Hail Damage – Residential Insurance Claims Can be Difficult

An example of hail strike assessment.

An example of hail strike assessment.

Following a major storm, a potentially serious, yet difficult-to-detect, type of property damage is hail damage. Often following a hailstorm, home owners don’t even realize that their residential property has suffered hail damage. As a result a hail damage insurance claim may not be filed promptly.

It is prudent to investigate your property for hail damage soon after a hailstorm. Check to see if trees or flowers on the property are damaged, if cars parked in the open are dented, or if any of the buildings’ windows are cracked. Window and door screens, siding, and air conditioners should also be closely inspected.

Roofs normally sustain the most costly hail damage, yet hail damage to asphalt shingle roofs is often not immediately recognized. It may take up to three years after a hailstorm for a roof to leak. For flat roofs, unless the hail is quite large (baseball size or more), it may be even harder to detect the damage until much later; which can have an impact on any hail damage insurance claim.

Residential insurance claims for hail damage, as with other types of property insurance claims, require a prompt notice to the insurance company. It is important that the scope of damage be identified early on in order to support a successful a hail damage claim. Even if hail has seriously damaged exterior surfaces, it may not be visible to the untrained eye. Expert examination may be needed to identify damage.

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