Wild, unpredictable weather patterns call for preparation and forethought. Especially now, as abundant spring showers spur on summer growth, damage from hail—rain’s favorite cousin—crops up as a real threat. In fact, flooding and hail are the top two of five common dangers that regularly damage homes nationwide. This year alone, some areas of the U.S. will be hit with serious hail over 6 times.
Though the average size of hail is close to a penny, hail as large as a softball can reach speeds of 50 to 100 MPH. And authorities report that $1 billion is paid annually for hail-related claims—that’s no small sum.
While many policies will cover claims resulting from hail and wind damage, deductibles could be much higher, and the whole process could come off feeling complicated. From identifying types of damage—roof/shingle, siding, window, external appliance—to understanding deductibles, you’ll likely need some expert know-how in the mix. Inspections and repairs should be done right away since hail damage can be tough to spot. But choosing a reputable contractor can feel like an overwhelming task—who can you trust to do the job right? Your local agent can help to line up candidates and work with you and the insurance company to resolve things quickly.
You’ve made time for the inspections, estimates, and repairs—now we need to buy out a few and talk replacement cost vs. Actual Cash Value (ACV). Here’s the bottom line: costs change over time—from labor and materials, to the current real estate market. When it comes to replacing a damaged roof, a convergence of factors determine that cost. So if one or more factors shift, so does the final sum. Like any other policy limit, replacement cost calculations can vary. The goal is to get out in front of this common misunderstanding before it poses a problem. Talking with an agent is a great first step to deciphering whether your policy will pay as much for your roof as you originally spent, or if depreciation will factor in. This is crucial if you’ve recently renewed—sometimes the turn of the policy year can reset basics. Plus, it never hurts to dig in a little deeper.
Besides all the above, another burning question is on everyone’s mind in the aftermath of a damaging storm: Is there any way to prevent this from happening again? Whether it’s hail, wind, or rain, simple steps taken far in advance of weather threats will pay off in the long run.