Is Hail Damage Covered by Homeowners Insurance?
In most states, hail damage is covered by the standard home insurance policy. However, your coverage can vary from your neighbor’s depending on how your policy is set up, where you live and who insures your home.
North Carolina Homeowners are at Risk
According to Verisk, North Carolina ranks ninth across the nation in states likeliest to be hit by damaging hail. In 2017, well over 400,000 North Carolina properties were damaged by hail.
When to File a Hail Damage Claim
The Insurance Information Institute recommend homeowners who suspect hail damage to their property file a claim promptly, as many insurers require filing a claim within one year of sustaining damage to your roof or other parts of your home. If you have questions about your coverage, why not contact your agent t learn exactly what your coverage include and if there’s a time limit for claims.
Do Insurance Companies Pay for Cosmetic Damages?
Insurance companies now have the option to exclude payments for damage to exterior surfaces, including walls, roofs, doors and windows from hail or wind if the storm impacts the appearance but not the function of these elements. Insurers say the exclusions are necessary to avoid raising insurance premiums to all homeowners.
J. Robert Hunter, director of insurance for the Consumer Federation of America, says homeowners need to know exactly what the insurance company considers “cosmetic” versus “functional” wind and hail damage. Not all insurers have those items clearly defined.
“A home with siding that’s dented keeps working, but it looks terrible and will cause the home to drop in value,” Hunter points out. “Insurance companies should make it whole, even if the home still functions. This is a lawsuit waiting to happen because of the ambiguous definition of cosmetic damage.”
Can Filing a Claim Cause My Premiums to Go Up?
Not in all cases. Since severe weather is no fault of your own you won’t likely see a rate hike. However, if you’ve filed multiple claims in recent years or if you’ve had a previous hail claim, you may be at risk for a premium adjustment. If you’re living in an area frequently hit by damaging hail, everyone in your area will likely see higher rates in comparison to residents in low risk areas.
Think You Have Hail Damage?
Call us or click now to set up your free storm inspection today. We’ll be glad to inspect your home and let you know what we find.