A hail storm can seem to come out of nowhere, and if you are outside when it happens it can be a little scary. When the storm subsides, it is time to take a look at your home or business and review the damage.
Assess the Damage
If the hail has hit your building, you need to assess the damage as quickly as possible. Your insurance company will want to know what has happened, and pictures and video are an excellent way to prove it. If you can take a picture of the hailstones before they melt, particularly alongside a ruler, that picture can be submitted to your insurance company. If you can make a video during the storm, that can also be a helpful addition to your claim. However, if you are not at home when the storm happens, you can still compile evidence that will bolster your hail claim.
As soon as you can visit your property, take pictures of any damages that have occurred. You should also note the time and date of the storm so that your insurance company can corroborate your claim with weather reports. Make sure to look carefully at any windows and skylights that might have suffered damage – a tiny crack can quickly grow into a giant hole. You should also climb onto your roof to take a closer look. Damage that seems minor from the ground can reveal itself to be majorly structurally damaging from up close.
Review Your Insurance
Once you’ve compiled all of your information, pull out your insurance paperwork and read it closely. You should always try to completely understand your insurance, to protect yourself from any misleading statements your provider might make when you file a claim. Read the fine print to understand how a hail claim might affect your premiums, what kind of coverage you have, and any information they’ve stated is required.
Once you feel fully informed about your policy, it is time to give your insurance agent a call. Ideally, this will be a simple conversation, where you explain the damage to your property, submit your evidence, and they process the claim and pay for any necessary repairs. However, sadly, this is not usually how it works. Your insurance company might try to discourage you from filing, or they might falsely claim that being the victim of a hailstorm will make your premiums skyrocket.
If your hail damage claim is denied, or you do not receive the coverage you are entitled to, it is time to call a hail claim lawyer. A good lawyer will understand the details of your insurance coverage, and fight on your behalf to get the damage repaired quickly and at little expense to you. Having a hail claim attorney on your side is the easiest way to deal with insurance bureaucracy and be confident that you are receiving all of the benefits that you pay for.