- Q: Why should I get my home inspected?
A: Peace of mind. If your home is damaged, you may have a limited time to file an insurance claim. It is always smart to schedule your repairs as soon as possible.
- Q: Will my insurance premiums go up if I file a storm damage claim?
A: Typically, insurance companies cannot single out a homeowner for a rate increase based on an “Act of God” storm damage claim. However, your insurance company can raise rates for everyone in your area. So, if you don’t file a claim, your increase in premium will pay for everyone else’s repairs, except for yours.
- Q: Is it okay to hire the cheapest contractor to fix my home?
A: If your insurance company is paying for your repairs, it may not be in your best interest to hire the cheapest contractor. The factors you’ll want to consider are quality, service, workmanship, materials and warranty.
- Q: I’ve heard some contractors pay insurance deductibles? Is this true?
A: Many contractors offer homeowners cash bonuses for displaying a sign in your yard, or for referrals to other homeowners. Ask your contractor about the programs they offer.
- Q: How long can I file an insurance claim after the storm hits?
A: The time you have to file an insurance claim varies by insurance company, but most insurance policies limit your time to file a claim, within 12-24 months of the storm. Contact your insurance agent, or insurance company to see how long you have to file a claim.
- Q: My insurance company denied my claim. Is there anything I can do?
A: You can request three separate adjuster inspections and re-file a claim that has been denied. To increase your chances of approval make sure your contractor present during the inspection. Experienced storm restoration contractors can often help get your claim approved, even if it has been previously denied.
- Q: My home was hit by hail and now several of my neighbors are getting their roofs replaced, should I have someone inspect my home?
A: Yes. If your neighbors have storm damage and are getting their roof repaired or replaced, chances are very good you have storm damage as well.
- Q: How can I tell if I have hail damage?
A: Homeowners with hail damage may notice small dents on rain gutters or air conditioning units, missing or bent shingles, washout (granules accumulating in gutters or downspouts), moist areas on your ceiling indicating leaks, cracks or dents in windows or siding, shredded plants and flowers, leaves knocked off trees and dents in cars parked on the street. If your car has damage, or your neighbors are getting their roof replaced, chances are your property has sustained damage as well.
- Q: What does a hail hit look like on an asphalt roof?
A: A hail hit on asphalt shingles looks like a dark spot, or bruise, where the roofing granules have been knocked away. In some cases you may find holes, cracking, or missing shingles on roofs that have been damaged by hail.
- Q: My home was hit by hail, but I don’t see any damage. What should I do?
A: It can be difficult to identify signs of hail damage, and almost impossible to do so from ground level. Have a trained professional inspect your property and look for damage that can lead to leaks, flooding, structural damage and other serious issues.
- Q: What are the risks of not fixing a hail damaged roof?
A: The most common problems associated with hail damage are leaking water and flooding. Over time, water that leaks through tiny holes in your roof caused by hail can cause serious issues including water damage, mold and structural damage, including roof collapse.
- Q: My roof is damaged. Can I just fix it myself?
A: If your roof has been damaged by a storm and you are filing an insurance claim to pay for the repairs, there is no advantage to doing the work yourself. Hire a reputable contractor, with storm damage experience that is committed to quality workmanship.
- Q: Can storm damage impact the resale value of my property?
A: Yes. If you plan to sell your home in the future, it is critical to address storm damage issues immediately. Many homeowners are shocked to learn they have costly storm damage to repair before they can sell, long after the time to file an insurance claim has expired.
- Q: My home is fairly new. Won’t my homebuilder’s warranty cover the repairs?
A: No. Storm damage is almost always a named exclusion in manufacturers, homebuilders and contractors warranties, which are designed to cover issues with materials and workmanship, not storm damage, or other factors beyond control.
- Q: My roof is leaking. What should I do?
A: You have two basic options. First, you can try to fix the problem by repairing or patching your roof. Or, you can completely replace your roof. If you are filing an insurance claim, you should contact a reputable insurance restoration contractor who can help you determine the best option for your situation.
- Q: What does hail do to a roof?
A: On shingle roofs, hail causes damage to the tiny granules that protect your roof from the sun. As the asphalt underlayment is exposed, the corners start to curl up and become brittle. Hail damage can cause your roof to leak and on tile, slate, and shake single roofs, hail can cause cracking, breaking and accelerated shingle aging. The most common hail damage issues are:
- Leaking, dripping and water stains in your house
- Hail damage accelerates shingle aging and granule loss
- Reduces the value of your home
- Can cause mold and structural damage
- Voids manufacturer warranty for materials
- Q: How much damage does my roof need to require a full replacement?
A: Typically, if your roof has 10-16 verified hits per 100 square feet on every slope, your insurance company will declare your roof a total loss, and replace your roof.
- Q: Do I need to get my roof replaced right away?
A: The devastating nature of hail damage is that you might not start experiencing problems, such as leaking, mold, or structural damage right away. But, because most insurance companies limit the time you can file a claim, it is important to get your roof inspected and fixed immediately, before your time to file a claim expires.
- Q: Why would my insurance company pay to replace my roof?
A: The purpose of insurance is to protect your property against losses that affect value, functionality and safety. If your home has sustained damage, your insurance company will provide compensation to have your property repaired.
- Q:Initially my insurance company denied my claim. During the second inspection, my insurance company “totaled” my roof. Why such a dramatic turnaround?
A: There are many reasons why this can happen, but it’s a pretty common story. Sometimes insurance adjusters are inexperienced and don’t know what to look for. Other times they simply make mistakes. Sadly, it is becoming more common for insurance companies to deny claims, hoping you won’t re-file. Remember, your insurance company is in business to make money, so protect yourself by always having your contractor present during inspections.