Does home insurance cover hail damage?
Hail damage is covered by standard home insurance in most states. The average hail damage insurance payout was $12,000 in 2021, according to data compiled by state farm.
A hail damage insurance claim can be expensive and it can also be complicated. In many cases, a roof hail damage insurance claim can be combined with a claim for windows, siding, and other damage if they were caused by the same storm.
here we will explain how home insurance pays for hail damage to your home and how to deal with a hail damage claim.
Is hail damage covered by home insurance?
yes, homeowners insurance covers hail damage to the structure of your home, as well as other structures you own. Common areas of hail damage are the roof, siding, windows, and gutters. all of these are covered by your insurance policy’s homeowners coverage.
Damage to a detached garage or shed, for example, would be covered under the other structures portion of the policy.
Some insurance companies may have special limits for hail damage or a special deductible. read your policy carefully before you buy, especially if you are in an area with frequent storms.
average hail damage insurance payout
The median homeowner claim totaled nearly $12,000, according to state farm 2021 hail claims data. For automobile hail damage claims, the median payment was about $5,000. Of course, your claim may be higher or lower.
Regardless of the amount, an insurer will typically cover damage up to the policy limits, less the deductible.
main states with home hail damage
According to state farm 2021 claims data, the states with the most hail damage claims are as follows:
- texas: $710 million
- minnesota: $253 million
- oklahoma: $202 million
- illinois: $187 million
- Colorado: $139.5 million
These figures represent the total payout for both auto and home hail damage claims. Texas is way ahead of the other states on this list, likely due to hurricane damage that does not occur in the other states listed.
does a hail damage claim increase home insurance rates?
Not in all cases. Because weather damage is out of your control, your insurer typically won’t increase your rate. however, your rate may increase if you have filed a claim within the previous three years and the hail claim is your second.
Also, while your individual rate may not increase, if you live in an area prone to hail damage, the insurance company may charge everyone in that vicinity a higher base rate compared to places where hail is rare. Finally, some states, including Texas, prohibit home insurers from raising rates after a single claim, so it depends on your state’s laws as well.
How does hail damage insurance work?
Hail damage is part of your homeowners insurance policy and works like any other coverage. will contact your insurance company to notify them of the damage and instruct you on the next steps. Some insurance companies will only need photos of the damage, while others will send someone to inspect the damage in person.
The Insurance Information Institute (III) and insurance companies say policyholders should report immediately when hail damages their home. you should also take photos of the damage. do not make repairs before contacting your insurer, although you should avoid further damage by covering roof or window damage.
If you’re wondering how long after hail damage you can file a claim, most standard policies require you to file a claim within one year of a determination that a hail storm damaged your roof or other parts of the home . Michael Barry, a spokesman for III, recommends contacting his agent or insurer to make sure you know the time limit for any claims.
how to make a hail damage insurance claim
The homeowners coverage portion of your homeowners insurance covers your home, including your roof, and anything else damaged by the hail. This is an example of what a hail damage claim for your roof might look like, depending on the type of insurance policy you have.
A replacement cost policy pays to replace your roof based on current construction costs. An actual cash value policy lowers your payment based on the age of your roof. Here’s an example: Let’s say it costs $30,000 to replace your 10-year-old roof after hail damage, and your homeowners policy has a $3,000 deductible. a replacement cost policy will pay $27,000. A policy with actual cash value coverage will subtract depreciation in value for the age of your roof. If the value of your roof were to depreciate in half after 10 years, the policy would pay $12,000.
If you have a replacement cost, you typically receive two payments from your insurance provider. the first is for the actual cash value of the roof. then after the roof is replaced, the company will pay the rest. your deductible will be subtracted from the total payment.
To file a claim, do the following:
document the damage. take pictures and if possible measure or estimate the size of the hail.
submit your claim. contact your insurer and obtain their policy number and an explanation of the damage. Your insurance agent will review your current policy, what’s covered, and your next steps.
Get repair quotes from local contractors. Get three to four quotes from contractors in your area that you trust. however, do not sign any contracts or make any payments or hire anyone for the job yet. do not start any repairs until after the adjuster has inspected your home.
Schedule an appointment with an insurance adjuster. After you file a claim, you will be asked to schedule an appointment with an insurance adjuster. If possible, ask a reputable roofing contractor to attend the meeting with the adjuster. that helps ensure you get a fair appraisal and that harm isn’t overlooked.
Meet with the insurance adjuster. The adjuster will help determine the cause of the damage and assess the total cost. will share your notes, photos and estimates at this meeting. the adjuster will then create a report with all the details that will be sent to the insurance company to help process the claim.
Hire a contractor to do the repairs. Once your claim has been approved and you’ve settled on the cost of the repairs, you can hire someone to fix your roof . You must check the background of any contractor or business you hire, and the person or business must be licensed. Usually, your insurance provider will pay half of the total cost up front to allow you to start repairs. the last half will be sent upon completion, less your deductible.
If you have a mortgage on your home, the company will usually send you a check made out to you and your mortgage company. then you will have to work with the mortgage company to free up the money for the repairs. Policyholders United, a nonprofit insurance consumer advocacy group, has more details on how to work with your mortgage company to release claim money.
Do I have to pay a hail damage deductible?
yes. there is always a deductible for hail damage. how it works depends on whether or not the hail was related to a hurricane and what kind of deductibles your policy has.
“There are two types of wind damage deductibles: hurricane deductibles, which apply only to hurricane damage, and windstorm or wind/hail deductibles, which apply to any type of wind damage,” according to Barry, who notes that these deductibles are based on a percentage of the home’s insured value.
Typically, he says, deductibles range from 1% to 5% of the home’s insured value, depending on the home’s location and historical storm and hail damage in the region.
“In some states, policyholders may have the option of paying a higher premium in exchange for a traditional dollar deductible,” according to iii. “In some high-risk coastal areas, insurers may not give policyholders this option, making the deductible percentage mandatory.”
again, barry says homeowners should discuss their situation with their insurer to find out exactly how much coverage to consider and how much it will cost.
There are currently 19 states that have mandatory hurricane deductibles, which also cover hail damage. They include Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
Does home insurance cover cosmetic damage from hail?
To keep costs down, some insurance companies have added a cosmetic damage exclusion to homeowners insurance policies.
“This was a reaction by insurers to deal with the increasing volatility of weather events, which are wreaking havoc on insurers’ loss ratios,” says robert prahl, finance author and former claims adjuster for insurance in new york.
Insurance companies now have the option to exclude payments for damage to exterior surfaces, including walls, roofs, doors and windows from hail or wind if the storm affects the appearance but not the function of these items. insurers say the exclusions are necessary to avoid raising insurance premiums for all homeowners.
j. Robert Hunter, director of insurance for the Consumer Federation of America, says homeowners should find out exactly what the insurance company thinks is cosmetic versus functional damage from hail and wind. it may be a gray area that should be specified by your insurer, he says.
“A house with dented siding still works, but it looks terrible and will make the house lose value,” says hunter. “Insurance companies should fix it, even if the house still works. This is a pending lawsuit due to the ambiguous definition of cosmetic damage.”