After An Omaha Hail Storm Here’s How to Find Reliable Hail Damage Repair
Up until 2010, the state of Nebraska held the record for the largest hailstone. It fell in Aurora, Nebraska, on June 22, 2003, and measured a whopping 7 inches in diameter and weighed nearly 2 pounds (1.67).
As many of us know, hail doesn’t have to be anything close to that size to do an enormous amount of damage.
As a matter of fact, our beloved Cornhusker State is one of the tops for hail damage in the entire US.
That means not only is your house at greater risk for hail damage than say someone on the east coast, but you’re also at larger risk for being taken advantage of by what we call in the roofing industry, storm chasers.
What’s a storm chaser?
Well, we’re not talking about people on cable shows chasing tornados. We mean fly-by-night roofing companies that come into a community that’s been hard hit by hail damage or strong winds.
They come in knowing that homeowners need assistance.
Storm chasers take advantage of people who just want their homes fixed in a hurry. Often that means these homeowners don’t do their due diligence by checking references. They might be scared or preoccupied with other concerns. They become targets for these roofers.
And it’s sad.
There are people out there who take advantage of that.
A reliable Omaha roofing company that fixes storm damage:
- Has a good reputation in the community.
- Is bonded, licensed, and insured.
- Has a list of local references.
- Is willing to answer all of your questions.
- Has been in business longer than a storm season (watch for companies who claim to have done business under multiple names. Changing your branding is a big deal. If someone’s doing that constantly, there’s a reason and it’s not marketing.)
- Never asks for all—or most—of the money upfront.
- Always adds all of the agreed upon details into your roofing contract.
- Will not cause more damage to your roof. Many scam roofers will cause additional damage to your roof, especially when your insurance company is covering it. Getting multiple estimates on your hail damage will keep this from happening. Most roofers will be similarly priced. If you find one that is hundreds of dollars cheaper than the others, you’ll want to understand why.
That last point in hail damage is a big one. It appears like it’s not costing you any more money but when hail damage has dented your roofing shingles or damaged your siding and then a “professional” roofer adds to it, it’s a serious matter for your home and your homeowner’s insurance.
Let’s go over how home insurance for hail damage works.
Does Insurance Pay for Hail Damage?
Some people don’t realize that homeowner’s insurance sometimes pays for hail damage to a home. If you have sustained hail damage, it’s important to contact your home insurance agent.
Don’t Put Off Filing a Hail Damage Claim for This Reason
Some homeowners see hail damage and choose not to report it to their insurance company because they worry the costs of damage will increase their premiums.
It is illegal to target one person and increase their insurance premiums due to a homeowner’s claim. However, claims can lead to increased premiums across the board. In 2014 alone, hail damaged homes and property to the tune of 1.4 billion in the US, higher than lightning, windstorms, and tornadoes combined.
you can choose not to file a claim but if our area of Omaha was hit very hard one year, your insurance rates could (conceivably) increase regardless of whether you choose to file or not.
Don’t use that as the reason you forgo filing.
How does the process work?
Here’s what you can expect along with a few things you need to know about your insurance.
Step One: Assessment
If your home’s roof and/or siding has sustained hail damage, the first step is an assessment. Some homeowners want to survey the damage themselves to see if it’s worth calling in a professional.
Navigating a roof can be treacherous and while you can survey siding from the ground, there may be damage you simply can’t see, especially in areas like eaves where shadows may make it difficult for you to assess from a ground level.
Instead, call out a professional to look at the damage. Some companies offer free property inspections. Often, they’ll take pictures so you can see the damage and talk about options.
Step Two: Compare
Don’t get one estimate and sign on the dotted line. For hail damage and any other roof repair or replacement, you should always get about three estimates. We suggest this not just to save money, although that’s important. We advise homeowners to get estimates because it also safeguards against fraud.
Most roofing estimates will be similar in price. If something is hundreds (or thousands) of dollars off you need to get to the bottom of why that is. If someone comes in a lot lower, ask them how they can afford to offer that type of pricing. Find out why their costs are so much lower than other roofing businesses.
Step Three: Decide on the Company and the Payment Structure
Choose a reputable, local roofing repair company and know what their payment structure is. You won’t have an insurance check in your hands the day after you file a claim so make sure you understand what’s due when.
Keep in mind some insurance companies may require estimates from your roofer. Ensure you work with a company that is willing to do what is required of them by the insurance company.
Don’t Lose Out: Know These Things About Hail Damage and Insurance
- Time is important in filing a claim. Don’t wait until the “end of the season” (whenever that is). If you believe you have storm damage, have it assessed immediately. Some policies have very narrow windows in which to file a claim.
- Your insurance policy likely does not cover cosmetic hail damage only damage to the structure. Cosmetic damage is anything that doesn’t affect the functionality. For instance, a ding in your siding likely isn’t covered but a dent or crack that allows water seepage probably would be. A roofing and siding specialist can help you assess what type of damage you’ve incurred.
- Some policies have separate deductibles for hail and wind damage. Make sure you know what portion you’re liable for.
- If you had hail, it’s best to get it checked out. Only a professional can truly assess the damage. Don’t assume a little damage is “fine.” A little damage could be the start of a much bigger issue and if you lose that window to make a claim, it could be a very costly decision.
- There’s no way to shield your home from hail damage but newer roofs and siding are in better condition to protect your home. An older roof with deteriorating shingles (or siding that has already weathered years of windstorms) is less able to protect your most valuable investment.
At Above & Beyond Roofing, we work on behalf of Omaha homeowners every day. We’ll help you with the hail damage claim process by working with your adjuster.
Work never begins until you know exactly what you will pay out-of-pocket for the services performed.
Call us today at (402)-661-0294 or just fill in the form on this page for a no-cost to you estimate on your storm damage.