Four Myths About Hail Damage, Your Roof, And Your Home Insurance

Posted on: 27 February 2015

If there's one thing that can send people scrambling to check on their roof, it's a hailstorm. Nothing can wipe out a whole neighborhood's roofs more quickly. Unfortunately, many parts of the country do deal with hail at least once a year. Here's a look at some things to know if you think your home's roof has hail damage.

Myth #1: There's No Visible Damage, So the Roof is Fine

After a hailstorm, a homeowner may take a look at their roof, see no damage, and assume they lucked out. But just because there's no visible damage, that doesn't mean there's none there. In fact, there's a lot of hail damage you won't see unless you know specifically what you're looking for.

The biggest indicator that most people would look for is missing shingles, but that's actually a more common indicator of wind damage. Even if you have minimal damage, you still need to file a claim. Hail can cause cracks that can end up leaking years after a storm.

Myth #2: A Homeowner Only Has One Year to File A Hail Damage Claim

While one year is the standard time frame for filing a hail damage claim to your insurance, plenty of agencies have a smaller window (and some even have a larger one). Know the details of your policy. You may end up missing out on being able to file a claim. And don't assume that if you find damage past one year, it's too late to claim. Some insurance agencies will actually allow for a claim past their time frame if a storm was very widespread.

Myth #3: A New Roof Will Be Covered By the Manufacturer's Warranty

If you check the details of your roof's warranty, you'll probably notice an exclusion or two. In the vast majority of cases, hail damage is one of those. Not only will the manufacturer's warranty not cover hail damage, but most builder's warranties and contractor's warranties will not either.

Unfortunately, a new roof is often more susceptible to hail damage because it hasn't had time to properly cure and settle in. Hail damage is almost always an issue that your home insurance will cover, not any warranty.

Myth #4: Filing A Claim on My Insurance May Make Them Cancel the Policy

This may have been an unfortunate reality in years gone by, but most states actually have laws now that prohibit an insurance company from canceling a policy due to a claim because of severe weather. Not all states are covered, especially those that are in a "high target" area for natural disasters, but you still shouldn't hesitate to file a claim.

If you suspect hail damage, have your home checked out by a certified insurance agent. They know exactly what to look for, and have probably seen hundreds of homes just like yours. Trusting your own judgment could lead to a leaking roof years down the road, and a suddenly unexpected repair or replacement. To learn more, contact a company like Alpen Roofing for more information.