or those who can't move their vehicle inside, you don't know the extent of the damage until the storm is over.
We have several sizes of hail here in Texas. Pea, marble, golf ball, baseball and even softball-sized hail make the list of possible projectiles during the spring storm season. Your roof will take the brunt of the damage, and most likely your exposed vehicle, but what else? Other parts of the exterior of your home may have suffered damage. to know the full extent of the damage of a hail storm, you need a plan.
Assess the Damage
You'll notice the extent of damage to your unprotected car right away. However, your roof will require an inspection to tell you the extent of the damage. Before you get up on your roof, know most licensed roofing contractors will offer a free inspection, so you may want to consider leaving it to the professionals. You can also get a good idea of the extent of the damage by looking for dents or cracks in your:
- garage door
- gutter screens
- window casings
- air conditioner coil
- patio covers
The above is not an exhaustive list, but you get the idea. Another telltale sign of possible damage to your roof is the sudden appearance of roofing contractor signs in the yards of your neighborhood. Damage to other homes may be more visibly apparent, warranting a deeper look at your roof and home.
Though you've acted wisely and contacted a roofing inspector from a reputable roofing company, don't let them begin work on repairing or replacing your roof. The roofing inspector and company might have the utmost integrity and be 100% correct about the condition of your roof, but there are two sides to the coin. Your homeowner's insurance carrier is going to want to have their own opinion on the state of the damage. Your policy will determine what is covered and to what extent.
Talk to Your Agent
You don't want a claim denied because your insurance company didn't sign off on the coverage. It's best to have agreement, and if you file a claim, your roofing inspector and insurance adjuster will wind up discussing the damage.
You'll want to know whether damage is cosmetic or functional and what paying your deductible will actually bring to the table regarding the amount of repair needed.
Also, before quickly filing a claim, you'll want to know what effect this will have on your relationship with your insurance carrier. If you have a history of filing claims (including any auto claims), your roofing claim can cause your insurance carrier to drop you at the time of renewal.
Before that happens, talk to your independent insurance agent. At Insurance For Texans, we know the questions to ask to help determine whether or not filing a claim is in your best interest. If you are buying a home and need coverage, we can match you with one of our solid insurance carriers to bring you the best coverage at the best value. Hopefully that will calm the nerves the next time the hail makes impact. Give us a call, text or simply press the button below and we'll get you covered.