Whether or not you're a first-time homeowner, you're still likely dealing with a string of firsts: your first power outage, your first plumbing emergency, and maybe even your first experience filing a homeowner's insurance claim.
If you're facing the latter, you're likely looking at hail damage. How do we know? Damage caused by hail is one of the leading sources of homeowner's insurance claims. The question is, how much does insurance pay for hail damage?
We're here to discuss everything you need to know if you're considering filing a claim for hail damage, from coverage to premiums and beyond.
Read on to get the scoop and find out how much insurance pays for hail damage in our hail damage insurance guide.
As a homeowner, you may know already that your homeowner's insurance policy doesn't cover everything, including certain types of natural disasters. Flooding is by far the biggest example of a disaster that tends to require an additional insurance policy. Does hail fall under that umbrella, too?
Fortunately, most insurance companies include hail damage in their basic insurance package. However, if you live in a region that experiences a ton of hail, you may find that your premiums are higher or your maximum payout is lower as a result. This might impact residents of areas such as the so-called Hail Alley that impacts parts of Texas, New Mexico, and a few other states.
We can't give you an exact answer on this one. How much coverage you'll receive for hail damage will depend on various factors, including the extent of the damage and the specifics of your insurance policy.
What we can give you, however, is an average. The average insurance payout for hail damage clocks in at about $12,000 for homes (and a little over $4,000 for cars). Keep in mind that averages are skewed by much more considerable and smaller numbers, and can't give you a clear sense of how much you'll need. Only by getting quotes from contractors will you know how much money it will take to repair your home's damage.
Let's say that your car was parked in your driveway. That's your personal property and it was located on your personal property. Does that mean that you can file a claim for those damages, too?
Unfortunately, the answer is no.
Make sure you're up to date on your car insurance policy and what kind of coverage it comes with. If hail damage isn't part of it, consider switching to a better and more comprehensive car insurance policy.
Should you file a claim for hail damage, or should you pay those costs out of pocket? Deciding whether or not to file a homeowner's insurance claim will come down to two things: the deductible and the impact a claim will make on your insurance premiums.
Let's talk about the deductible first, because this will be the first hurdle you encounter. An insurance deductible refers to the money you'll have to pay for home repairs before your insurance coverage kicks in.
Let's say your deductible is $500, and you're dealing with $1,000 worth of damage. This is a scenario where it's not worth the hassle and the potential premium increase. However, if your deductible is $500 and you're dealing with $5,000 worth of damage, it's worth filing the claim.
Now, what about those premiums? Will filing for hail damage mean a bigger monthly bill? Probably not.
Hail is a natural source of damage, and most companies don't raise premiums unless the damage is caused (or worsened) by neglect. However, there is a loophole.
Many insurance companies will raise your premiums if it is your second insurance claim in a certain amount of time (i.e., three years). This can occur no matter the reason for the claim.
Before you file your claim, make sure you know how it will impact your insurance premiums (if at all) to make the most informed decision possible.
If you decide that it is worth it to file a claim for hail damage (as it often is), you will need to know how. Here are our insurance tips for filing a claim for hail damage.
Take photos and videos of the damage caused by hail, but don't start to fix the damage until your insurance claim has gone through. That said, there are steps you should take to mitigate further damage. For example, if hail has broken your windows or puts holes in your roof, cover the impacted areas with tarps.
Get out your insurance policy number and draft a summary of the damages. Then, give your insurance company a call. Your insurance agent will let you know more about your policy and what steps to take next.
Before an adjuster comes in, contact reliable contractors in your area. Schedule a walk-through or give them your summary of the damages. You want to have estimates on hand to establish how much coverage you think you will need.
Finally, schedule a walk-through with an insurance adjuster. Make sure you're there when they arrive and ask if your contractor(s) can also attend the walk-through. That way, no damage is overlooked, and you receive a fair assessment.
How much does insurance pay for hail damage? It depends on the extent of the damage and the coverage your homeowner's insurance provides. If you're worried about poor coverage, it may be time to switch.