1. Get a Homeowner’s Policy That Includes Hailstorm Insurance
Depending on the extent of the damage, your homeowner’s insurance policy may cover hail damage. If you’re not sure that your policy covers hail damage, contact your insurance agent to discuss your policy’s specific coverage and deductibles.
Also, when homes are damaged in a storm, many homeowners will be filing hail damage claims, so it’s crucial to get your insurance claims in as soon as possible.
Not every policy will contain storm insurance, so please speak with your agent or representative to confirm either way. Your monthly rate may increase with this coverage, but it also pays for hail damage.
Policies that cover hail damage may be reduced if you have structures designed to be hail resistant. Explore your options by speaking with a local contractor before your home is damaged.
2. Make Sure Your Roof and Exterior Are Maintained Regularly
This is one of the best and easiest ways to prevent damage to your home. By performing regular preventative maintenance, you can ensure that the exterior of your home is prepared for a hail storm. Roofs are constantly exposed to the elements and are often the first part of a home to be damaged in a hail storm.
Visually inspect your roof and have a professional service technician perform an evaluation if you see signs of wear, discoloration, or missing shingles. This can be the difference between minor and significant damage.
Because hail storms are often relatively unexpected, it’s essential to keep your roof maintained year-round. Exposure to snow and ice can also weaken roofing systems. In addition, make sure that all gutters, vents, and other roofing components are secure and in good working order.
If you live in an area prone to frequent or heavy hail storms, you may want to invest in a hail-resistant roof. While it may require you to pay more upfront costs, a hail-resistant roof can save you considerable amounts of money in the long term. Insurance companies will consider this when developing your policy audit, possibly reducing your rate.
3. Protect Your Windows
At the first sign of a hail storm, you should start protecting windows from high winds and large hail. If you have exterior shutters, you should close and secure them, though these are increasingly uncommon. When high winds blow and hail begins falling, they can break glass and cause significant damage.
Make sure all interior window coverings are closed and secure to prevent broken glass from causing personal harm or property damage. While this may not offer a long-term solution, it can be helpful when an unexpected storm rolls in.
If your region is prone to frequent storms, shutters may be a sound investment to help protect your windows and home. Providing proof of shutters may also help reduce your insurance rate. Also, double-paned windows can offer another layer of protection against damaging hail storms.
4. Secure or Cover Outdoor Furniture
After you have protected your windows, you should focus on securing outdoor furniture. This is an essential consideration as patio furniture can cause damage as well as be damaged. Glass tables can shatter and should be protected with a cover that can endure large hail.
If you have time before the storm arrives, take all outdoor furniture and store it in a garage or carport. Don’t risk going into a hail storm to protect outdoor furniture if the storm has already arrived, as this puts you at risk of considerable personal harm.
Damage to your home caused by unsecured furniture may not be covered in your homeowner’s insurance policy, and you should contact your agent to discuss your coverage.
5. Inspect and Document Any Damage
When a claims adjuster comes to inspect the damage to your home, they will evaluate the following:
- Roof and siding
- Air Conditioners and HVAC systems
This makes documenting these before a storm occurs essential. Having proof of the damage is crucial to getting your claim approved and receiving a settlement offer for hail damage. The age and condition of your roof will be one of the main factors the claims adjuster will evaluate, so having proper documentation will help your case.
If temporary repairs are necessary to prevent further property damage, you should notify your insurance agent beforehand. Keep all invoices from these repairs and have your contractor provide itemized costs and the specific damage they are repairing.
Tile, Saltillo, and other clay or ceramic roofs can be cracked and broken during a hail storm. Photographic evidence can help provide clear proof of the damage and will make your claim easier to approve. Also, depending on the material of your roof, hail can cause considerable damage.
Depending on your climate, most synthetic roofs last up to twenty years. If you have an older roof, you may look into upgrading it before it is damaged and needs extensive repairs. This is often a better investment than repairing older roofs that have been damaged in a storm.
If you’re not sure how old your roof is, have a professional contractor conduct an inspection and explore your options for repairing or replacing it.
Johnson Exteriors is your trusted partner in the Minneapolis area for not only providing professional repairs but helping you navigate the hail storm insurance claim process. Call 763-355-4458 today to schedule an inspection if your home has experienced damage in a hail storm or you want to explore preventative measures.