Hail is one of the most damaging weather events that can befall your roof. Wind ranks a high second. If you live in an area of the country that is prone to hail and your shingles and roofing are paying the price, before you file a claim with your insurance company you will want to talk with a trusted roofing contractor about the damage.
What you don’t want to do following a hail storm is contract with a roofing company that comes knocking on your door offering to fix your roof right that minute. Typically, experienced and professional roofing contractors do not do door to door solicitation. You will want to look for a contractor that has been in business in your area, has a good reputation and is someone you can ask for referrals for prior work completed.
While filing an insurance claim because of a hail storm is not something that happens frequently, you do need to be prepared and here are some tips to consider:
Contact your insurance company to let them know of the damage; they will likely send an insurance adjuster to look at the damage.
Contact a reputable roofing contractor and ask him to survey the damage and provide you with an estimate for the repair. Do your homework and check for a contractor with a great reputation.
Be prepared to wait for both your insurance company and the roofing contractor if there was major storm damage because they will both be operating on a first come first served basis.
If the damage to the roof was extensive you may have to perform emergency repairs yourself to assure the safety and security of your home. You may want to tell your roofing contractor if it is an emergency situation.
If possible, have the roofing contractor and the insurance adjuster present at the same time to look over the damage. The roofing contractor is the professional and can explain the situation to the adjuster which may help your chances of receiving proper compensation. You don’t have to accept the first offer an insurance adjuster offers you especially if it varies wildly from what a roofing contractor has estimated the repairs to be.
Make certain your home owner’s policy covers hail, or other storm, damage. If you’re not certain, contact your insurance agent as soon as possible and have him or her explain the coverage to you.
Again, do not sign with the first roofing contractor who comes knocking at your door. Many, but not all, of these individuals do not have a permanent home office and they may not carry proper insurance or be able to warranty their work.
You also do not have to use the roofing contractor that the insurance company may recommend. While it’s true that some insurance companies have a list of preferred contractors, you can still do your own homework to find a roofing contractor of your choosing. Be sure to ask your insurance company if this will affect your compensation.
Remember to have your roof inspected annually as a way to spare yourself from damage in the event of a storm.