April typically marks the beginning of hail damage insurance claim season throughout the Mid-West. It is the time of year when afternoon thunderstorms produce amazing amounts of ice balls (hail) ranging in size from peas to softballs falling to earth at high speed. If you have not experienced a severe hail storm, it is hard to explain the destruction caused in such a short time period (typically less than 30 minutes). Here are some tips to help handle the experience when it comes to hail related insurance hail damage claims.
There is absolutely nothing that can be done to prevent roof hail damage. There are no protective devices to install on a roof to further protect it from hail damage. The roofing industry has addressed these concerns through better technology, material and installation techniques. Highly resistive roof material now is UL certified to withstand severe hail damage for longer periods of time than non UL rated roofing material. Insurance companies typically offer 5-15% discounts on homeowners and dwelling fire policies with the submission a UL roof certificate issued by the roofing contractor.
Asphalt shingles are by far the most popular roofing material in the America. This is the typical material used on the majority of houses from coast-to-coast. Asphalt Shingles come in a wide variety of colors and looks to compliment any home style and color decor. With collaboration between the roofing and insurance industries, new materials are more resistant to hail damage allowing a longer expected lifespan of asphalt shingle roofs. However, like any other property owned, maintenance is key to longevity. Physical inspection of a roof after a hailstorm has passed through is highly recommended. By walking on the roof, weak spots can felt under foot along with visually locating severe hail marks and damage.
Metal roofing has become more and more popular throughout the United States over the past decade due in large part to better materials and installation techniques. Insurance companies used to not insure metal roofs in metropolitan areas because of their poor hail resistant qualities. Today, installation of metal roofing places a soft shock absorbent-like material between the metal material and wooden decking allowing the hail to not damage the roof or decking materials for longer periods of time between replacements.
When it comes to hail damaged vehicles, comprehensive is the coverage in an auto policy that repairs hail damage less deductible. It is an act of Mother Nature out of the insured’s control which is why it is covered under comprehensive, the other half of “Full Coverage”. Protecting vehicles from hail damage is simple, move the vehicle under a covering like a garage, bridge, parking lot cover to avoid damage all together. If unable to secure a safe location under a secure structure, the best advice is find a location, park the vehicle and go in doors to protect yourself from possible injury.