When, How, and Why to File a Hail Damage Claim on Your Home in the Dallas/Ft Worth Area of Texas, and the Role a Great Roofer Plays in the Process
Typically, an average hail has a diameter between 1-2 inches, with the most massive hail ever recorded in the US measuring 8 inches. However, even the smallest ones have the capability to cause significant damage to homes and vehicles alike.
Texas records one of the highest home insurance claims in the US. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau data from ISO ClaimSearch, 2019 alone saw around 193000 Texas homeowners file hail damage and loss claims.
The need to file hail damage claims with your insurer to avail a reimbursement for repair costs arises after a storm passes and you are left with a leaking roof. Keep your insurer’s contact details ready in the meantime.
But how exactly to file hail damage claim?
Step 1: Create a detailed estimate
One of the first things you need to do is document each and every damage sustained. Using a tape measure, validate the size of your home and areas that have suffered damage. Report the date of loss and include photographs and videos of damages incurred.
Check the following for damage and document them –
- Roof for holes, vents, and tears
- Your ceiling for holes and cracks
- Chimney and porch
- Garage and exterior wall damage
- Broken glass and windows
- Leaks and broken flooring and piping, etc.
Step 2: Estimate the cost and put preventive measures in place
Once you have documented every repair job that needs to be done, install precautionary measures to prevent any further losses. Some insurance companies mandate this process before settling any claims.
Next, estimate the repair costs and include them in your file.
Step 3: Meet the adjuster of your insurance company
Call your insurance company and file a hailstorm damage claim. You will be submitting details such as your property information and damage list. Make sure to collect the adjuster’s credentials and the date of inspection and ask if you need to send any receipts digitally.
Once the adjuster comes down to your property for inspection, ensure that he/she inspects your house thoroughly and not just for claims made in your list. Ask for a copy of the final report once this process is concluded.
Step 4: Verify the payout amount with independent contractors
Before starting any repairs, as a homeowner, it is advised that you verify if the payout offered by your insurance company supports the repair costs for damages incurred. For this, you can contact independent roofing experts and get them to assess damages and repair costs.
Once everything checks out, and you receive the reimbursement, continue with your repairs.
When to File for a Damage Claim and How Much Does It Pay?
Following 2005’s devastating hurricane Katrina, insurance companies levied two kinds of damage deductibles:
- Hurricane deductibles
- Hailstorm deductibles
On the fine print, you will find information on deductibles (usually up to 5% of property value), which will be subtracted from your reimbursement amount.
Now, while homeowners may be tempted to file a claim for even small damages, it is not always wise to do so. It is advisable to file a hail damage claim only if the claim amount is significantly higher than the deductible.
For example, if a property suffers damage worth $5000 and your deductible is $2500, filing a claim will be impractical, as you will end up paying about 50% of the entire cost incurred. Instead, if the deductible was $1000, it will be prudent to file insurance claims.
Luckily, most insurance policies in Texas covers various regions such as the roof, ceilings, walls, garage, porch, piping, etc. Thus, the total amount that you can claim as damage reimbursement ends up depending on the deductible you chose when you signed the policy.
Role of a Great Roofer in a Hail Damage Claim
A professional roofing installation is not an easy task by any means. It requires a specific subset of skills that are only honed by experience. While the new generation is into DIY everything, roofing and hail damage claim is best left to the experts.
Roofing experts and contractors make the entire process of hailstorm damage claim much more manageable than doing the estimations yourself. Take a look at some reasons why you should contact only trusted, reputable, and experienced roofers.
- Great attention to safety and detail
During cost estimation, it is highly likely to miss an area or two that incurred damage during the storm. Leaving such cracks or holes unattended can lead to the condition deteriorating over time, giving rise to unwanted damages in the long term.
A professional roofing agency will thoroughly inspect the property for any leaks or cracks that you may have missed in the first round of inspection.
More often than not, the payout offered by insurance companies may not be enough to cover all the repair expenses, especially after a massive storm. One of the primary factors affecting this is discrepancies in calculating the estimated cost of repairs.
Opting for independent roofing contractors allows the homeowner to verify the payout amount offered by his/her insurer, ensuring that they avail total reimbursement (minus deductibles) during the settlement.
After you have claimed the settlement, opt for a reputed roofing contractor for the repair job as well. Even though it may seem lucrative to do it yourself and save some bucks, a roofing expert can help you in the following two ways –
Experienced roofing contractors know how to differentiate between low- and high-quality raw materials, and supply you with the best ones for your property
While installing a new roof is a time-consuming job, professional contractors have experience and speed to complete the task within a short span.
Beware of contractors that offer ‘free roof’ by wavering deductibles. Under new 2019 amendments to the Texas Insurance Code, such fraudulent claims can be rejected by the insurance company if sufficient proof is not provided along with the application. This is another reason why homeowners should only opt for trusted roofers for hail damage claim.