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Storm Damage

STORM DAMAGE

Hail storms generally occur from late spring to late summer. Much of mid-America experiences at least one damaging hail or windstorm a year. Some parts of the central US are called “Hail Alley,” which means they receive the highest frequency of large hail in North America and most of the world. Residents in these areas usually can count on three or four catastrophic (defined as at least $25 million in insured damage) hail storms every year. In the last 10 years, hailstorms have caused nearly $2 billion in insured damage in the state of Tennessee alone. As a result, up to one-half of your homeowners insurance premium may be going toward hail and wind damage costs. If you carry comprehensive coverage on your home policy, hail damage is covered by almost all insurance companies. Comprehensive insurance is optional, but if you live in a hail prone area, the insurance industry recommends this coverage.

Allow only the insurance adjuster and chosen roofer to get up on your roof. Each time someone walks a potentially damaged roof, more damage can occur.
Be wary of out-of-town roofers who move into an area and set up shop following a storm. While some of these firms are reputable, some have collected money from homeowners and moved on to the next storm site without paying suppliers or finishing the jobs they were paid to do. This can leave homeowners holding the bag for those additional costs. It’s a good idea to select a company with established credibility and local references. Word of mouth is still your best guide.

Be sure roofers have the appropriate insurance required by the state and your local city. If they don’t, you may be held liable if one of the workers is injured or if they damage a neighbor’s property.

WHAT TO DO IF A HAIL STORM STRIKES

  • 1. Don’t go out in the storm to try to protect your property; you could be injured! While this may sound like silly advice, people do it! If you’re so inclined, you can see multiple people getting hit by hail on YouTube, and it’s clearly not a good feeling!
  • 2. After the hailstorm, assess the damage.
  • 3. Check trees, shrubs and plants around your house. If they are stripped of their foliage, there is a possibility that your roof is damaged. Check for roof damage if patio covers, screens or soft aluminum roof vents are dented. However, we don’t recommend that you climb up on your own roof, call us for a free damage assessment and we’ll do the dangerous work.
  • 4. Check your car for dents and broken or cracked glass.
  • 5. Protect your property from further damage.
  • 6. If you find signs that hail has battered your property, take immediate steps to protect it from further damage. Cover any broken windows and holes in your roof so that no water can enter and damage your home’s interior. Cover any broken glass in your car to prevent damage to the interior from rain, and remove glass from the car’s interior to prevent cuts in upholstery and carpet.
  • 7. File your claim.
  • 8. Call your agent or company as soon as you notice damage. Practically all homeowners policies cover hail damage. You car will be covered if you’ve purchased comprehensive coverage.
  • 9. If your agent or company requests you to do so, follow up your call with a written explanation of what happened.
  • 10. Save receipts for what you spend and submit them to your insurance company for reimbursement.
  • 11. Select a reputable roofing company, such as Universal Builders of America, to make repairs and to help negotiate on your behalf with the insurance adjuster.