While you may be aware that hail season is fast approaching, you can never predict when or how many times it will strike, and it often develops with short notice. Fortunately, with the right insurance and the proper knowledge of what to do after a hail storm, you can make sure to protect your property, vehicle, and other valuables during the upcoming hail season. At Schertz Insurance, your safety is a top priority, so here is what you need to do immediately after a hail storm:
Look Over Your Entire Property
Hail can cause a lot of damage, but it usually won’t cause something as blatantly obvious as a giant hole in the roof or a knocked-over tree. Because the damage is usually smaller, you may not notice any holes or dents until they cause problems further down the road. That is why you need to carefully look over the entire property.
While looking over the property, make sure to bring your phone and snap pictures. First, you’ll want to take pictures of the hail on the ground to document the size of the hail. You might want to place a measuring stick, quarter, or something else easily identifiable next to the hail in order to properly give a point of reference for just how large the hail is. Sometimes it’s difficult to figure this out simply by looking at a photograph.
After you document the hail, you’ll want to take pictures of any dents, damage, holes, or leaks. Make sure to inspect the HVAC equipment since hail will often damage the outdoor AC. You’ll also want to look at the roof, shingles, and gutters.
Lastly, look for damaged shrubs, broken trees, and any other property damage. It will take a bit of time to completely look over your entire property, but it’s important for you to do so promptly. If you don’t, you may fail to identify a crucial issue.
Bring in a Professional to Inspect the Damage
If your property sustains damage that needs to be addressed immediately, such as a broken window or a leaking roof, you’ll want to bring in a contractor right away. Such damage is a safety concern, and it puts your entire house at risk of further water damage.
If you are not in need of emergency services, have contractors come in, inspect the damage, and give you price quotes. Don’t order any repair services just yet; having these price estimates now will be helpful for when you call your insurance agency.
Contact Your Insurance Provider
Now that you have the damaged documented, along with repair estimates, it’s time to call your insurance provider a call. When making a claim, the more documentation you have the better, so there’s no such thing as taking too many pictures.
Once the claim is filed, your insurance provider will send out an adjuster to look over the house. You will need to provide the adjuster with any estimates you’ve received from contractors. Sometimes the adjuster and contractor will need to meet in order to work out costs — this is not unusual. Additionally, your insurance provider may have a contractor they trust to give you a fair estimate. Even with your insurance company’s recommendation, it’s a good idea to look into the contractor yourself to make sure that you’re comfortable with hiring them to do your repairs.
It’s important to park your vehicle in the garage to protect it from hail. Your vehicle is far more likely to sustain damage than your home, especially when left in the open air. If your vehicle has sustained damage from hail, you’ll need to contact your insurance provider right away.
The insurance provider will likely require you to submit photographs of the damage and/or get an estimate from a specific car repair facility.
Hail damage is usually cosmetic; the engine and other important parts of the vehicle will not usually get damaged. This means that any repairs will usually be simple and you won’t be without your car for too long. Your insurance adjuster will work with you or the repair facility to determine the best ways to repair the damage.
Hopefully, your vehicle and home are protected, and you won’t need to have anything repaired. However, in the event of damage, follow these steps to address any damage sustained by the seasonal hail storms.