#1 – Record the date and time of the hail storm.
Your insurance company may need to verify this information with weather records. You typically have one year from this date to file a claim for damages incurred.
#2 – Inspect your entire property and take photos of the following:
· Hail covering the ground or hail covering any surface of your property
· The size of the hail stone. You can use any object as a point of reference if you don’t have a tape measure handy. (This will help indicate the level of damage)
· Any leaks around the house or inside your house
· Damages made to outside exterior, such as air conditioning units, siding, fence, landscaping, etc…
· Damages that appear on the roof (dents on vents and gutters, torn off shingles)
· Broken windows
#3 – Focus on emergency situations first.
If you have a leaking roof or broken window, have a contractor help immediately or create a quick fix until a contractor is available to help eliminate any further damage to the interior of your home.
#4 – Find a reputable contractor or roofing company to inspect your roof for hail damage.
This service should be absolutely free, so beware of signing anything that holds you to paying for their services. Having an inspection will make your life easier when it comes time to filing a claim with your insurance company. Also accountability is paramount in this process and any contractor that has the right to earn your business should have the ability to take photos, describe damages, and provide an accurate assessment of the restoration work needed.
#5 – Contact your insurance company and file your claim.
Having all your records complete and readily available will help you go through the process more smoothly. After you’ve submitted your claim, they will likely send an adjuster to your home to assess the property damage. It’s not uncommon to have your contractor meet with the adjuster. It is actually better for you to have the contractor who has already inspected the damage to represent you and your property. Any contractor worth his grain of salt should be knowledgeable enough in storm damage evaluation to walk thru the entirety of the claim process.