What to do After a Hailstorm

Advisors Insurance AgencyAll Blogs, Holiday and Seasonal, Home Insurance

Whatthehail-

“They’re baaack!” Hailstorms are especially stressful when you don’t know what to do after your car or home is damaged by hail. What do you do next? Who do you call? When should you get the damages fixed, and by whom?

Here’s what you need to do if your house is damaged in a hailstorm:

#1 – Record the date and time of the hail storm.

Your insurance company may need to verify this information with weather records.

#2 – Scour your entire property and take photos of the following:

  • Hail covering the ground or hail covering any surface of your property
  • The size of the hail stone. You can use any object as a point of reference if you don’t have a tape measure handy. (This will help indicate the level of damage)
  • Any leaks around the house or inside your house
  • Damages made to outside appliances, such as air conditioning units
  • Damages that appear on the roof  (dents, torn off shingles, etc)
  • Torn off shrubs, trees, and plants (chances are, hailstorms that make this much damage are sure to damage the roof as well)
  • Broken windows

#3 – Focus on “emergent” situations first.

If you have a leaking roof or broken window, have a contractor help immediately or create a quick fix until a contractor is available.

#4 – If your house is not in an emergency situation, find a reputable contractor or roofing company to inspect your roof for hail damage.

This service should be absolutely free, so beware of signing anything that holds you to paying for their services. Having an inspection will make your life easier when it comes time to making a claim with your insurance company.

#5 – Contact your insurance company and file your claim.

Having all your records complete and readily available will help you go through the process more smoothly. After you’ve submitted your claim, they will likely send an adjuster to your home to assess the financial damage. It’s not uncommon to have your contractor meet with the adjuster.

Here’s what you need to do if your car is damaged in a hail storm:

#1 – Call your insurance company immediately after the storm to report the damage and start the claim process.

Depending on the company, they may require you to go to a preferred car repair shop on their list. They will most likely send an adjuster to your home or car repair shop.

#2 – Your insurance company will determine the severity of your damage and consult with you and your car repair shop on what will make most sense for your vehicle.

  • You will receive an estimate of the cost to repair your car. It’s not uncommon that an estimate/check ends up less than the invoiced amount.
  • Hail damage to sheet metal may need to be hammered out and painted over, or it may be recommended to have paint-less dent removal (PDR).  This is a technique involving specially molded metal tools on the underside of the metal that do not hurt the paint on your car.
  • Since it was a storm that most likely affected a large amount of vehicles in the area, the work may take longer due to the volume of vehicles that need to be repaired.
  • If you notice a flaw in your vehicle’s repair, you should be able to have it fixed at no additional charge. Before hiring an car repair shop, ask them if they offer a guarantee to fix any repairs they may have missed. You’ll need to get these fixed so you don’t risk losing the value of your car.

#3 – It is always helpful to take photos of the hail and any damage to your vehicle as a result of that hail.

If you have any doubts regarding your homeowners or car insurance, contact us at Advisors Insurance Agency to make sure your current policy will protect you from the types of weather in your area.

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