A hailstorm just blew in through your neighborhood. Suddenly, there are people at your doorstep telling you that they can repair the damage to your home quickly and easily. What would you do?
While some hail damage may be obvious, you can not always trust that someone who shows up at your door has your best interests in mind.
The size and density of a hailstone will determine the degree of difficulty. of damage you find after a storm. While some hailstorms can cause serious damage to your car and your home, others can do little or no damage at all.
If you've been battling a hailstorm recently, here's what you need to know about hail, roof damage, homeowners insurance and common scams.
What should I do after a hailstorm? [1
9659008] Once the storm has passed and it is safe to go out, inspect any damage that may have occurred to your car or your home. Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) recommends that you contact your insurance agent immediately if you suspect hail damage. Your ERIE agent knows the insights of your specific policy and can help you decide if you should apply to cover the repair costs.
To help your agent, be sure to record the date and time frame of the storm and take pictures that may support your claim.
For more tips on hail safety, read our guide on what to do before, during and after a hailstorm.
Common Signs of Hail Damage
You can detect hail damage in a few different places on your property including roofs, siding, windows, outdoor furniture and vehicles. Damage can look different depending on the item.
Signs of hail damage to a car:
- Chipped or cracked windshield
- Dents on the roof or other parts of your vehicle
- Other drops or paint scratches  Signs of hail damage in a home:
- Dents in gutters or exterior openings
- Chipped or cracked windows or skylights
- Damage occurring on one side of the roof
- "Bruises" or dark spots appear on shingles in a random pattern
Although some damage may be minor To discover, you may not always be able to see the damage hail has done to your roof.
An insurance adjuster knows the difference between roof damage from hail versus ordinary wear and tear. We recommend that you leave a trained and reliable professional on the roof to check for any problems.
What is hail cheating?
Having to deal with weather damage is bad enough. Unfortunately, there can also be fraudulent roofing contractors who show up after a storm, sometimes called "storm fighters."
They often show up quickly after a storm and claim that your roof has been severely damaged by wind and hail. Many "storm-chasing" entrepreneurs are transient and moving around the country after the recent storm activity to increase their chances of landing a sale.
The IBHS and the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) recently collaborated to provide this list of tips for spreading awareness about roofing contractor fraud .
What are the signs of hail cheating? [19659008StormjagarekanpåpekabefistligaskadorskapasinaegnaskadorellersgaagattdetfinnsskadanärdetintefinsHärärnågratekenpåattdubörtänkatvåger:
- "Gratis" inspektion: Someone once said that nothing good in life is free. While reputable contractors may offer free inspections without any strings attached, be careful that some fraudsters may use this tactic to get on your roof and point out damage that is not there. What's worse, some can create their own damage.
- They pressure you: Those who are in business often pressure you to make a quick decision during a difficult or stressful time. Give yourself time and time to contact your insurance agent and make the right decision.
- The contract is empty: Your contract should be detailed and include an estimate of cost, work schedules, payment schedules, listed contractors and more.
- Prepayment: Although it is reasonable for all contractors to request payment, fraudulent contractors often require all or a large part of the payment in advance. Sometimes they take money and dash after doing fuzzy work – or no work at all. Reliable contractors will often organize a payment schedule that works best with your schedule.
If you find damage to your roof or other areas after a storm, a reliable contractor will work with your insurance company to help repair the damage. .
Hiring a Contractor After a Hail
When you begin your search for a contractor, here are some tips:
- Get more estimates. Do not rely on a single estimate as the one with the best price – or the best work. Investigate and get estimates from three to four different contractors.
- Ask to see their license and proof of insurance. Make sure both are accurate and up to date.
- Ask for references. Has this contractor worked on similar projects? Do their references talk much about them?
- Take the right step. Hiring a contractor can be stressful, especially when you have discovered a new injury from a storm. Read our complete checklist with tips to keep in mind when hiring a contractor.
Do my homeowners insurance cover hail damage?
The average cost of a hail damage claim can average around $ 15,000 – which varies depending on how long the storm was, the size of the hail and the amount of damage it caused. In general, most homeowners' insurances cover insurance from hail and wind caused by storms. Coverage may vary, but for example, manufacturing defects that existed before the storm may not be covered according to a hail damage claim. Ask your insurance agent about the details of your insurance.
Uncertainty is a part of life, but that's why you have insurance. Talk to an insurer like your local Erie Insurance agent. They can tell you more about the options that ERIE offers and help you get a free quote tailored for your home.
This story was originally published in 2014. It was updated with new information in 2020.