Even though the mid-Atlantic states aren’t known for destructive hail storms like Texas or Oklahoma we end up having our fair share every year. Hail stones can be as small as a grain of rice up to the size of a youth soccer ball. Hail storms are usually accompanied by high winds. Accumulating hail storms can blanket the ground with over 2 inches of hail, cause power outages and damage trees.
Once hailstones reach about 3/4″ (0.75″) they can cause property damage. As they grow larger damage becomes more likely regardless of the surface material being struck. As stones reach 1.5″ roof and siding damage is almost guaranteed. Large stones can damage brick or concrete, break glass windows and even perforate roofing material and enter a structure.
Hail damage is often not visible from the ground. Countless clients I have spoken to who had substantial damage did not even know they had any until someone mentioned that they might. Then when they see the repair estimate they are astounded.
On some claims having a public adjuster involved doesn’t appear on the surface to make financial sense. However we might point out that just because your carrier and contractor agree doesn’t mean you’ve been properly indemnified for your loss. And as the size of the regional loss goes up the area becomes attractive to out-of-town contractors who may not have your best interests at heart. This is a serious issue and one where there could be extreme repercussions as you won’t know what you don’t know. Also there is a legal issue involved: Only you, your attorney and your public adjuster are allowed by law to negotiate your claim on your behalf. If your contract does, he’s breaking the law. It happens everyday with the insurance carriers condoning it and that is because one reason…they pay less in the end.
Mercury Adjustments, LLC provides a free online analysis and on-site inspection to determine if hail has struck, if your property has sustained damage and if it makes sense to make a property insurance claim. If you chose to make a claim we can assist in providing expertise of handling hundreds of prior hail losses, the legal capacity to review the damage with your carrier, provide a valuation of the repair costs and negotiating your claim on your behalf. Then armed with that funding, you negotiate with a contractor to perform the work.
There is some great advice on the internet what to do if a hail storm should strike your home
—–This is from the website: http://www.handymanhowto.com/how-to-file-a-roof-hail-damage-insurance-claim/
What to do After a Hail Storm
Note the date and time of the storm. Your insurance claims manager will ask for the date & time of the loss and the storm event can be correlated with reports from the local weather and public safety authorities.
After the storm, I grabbed my digital camera and walked around the property, taking photos of the:
- Hail stones covering the yard, sidewalk and patios.
- Hail stones set next to a tape measure.
The size of a hail stone is directly proportional to the potential for damage to the roof and shingles.
- Roof – looking for obvious signs of roof damage such as missing or torn shingles,
- Outdoor air conditioning units.
Hail stones can dent and bend the cooling fins, blocking the air flow.
I also looked around inside the attic for any signs of a leak.
How to File a Roof Hail Damage Insurance Claim
To file an insurance claim for roof hail damage:
- Locate your homeowner’s insurance policy.
Make a note of your insurance policy number and deductible. The deductible figure will be important as explained later.
- Organize your facts and records; insurance policy number, date/time of loss, hail size (if known), photos, videos, damage items.
- Call your homeowner’s insurance claim number and provide the necessary information as requested.
- You will be given a claim number by your insurer.
When an insurance claims examiner is assigned to your case, it helps to send your photos and videos of the hail storm for authenticity to better support your claim. The claim examiner will assign an claims adjuster to make an official roof inspection and prepare a repair estimate.
Claims Adjuster Roof Inspection
- The claims adjuster will contact you to make an appointment to inspect the roof.
Offer to share your photos and/or videos of the storm with the adjuster. I e-mailed my hail storm photos and video to the adjuster, who thanked me for the assistance.
- You should arrange for the roofing contractor who previously inspected your roof to meet with the insurance adjuster to go on the roof and discuss his findings.
- The claim adjuster may bring along a “high team” to inspect steep and/or high roofs with proper safety gear.
- The roof inspection includes the taking of numerous photos, looking at dents in the soft metals (gutters, box vents, powered attic ventilators) and the marking off 10 ft by 10 ft “test squares” to count the number of hail stone hits on the shingles. Hail stone hits will be marked with chalk for identification in photos.
The claims adjuster will write a report on his findings, prepare an estimate to make spot repairs or replace the roof (assuming damage was found), then forward the report to your claim examiner. The claim examiner will review the report and make a decision on your claim.
Don’t be surprised if your neighbor’s roof hail damage claim is approved while yours is not. Whether or not an insurance claim is ultimately approved is highly variable depending on the severity of the damage, your roof’s construction, orientation of your house to the storm, quality of roofing materials and your particular insurance company’s evaluation criteria.
My hail damage insurance claim was approved by the claim examiner for a full roof replacement. Now I faced the challenge of choosing a roofing contractor and negotiating a roof replacement contract.
———-This is from the website: https://www.publicadjuster.com/type-of-claim/hail-damage.aspx
Understanding Hail Damage Claims
Severe weather events such as super cell thunderstorms and the destructive tornadoes that follow remind us of Mother Nature’s power and fury. Seemingly, not a year goes by that we witness communities in tornado alley being devastated by these awesome forces of nature. Communities damaged by these storms suffer significant hail damage to homes, businesses, and government property such as schools and other municipal buildings.
Filing an insurance claim and successfully recovering your financial loss from hail damage can at times be challenging given the issues involved with insurance policy coverage’s and the discretionary nature of the insurance adjusting process. Many adjusters and the insurance companies they work for may have different adjusting standards outlined in their respective claim department manuals. If the hailstorm was severe enough, visible damages should be obvious and undisputed by the field adjuster inspecting the damages and thus coverage of the loss should be confirmed early on in the process. This is the easy part.
In many claims however, there may be other issues you will face such as the scope of damages and the dollar amount your insurance adjuster says you are going to get paid given the insurance policy terms and conditions. Often, the assigned insurance adjuster’s training, experience and knowledge of this type of adjustment process will play a very important part in how your claim is settled.
A common issue that arises is if you will be paid to replace the complete roof or if a patch job will be offered as a partial repair. The next question is if the insurance adjuster will apply deprecation to your roof and if so, is it fair and reasonable? While auguring over the scope of loss and price of the repair may seem like a good thing, (at least the insurance company acknowledges that you have a covered loss) there are many other cases where the insurance company will dispute the damages were caused by hail, claiming previous wear and tear. This is where you may need the professional help of a public adjuster that will represent your best interests.
Remember knowledge and information is power. Do you know the questions to ask as well as what you are entitled to in an insurance loss adjusting process from a hail event? Whether you a have hail damage to a modified bitumen roof, a build up roof, sprayed polyurethane foam application, metal roof, cedar shake roof or any number of tile roofs, chances are you have recoverable damages as a result of a sever hail event in your community. Read the article on How Hail Damage Effects Different Roof Types.Your roof is one the most important building components of your property. You need to have the damages documented and the adjustment process completed professionally to get you indemnified for your loss. A fair and honest settlement for your covered roof damages is not only important to you but also should be in the best interest
of your insurance company as well.
Do not be victimized in the adjustment and repair replacement process, it just makes good sense to have a team of professionals working on your side to get you covered for your hailstorm loss. If you have suffered hail damage at your property and have questions on what to do, please contact us for a no obligation and confidential consultation.