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Hail Damage is Enough to Make Anyone Thankful for Insurance

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Hail Damage is Enough to Make Anyone Thankful for Insurance

The weather report said severe thunderstorms. Okay, I can h andle that. No need to crowd into the tub with a mattress over our head. Twenty minutes later, we cowered away from the windows as golf-ball sized hail rained over our little house.

It was one of those moments when you say, “Oooh, are we glad we have insurance!” We submitted claims through both our auto insurance company and home insurance company, as the hail had damaged all three vehicles and both roofs (house and garage).

Yes hail gets this big  and bigger!
Yes hail gets this big and bigger!

The estimated damage to our vehicle was a couple thous and dollars and the verdict is still out on our roofs, but so far the tally is well over $2,500. To say that we were extremely relieved to have insurance is an understatement. With four children, the van has become a necessity, and to have it out of commission does not bode well for my sanity. We are planning on selling the house within a couple years and a br and new roof will really help.

Paying insurance premiums can feel frustrating sometimes, and believe me, I have been tempted to reduce or cancel ours many times. When you are staring at your budget and numbers are not quite fitting how you imagined, you start getting really crazy ideas of how you can trim it down to size. Trust me, insurance is not the way to go.

Suffice it to say, I don’t have an extra four or five gr and laying around, waiting for a sunny day. Or should that be, a hail-y day. Each month, we pay our house insurance right with our mortgage payment. Honestly, it doesn’t even feel like we are paying it, as we have escrow set up and just have to make one monthly payment to the mortgage company.

Our vehicle insurance is set up to be directly debited from our account, and again, no biggy (as long as I remember to subtract it in our register). So with these two premiums taken care of automatically, it was an even bigger and nicer surprise when they actually paid off.

Some people feel like insurance is a bit of a gamble; sure, it’s nice if you need it, but if you never need it, then it’s a waste. Well, that’s why we have it. It’s for those times in life that we could never have foreseen and are now facing possible emotional and financial ruin. Just imagine how stressed out I would be if I were trying to scramble up money to pay for a damaged vehicle and a damaged roof.

I know some people who choose not to fix their vehicle because of a few dents from hail. That’s all fine and d andy, but if you don’t fix your roof, it can start leaking. It doesn’t take much to rot out your wood and start dripping on your head.

Just don’t be like our neighbor. One of his summer projects was re-roofing his house. He spent the time and money to get it done, and three weeks later, hail destroyed it. Just think if he would have waited just a few more months. I hope your story ends up more like mine!

Hail storms

Hail storms

Did you know that hail is one of the biggest causes of home damage in America? Learn more about how hail damage occurs and what to look out for.

Staying safe in a hailstorm

  • If there is a hail storm in your area, make personal safety your first priority. Take shelter during the storm. Large hail can cause serious injuries.
  • Hail is often accompanied by strong winds and lightning, both of which pose their own dangers.
  • After the storm passes, keep in mind that windows may have been broken and high winds may have knocked down trees and power lines. Look for broken glass, sharp objects and live wires. Be sure to wear proper shoes and gloves when walking around your property.
  • If necessary, protect your property immediately against further damage and theft. Use plywood, tarps or other materials to cover broken windows or holes in roofs. Keep receipts for reimbursement of all expenses covered by your policy.

Underst anding hail damage

  • Hail is frozen precipitation that forms in storm clouds when super-cooled water droplets freeze on contact with dust or dirt in the air. Hailstones can be as small as the tip of a pen or as large as a softball. The larger they are, the more damage they can do.
  • By underst anding the signs of hail damage you can be better prepared to work with contractors and your claim professional after a storm.
    • Roofing:
      • Cracked or missing shingles or lost granules may be the result of hail. They also may be the result of normal wear and tear.
      • If there is damage from hail, your claim professional will determine whether the whole roof needs replacing or whether only part of the roof requires repair or replacement. This will generally depend on how extensive the hail damage is, among other factors.
    • Siding:
      • Hail may cause small dings in aluminum siding or cracks in vinyl siding. The winds that accompany the storm may pull off pieces of siding. Check your exterior walls closely for hail damage, preferably when the sun is lower in the sky (morning or evening). This will make it easier to see any denting.
      • The claim professional will determine whether one section can be replaced or the entire house needs re-siding. This will depend on the extent of the damage and the age of the siding. The claim professional will then advise you of the best way to repair the damage to achieve a reasonably uniform appearance.
  • Travelers recommends you speak with your claim professional before engaging a contractor to repair any damage. When selecting a contractor, be sure to check references. Your contactor should be insured and bonded.
  • Our claim professionals will inspect your property to determine whether it was damaged by the hailstorm. If so, we will provide you with a detailed written estimate outlining what needs to be replaced and what you can expect the repairs to cost.
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