Florida hailstorms can cause extensive damage to your property. The extent of damage will depend on the size of the hail and the amount of wind and rain associated with the storm. Most insurance policies require you to report a claim as soon as you are aware of storm or hail damage. Insurance companies also assume that property owners are constantly assessing their property for damage immediately after any bad weather event.
Does Home Insurance Cover Hail Damage?
Yes, homeowners’ insurance covers hail damage to your home's structure as well as to other structures on your property. If you have an HO-3 policy it typically covers all perils, including windstorms and hail.
Coverage A, or dwelling coverage, covers hail damage to a home's physical structure, like the roof, siding or chimney and protects structures attached to the home, like a garage or backyard patio.
Detached structures on a homeowner's property, like gazeboes or sheds, are typically covered in Coverage B, or other structures coverage. Damage to a detached garage or shed, for example, would be covered under the other structures portion of the policy. Some insurance companies may have special limits for hail damage, or a special deductible. Depending on your policy, once your claim for storm damage is approved, you’ll get the insurance’s estimate check for ACV or RCV.
Actual Cash Value (ACV): This is the depreciated value of your roof. This means your insurance company will only pay you for the value of your roof today.
Replacement Cost Value (RCV): This means your insurance company will pay to replace your roof. Before your roof or repairs are completed, you will receive a check for the ACV of your roof. They’ll hold back the amount they calculate that your roof has depreciated. This is called recoverable depreciation.
If you experience hail damage to your roof, the question is whether your insurance company will pay to fix the problem. We understand experiencing hail damage (or any other roof damage caused by extreme weather) is a stressful situation.
What Does Hail Damage Look Like on a Roof?
Hail damage to your roof isn’t always easy to spot. If the hail is large enough (1” in diameter or bigger), you will most likely see dents/dings on your shingles. But just because your roof doesn’t have large dents in the shingles doesn’t mean you won’t have hail damage. More signs of hail damage to your roof are dings/dents/splatter marks to your roof vents, gutters, roof flashing, and other roof penetrations.
1. Document the Damage
When it’s safe, take extensive photographs of the damage to your home from the ground. You should also review your insurance policy, so you know what to expect and what questions to ask. Do not start repairs. If necessary, cover the damage with a tarp to protect your home while the claim is processed.
2. File a Claim
When you file a claim, you are requesting that your insurance company pay for repairs to your home based on the coverage in your policy.
Your insurance company will send out an insurance adjuster to assess your home or roof damage. If this insurance adjuster finds your damage to be only cosmetic, your policy will likely not cover repair costs for the damaged shingles.
As a property owner, you count on your insurance to cover losses when hail damages your home or business. Unfortunately, however, several things can go wrong in the insurance claims process, including:
- Delayed approval- Insurance companies are notorious for dragging out the claims process and wearing down claimants who may be willing to accept less than they really deserve or need just to finally settle and get paid.
- Undervaluing a claim- Although homeowner’s insurance typically covers hail damage, your insurance company may state that the damage is not as extensive as you think it is.
- Coverage Denial- The cost to repair the damage does not exceed your deductible amount, or some other possibly illegitimate reason insurance company claims the damage is not covered because it happened too long ago.
Remember, insurance companies are a business, and denying claims is how they make big profits. A new roof is a major expense, even with you paying a portion of the costs through your deductible. So, if they can find any excuse to get out of their responsibility to pay, they will take it.
If Your Hail Claim Has Been Denied or Underpaid in Florida?
If your insurance company is dragging its feet regarding your property damage claim you should speak with an experienced insurance claim lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Florida law office directly at 800.451.6786 to schedule your free consultation. We help Florida residents just like you fight the big insurance companies who fail to abide by their own policies. Remember, we work on a contingent basis, meaning you don't pay us anything until we win your case.