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Hail can cause significant damage to vehicles, houses, and commercial properties. If you own a hail insurance policy, you can file a claim to seek compensation for the damages caused by hailstorms. The insurance company may require you to submit photos and other documents for assessment, but some issues may arise during your insurance claims. Delayed processing, valuation disputes, and policy limitations, among others, may complicate the procedure and prevent you from receiving fair compensation. 

To uphold your rights, our team of lawyers is here to guide you through the hail damage insurance claims process, leveraging our expertise and experience to ensure you get the support you need to aid you in your recovery.

Does Insurance Cover Hail Damage?

In most cases, yes. A standard commercial or homeowner’s policy should cover hail damage. However, in areas more susceptible to hail damage, insurance companies have made it more difficult by incorporating cosmetic exclusions for hail damage. Put simply, these cosmetic exclusions are used to deny coverage for hail damage if the hail damage is merely aesthetic as opposed to functional.

Obviously, the line between what is cosmetic versus functional can be uncertain and debated. For example, what may begin as minor dents in your roof or siding may eventually evolve into more serious structural damage. In addition, damage that is labeled cosmetic can affect the resale value of the property, requiring homeowners to pay for their own repairs or sell their houses at a discount. Given the growing prevalence of these exclusions, it's important to check your policy for cosmetic exclusion or limitations related to its hail coverage.

How to Determine if I have Hail Damage?

Research shows that hail that is at least 1 inch in diameter will cause damage to most asphalt shingle roofs (the most common roofing material on homes in the U.S.). Hail 2 inches or greater will cause damage to most roofs, no matter the type. Be aware of the weather reports for hailstorms in your area, which often tell you the approximate size of the hail.

If you suspect your property may have suffered hail damage, you should reach out to a reputable roofing contractor or public adjuster to inspect the damage. This inspection is a way to get professional advice about the damage, independent of your insurer, and find out whether it is worthy of filing a claim. If they suspect you may have hail damage, you should then file a claim with your insurance company.

At Barcus Arenas, PLLC, we recommend you only hire a roofing contractor if it can be done at minimal cost and without a commitment to ultimately hire the contractor. In fact, many contractors will provide this inspection for free as an opportunity to provide business in the future. You can find a legitimate contractor through personal research, such as checking customer feedback or ratings by the Better Business Bureau, a nonprofit organization that vets businesses. If you're in an area recently affected by a hailstorm, beware of “storm-chasing” contractors that may come door to door, or post in local social media groups, hunting for business. It will be more reliable for you to solicit an estimate from a contractor you've researched or know, so you can feel comfortable with their business and findings.