Hail is one of the most destructive forces that a roofing system can encounter. Even though there are hail-resistant materials like slate and metal, no roof is completely impervious. Experiencing a hail storm can be stressful, and it’s natural to wonder How much hail damage for insurance to replace roof?
This is a valid concern, particularly if the hailstones reach a substantial size. If you’re contemplating this issue, commend yourself for your foresight. At the very least, it indicates that you’re considering the long-term implications. In this article, Nitro Roofing examines the process for filing hail damage claims and the extent of damage needed for a complete roof replacement.
Types of Hail Damage
Residing in a region prone to hailstorms heightens one’s awareness of the destructive impact it can have. According to the Insurance Information Institute, between 2000 and 2013, insurance companies disbursed a staggering $54 billion in hail damage claims. Additionally, during that period, policyholders filed approximately 9 million claims for roofing damage.
Roofing hail damage should never be taken lightly. While most people worry about their cars during a hail storm, it’s important to remember that your roof can also suffer significant damage. So, how does hail exactly impact a roof? Let’s delve into the most common types of hail damage to gain a better understanding:
Hailstorms can cause a range of damages to roofing systems, including the following listed below.
Often, hailstones are small enough to inflict subtle damage that may not be instantly noticeable. This kind of harm results from impact damage. However, even diminutive hailstones have the potential to cause dents or minor damage to your roofing shingles. These seemingly insignificant dents can undermine the structural strength of the shingle, leaving the roof susceptible to potential leaks.
During intense hailstorms, the size of hailstones can reach that of a softball, being large and weighty enough to create a hole in your roof! Naturally, such instances generally occur during particularly severe hailstorms and are more likely to affect older roofs, but it is definitely a possibility.
For owners of flat roofs, and even those with sloped residential roofs, the melting of hailstones presents a considerable issue. If hailstones are left to sit and settle after a hailstorm, they will eventually melt due to the sun’s heat.
The resultant melted hail can lead to the accumulation of water along the roof line, creating undesirable mini ponds. The water from these accumulations can easily seep into the roof’s decking, encourage mold proliferation, or, in severe cases, cause your rafters to rot.
Post a hailstorm, homeowners often face a significant problem with hailstones accumulating in the gutters. The density of hailstones is noteworthy, and when they thaw, they can overload your gutters, leading to their collapse. A collapsed gutter could jeopardize the foremost row of your shingles, leaving your entire roofing system exposed to potential damage.
Factors That Influence Full Roof Replacement Claims
Each insurance company operates uniquely, and their respective adjusters will each have a distinct approach to inspecting your roof. Various elements come into play concerning your roof. Key considerations that an adjuster takes into account when evaluating your roof include:
The age of the roof, its material, and its current state are critical factors in determining the eligibility of an insurance claim.
Age of the Roof
Adjusters often prioritize the age of a damaged roof when assessing the impact of hailstones. This is because newer roofs tend to withstand hail better than older ones.
As stated earlier in this post, certain roofing materials have the ability to mitigate hail damage. Slate, for example, stands out as an exceptionally durable roofing material. Consequently, the adjuster will take into account the type of roofing material in determining whether to repair or replace your roof.
The condition of your roof is of utmost importance. When an adjuster inspects your roof, one of their primary focuses is on identifying any missing shingles.
Most homes in America are equipped with asphalt shingles, which consist of a protective layer of stone granules that safeguard both the shingle and the roof. However, during a hail storm, these granules can become dislodged, compromising the effectiveness of the shingle. Consequently, an adjuster will meticulously inspect for any signs of granule loss on the shingles and scattered granules on the ground surrounding the perimeter of your roof.
Roof Repair vs. Replacement After Hail Damage
An adjuster will next assess whether the hail damage necessitates a repair or a full replacement. In cases of moderate damage – defined as one or two impact marks on each side of your roof – the adjuster will typically suggest repairs.
However, when does a hail storm lead to a full roof replacement? Initially, an adjuster usually examines a 10′ x 10′ square patch of your roof. They then scrutinize this roofing section for hail impact marks. If they spot between 7 to 10 such marks within the tested area, a complete roof replacement is often recommended.
Remember that every insurance company, policy, and adjuster operates differently, with varying guidelines and procedures. Therefore, the criteria determining a roof replacement may vary depending on your policy, your insurance company, and even your geographic location.
How much hail damage do you need to replace your roof?
With regards to hail damage, the extent of the damage is not the sole consideration. While the degree of damage does play a role, it’s the size of the hailstone that inflicts damage on your roof which matters more.
Repeated exposure to numerous small hailstones can reduce your roof’s lifespan, particularly if your region frequently experiences hail storms. However, for an insurance claim to be warranted, the hail must generally be roughly 1″ in diameter or larger to cause substantial damage to your roof.
How do you spot hail damage to your roof?
The most evident indicator of damage are the dents and dings in the shingles that were previously mentioned. These dents are quite conspicuous, and a seasoned roofing contractor or adjuster should not overlook them.
However, the lack of substantial dents in the shingles does not automatically indicate your roof is free from hail damage. Other typical signs of hail damage include dings, dents, or splatter marks on your roof vents, gutters, roof flashing, and other roof penetrations.
Please refrain from climbing onto your roof to look for these signs. It’s not worth risking your safety if you don’t have experience walking on roofs. Luckily, there are ways to inspect for potential hail damage while staying on the ground. Below is a checklist of visible hail damage to look out for:
- Check your downspouts (above 5 feet, to rule out lawnmower damage)
- Look for dings or strikes on your garage door
- Examine your window screens for any holes
- Inspect any painted wood or shutters for dings
- Watch out for splatter marks or dings on your electric meter, AC unit, or grill
- Check for dents on your mailbox and other soft metals around your property
- Examine the top of your car and the car’s hood for dents
Stay safe while assessing any potential hail damage!
Discovering the aforementioned signs does not automatically imply that your roof has suffered significant hail damage. It simply helps you determine whether it is worthwhile to initiate a claim for potential hail damage to your roof.
Will your insurance policy pay for a full roof replacement from hail damage?
Now that you know how to identify hail damage on your roof from the safety of the ground, let’s address an important question: Will your insurance company cover the cost of a full roof replacement in the event of hail damage? The answer depends on the type of insurance policy you have – whether it’s ACV or RCV. While both policies provide coverage for hail damage, it’s crucial to understand that the difference in payouts can be substantial.
Actual Cash Value policy
Under an Actual Cash Value (ACV) policy, you receive the depreciated value of your roof that has been damaged by hail. This means that the payout you receive corresponds to the value of your roof at the time of the hail damage claim.
Naturally, this amount will not cover the entire cost of a new roof. You’ll need to use the depreciated payout and then pay for the remainder of your roof replacement from your own pocket.
While it might be tempting to opt for a lower price or even a roof that matches the payout from your ACV policy, it’s important to remember that a lower price often equates to reduced quality and labor. This could potentially lead to issues with your roof in the future.
Replace Cost Value policy
Under a Replacement Cost Value (RCV) policy, you receive a payout sufficient to replace your roof with a new one identical to the original. This implies that your insurance company is expected to provide you with enough funds to cover the entire cost of your roof replacement.
Initially, you’ll receive a check for the actual cost value of your roof, while the remaining amount is held back by your insurance company as recoverable depreciation. Once your roof has been replaced and you’ve provided photographic proof that it was completed according to the claim, you’ll receive a second check to cover the remaining amount.
However, bear in mind that your insurance company only covers the cost to restore your existing roof to a brand-new version of itself. If you wish to upgrade certain aspects, such as replacing 3-tab asphalt shingles with architectural asphalt shingles, you’ll have to pay the difference out of pocket.
How long do you have to file a claim for hail damage to your roof?
Typically, you have one year from the date of the hail storm to submit an insurance claim for hail damage to your roof. However, each insurance company and policy differs, so it’s best to refer to your insurance documentation for the precise timeline.
Most policies allow a claim to be filed up to a year from the storm’s occurrence. You may assume that your insurance company wouldn’t know exactly when the hail storm affected your roof.
However, insurance companies can access hail maps, which provide precise details about when and where the hail storm occurred. Therefore, they can refer to these maps to determine if your home was impacted and how long ago it happened.
For this reason, it’s advisable to file an insurance claim as soon as you realize your roof has sustained hail damage.
What can you expect from the process when filing an insurance claim for hail damage?
You are now equipped with knowledge about the extent of hail damage that can lead to an insurance claim, how to identify it on your own, whether your policy covers a full replacement, and the timeframe within which you need to file a claim. After going through this article, you should feel assured about whether you have a valid claim or not.
However, be aware that navigating the insurance claim process for hail damage can be daunting, particularly if it’s your first time. Therefore, it’s crucial to ascertain whether pursuing a claim is worthwhile.
In light of this, I have composed another article that delves into deciding whether filing an insurance claim for hail damage is a prudent move or not.
Does a Hail Damage Claim Ever Get Denied?
Sometimes, homeowners may face disappointment when their claim for hail damage on the roof is denied. Have you ever wondered why this happens?
As we mentioned earlier, insurance companies often impose a specific time frame for filing claims. This requirement is in place to prompt prompt action in fixing the damage and preventing further deterioration.
Allow me to provide an example. Let’s say a hailstorm causes several shingles to become loose, and you fail to replace or repair them promptly. Subsequently, the roof is exposed to multiple storms, exacerbating the damage.
In such cases, your insurance company may reject the claim to fix the roof damage on the grounds that it now exceeds the necessary cost. To avoid such outcomes, we always advise homeowners to file a home insurance claim as soon as possible.
By acting swiftly, you can mitigate the risk of incurring additional expenses and ensure a smoother claims process.