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Does a Hail Damage Claim Raise Your Homeowners Insurance?

Living in the hail alley means your home is more likely to be caught in a hail storm more than one would like.

When a hail storm hits, homeowners often fear the thought of their insurance going up if they make a claim or hope for the best, which would be having your insurance cover any damage caused by hail.

The good news is that hail damage is usually covered by insurance if the claim is made in the proper time frame from when the storm has hit your home. Sadly, making a claim on hail damage could actually increase your premiums.

There is some mixed news that some companies factor in the frequent aqurance of hail and already prepare for incoming hail damage by charging a higher premium for homes that are caught in the “Hail Alley”.In this case, making an insurance claim shouldn’t raise your premium. However, it might go up if frequent claims are made.

Let’s get into factors that influence whether or not making a hail claim will raise your premiums.

What’s Your Region?

Is hail nearly unheard of in your area? Your homeowners insurance provider probably didn’t factor this into your quote. In that case, filing a claim will likely end up raising your rate. Skip down a little further to see if this will be worth it for you.

Do you live in an area that sees regular hailstorms or the hail alley? Placing a claim shouldn’t affect your premium, because the insurance company should have already accounted for this financial loss.

There’s a central strip going down the middle of the United States that’s considered at very high risk for hail on FEMA’s National Risk Index. And there’s an intense hail valley consisting of Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming.

However, other regions across the country are prone to hail. And anyone living in a known hail location should be able to claim insurance compensation without a rate increase.

What Are Your State’s Laws?

Some states protect their inhabitants by prohibiting insurance companies from raising rates after a claim like this. Texas is known to prohibit insurance companies from raising rates after one claim is made. However, not all states offer this. Check your local state laws.

Insurance consumer protection laws usually prevent insurance companies from raising rates when:

·   a single claim is made

·   a denied claim is made (you don’t get compensation)

·   a claim inquiry is made, but not filed

·   a claim is made due to regularly covered perils like weather, natural disasters, and Acts of God

What’s Your State’s History?

Insurance companies in certain regions have been known to blanket increase premium rates the year after a lot of hail falls. Unfortunately, Nebraska – a traditional wind-and-hail state – is one of these.

If you live in an area that receives a lot of hail damage in a certain year, you can expect your insurance premiums to go up the next year. And your rates are likely to jump, whether or not you personally file a claim.

An insurance company might increase all the premiums paid in your locality in order to recoup their losses.

How Frequently Have You Made a Claim?

An insurance company may not raise your rates after one claim is made. However, make two, three, or four claims within three or so years, and those premiums are likely to spike.

Have you made any claims recently? If you placed a significant one within the past three years, it may not be worth it to make another one, depending on how bad the damage is.

Insurance companies track claims made over a seven-year period through a database called the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange. Every claim made to your property is registered here and all insurance companies have access to this database.

This is why claims made by previous homeowners or with other insurance companies can impact your rate.

You can request a free C.L.U.E. report every 12 months to see what’s on it.

What’s Your Wind and Hail Deductible?

Some insurance companies have a higher deductible for wind and hail damage. Does yours? Don’t assume you’ll receive the normal level of coverage before deciding to make a claim.

Scrutinize your insurance policy. Make sure to check the deductible terms and any fine print. It can also be helpful to google your insurance company to see what their hail damage coverage terms are and what other homeowners have experienced.

Some insurance companies set a flat or percentage-based wind and hail deductible. This means that a 5% windstorm deductible on a home insured for $250,000 will leave you paying $12,500 before insurance kicks in.

Is Going Through Insurance Worth It?

Hail damage always needs to be repaired. Even small damage will turn into a major roofing replacement if water continually leaks through damaged areas.

But is it worth bringing in your insurance provider? The answer is usually a straightforward “yes” when the roof was severely damaged.

However, small repair work might not be worth claiming. Roofing repair that will cost up to a few thousand dollars may not be worth going through insurance for.

Here are a few things to think about:

·   What’s the estimate?

·   What’s your hail deductible?

·   How much will the insurance company cover?

·   Is insurance covering that much more than you would pay?

·   Have you made recent claims? If so, will paying a higher premium rate over a few years cost more than the repair?

How Much Will the Repair Cost?

Repairing hail damage isn’t always a big job. Individual shingles can be replaced, while isolated damage spots can get localized reroofing. Spot treatments like this can be fairly inexpensive.

The bigger the damage, the more it will cost. This generally depends on a few factors:

·   how bad the storm was

·   the hail size

·   how old/well-maintained the roof is

·   how hail resistant the roofing material is

One roof work calculator puts estimated costs at $550 to $1,550 for restoring every 100 square feet. It all varies according to how severe the damage was.

It’s best to ask a local roofer for a hail damage inspection after storms occur. Hail damage like tiny dents, granule loss, and weathering can go unnoticed, but not getting it fixed will make the roof more vulnerable to future storms.

Ask Your Trusted Local Roofers About Hail Repair and Homeowners Insurance Advice

Trying to decide whether or not to make a hail damage claim? A trusted local roofer is your best friend. That’s us at AGR Roof and Construction. 

We’ve done roofing work in the local Omaha, Nebraska area for over 20 years. We understand hail damage and get how the insurance companies work around here.

Ask us for a hail damage roof inspection. We’ll tell you how bad the damage is, provide an estimate on what the repair costs will be, and let you know whether or not insurance may be worth it.

Get in touch with us today.

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