Texas has more hail storms than any other state, with 40% of all homeowner insurance claims related to hail damage.
Hail can damage all types of property, but the most common hail claim involves roofs. So what should you do if you suspect your roof has been damaged by hail?
1. Before filing a claim with your insurance company, have a reputable roofing contractor, who works regularly with insurance companies and adjusters, come to your house to assess the damage and determine if it was caused by hail or windstorm. Remember, your insurance company will not replace or repair your roof due to normal deterioration. Storm chasing roofers who drive through neighborhoods after a storm offering “free” roof estimates may not be trustworthy. Before doing business with a roofing contractor or signing a contract, check references, get more than one estimate, and never give money before the materials arrive.
2. Make sure you know the amount of your deductible before filing a claim. If the cost of the roof repair is less than your deductible, do not file a claim. Once you file a claim, you can’t change your mind and retract it. It becomes part of your permanent claim history and could affect your rates in the future.
3. If you decide to file a claim, you will be responsible for paying your deductible to the roofing contractor. If a roofer offers to “waive” or “absorb” your deductible and inflate the receipt and cost of the repair to your insurance company, he is committing insurance fraud. If your insurance company finds out the work is being completed for less, they will provide less money to the contractor, who in turn might cut corners on your project. Be cautious with anything that sounds “too good to be true” and with roofing contractors who knowingly break the law, as they will likely throw you under the bus if they are caught and take you down into the gutter with them. If you don’t pay your full and legal deductible, you will be committing insurance fraud as well, and the ultimate cost could be much greater than your deductible.