The terrible sound of ice crashing against your roof has stopped. The skies have cleared and the sun is out - the storm has passed. You walked around your house to assess the damage and, unfortunately, your roof looks pretty beat up. Now what? Should you replace your roof after hail damage? Replacing your roof is a huge decision. That's why we've put together this guide to help you through the process.
Should I replace my roof after hail damage?
This is the biggest question homeowners face after a hail storm. Do you consider replacing the roof? Do you file an insurance claim
? If your roof is leaking after a hail storm, a roof replacement is likely required. However, roof damage isn't always that obvious. Before you can consider a replacement, there are a few steps you'll need to follow.
Call your insurance company
You can usually spot serious roof damage from the ground,
but not all hail damage is that obvious. That's why you'll need the advice of a professional to adequately answer the question of whether or not you should replace your roof.
After a serious weather event, it isn't uncommon for contractors to go door to door offering their services to homeowners in the affected area. But before you sign any contracts or agreements with a roofing contractor, it's important that you reach out to your insurance company and discuss the claims process.
It's important to begin the claims process with your insurance provider as quickly as possible after the incident. If you need to make temporary repairs to prevent further property damage, like fixing a tarp or plastic sheet over a leaky roof, this is usually fine. Apart from that, it's best to hold off on making any permanent repairs or having any work done before the insurance claims adjuster or their appointed contractor has the opportunity to evaluate.
Finally, be very careful of any sort of paperwork a contractor might ask you to sign. Not all roofing contractors have your best interests in mind, and some of them have been known to swindle unsuspecting homeowners by locking them into detrimental contracts. Don't let them pressure you into doing anything without first consulting your insurance provider, no matter how urgent the repair or replacement may be.
Have a professional assess the damage
Because of some of the reasons outlined above, your insurance company may rely on their own, trusted roofing contractor to evaluate the damage and provide estimates. They'll come to your home, inspect the damaged roof, and write up an estimate for your insurance provider.
Make sure to keep track of any information that might be helpful to your insurance provider when they evaluate your claim. While the roofing contractor will typically send their estimate to your insurance provider directly, it's still important to keep a copy for your records. Additionally, it can be helpful to keep records documenting the time and date of the weather event as well as any photos you or the contractor might have taken of the damage.
Once the contractor has submitted their estimate, a claims adjuster will review it and if approved, determine that amount to be paid.
Can a roof replacement lower my insurance premium?
Even without obvious leaks, a roof that has been weakened after hail or any other weather event is more likely to suffer catastrophically when the next storm inevitably blows through. The result could be more than just roof damage, but damage to your walls, carpet, and personal belongings. Older roofs are also likely to be weaker and more susceptible to further damage; shingles can become weathered and the general quality degrades over time.
That's why insurance companies often offer discounts after a new roof has been installed. If you're already considering a roof replacement after a hail storm, you might be able to get the added benefit of a reduced homeowners insurance premium.
It's important to note, however, that there are a lot of factors that go into your homeowners insurance premium
. This means that a roof replacement is only a single part of the process insurance companies use to determine your rates. Every company has a different process, so reach out to your insurance agent before making any decisions.
To learn more about Germania Insurance can protect your Texas home against hail damage, visit Germania's website, or contact one of our trusted agents for more information!
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