Hail damage and home insurance roof claims: what you need to know

Homeowners insurance covers damage to your roof and siding caused by hail. But exclusions and coverage limitations may apply depending on where you live and the age of your roof.

Pat Howard 1600

By

Pat Howard

Pat Howard

Property and Casualty Insurance Expert

Pat Howard is a senior editor at Policygenius specializing in property and casualty insurance. His work has been featured on Property Casualty 360, Fatherly, MarketWatch, and more.

Published May 7, 2021|4 min read

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Homeowners insurance typically covers hail damage to the structure of your home, including your roof and siding. But in parts of the country where wind and hailstorms are common, many insurance policies have hail exclusions or coverage restrictions for cosmetic roof damage. 

If your roof is showing signs of damage after a hailstorm, reach out to your home insurance company to see if the loss is covered by your policy. If your insurer suspects that the damage was due to a lack of roof maintenance or that it’s purely cosmetic and the roof is still functional, you may not be covered for repairs or replacement.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through how coverage is applied to wind and hail damage as well as how to file a successful hail damage claim. 

Key Takeaways

  • Homeowners insurance covers hail damage, but insurers in high-risk areas may exclude cosmetic hail damage or have limited coverage for older roofs

  • Insurers in Midwestern states may also offer optional wind/hail deductibles, which is a separate out of pocket amount that you pay on wind and hail damage claims

  • If your roof or the siding of your house sustains wind or hail damage, you can file a claim with your insurer to be reimbursed for the loss

Does homeowners insurance cover roof hail damage?

Hail and windstorm damage are technically covered perils in a standard home insurance policy. If your home or personal belongings are damaged in a hailstorm, the dwelling and personal property sections of your policy will help cover the cost of replacement or repairs. 

However, in areas of the country most disproportionately affected by hail, there may be stipulations to your coverage as it applies to hail damage. Here are some different ways insurers are offsetting the rising cost of hail claims in high-risk parts of the country:

Policy exclusions for cosmetic roof damage

As weather patterns continue to change and severe wind and hailstorms become more common and expensive in different parts of the country, insurance companies have had to find creative ways to limit their losses. Cosmetic damage exclusions are one solution to this problem. 

If your policy has this exclusion, damage that only affects the appearance but not the function of your roof, siding, windows, doors, or any other part of the dwelling may not be covered. Be sure to check with your insurer to see if cosmetic structural damage is covered. 

Lower levels of roof replacement coverage

If your roof is more than 15 years old, some insurers may only pay out the actual cash value (ACV), or depreciated value, of your damaged roof.

Wind and hail deductibles

Your policy deductible is the amount you’re responsible for paying out before your insurance company will cover a claim. That means if your deductible is $1,000 and your roof damage claim after a hailstorm is for $10,000, you’ll pay that $1,000 before your insurer will cover the remaining $9,000.

It’s also common for insurance companies to offer separate wind and hail deductibles to residents in tornado or hail-prone parts of the country. In many cases, this deductible is represented as a percentage (usually between 1% and 5%) of the amount of insurance on your home. If you have a 3% wind/hail deductible, for example, and your home is insured for $250,000, you’d have to pay $7,500 on a wind or hail damage claim before your insurer would pay out for the rest of the loss. 

Wind and hail deductibles are often offered as an endorsement by insurers as a way to keep policy costs down. When offered as an optional add-on, you can choose to apply your standard policy deductible to wind and hail damage instead, just bear in mind that your insurance costs will likely be higher. 

Wind and hail exclusions 

Similar to the wind/hail deductible as a mechanism for lowering rates, insurers may also give you the option of excluding wind and hail damage altogether in exchange for lower insurance premiums. Just keep in mind that you could be left having to pay for everything out of pocket in the event of a severe wind or hailstorm. Unless you have a rainy day fund that can cover a full rebuild of your home and then some, the wind and hail exclusion probably isn’t your best option.

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What is the average home insurance payout for hail damage?

Over the last ten years, the average homeowners insurance hail damage claim is around $9,000 [1] , according to CoreLogic. Wind and hail claims also happen the most frequently of any loss type, averaging around 2.3 claims per 100 homes from 2014–2018 [2] , according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Which states are the most vulnerable to wind and hail damage?

The following states experienced the most hail loss claims from 2017–2019 [3] , according to the Insurance Information Institute. If you live in any of these states or anywhere that experiences frequent hailstorms, be sure to get your roof inspected twice a year and check with your insurer to see how hail damage is covered in your policy.

StateNumber of hail claims (2017–2019)
Texas637,977
Colorado380,066
Nebraska161,374
Minnesota150,673
Illinois150,416
Kansas147,793
Missouri133,704
Iowa113,139
Indiana63,892
North Carolina58,342

How to file a home insurance claim for roof hail damage

The dwelling, other structures, and personal property coverage portions of your home insurance cover damage caused by hail, so if a flurry of two-inch hail stones puncture holes in the siding or roof of your house or garage, be sure to file a claim with your insurer immediately to be reimbursed for the damages. To file a fast and effective hail damage claim, do the following:

  • Contact your insurer and file a claim - After a hailstorm, the damage may be something obvious, like broken windows or a section of torn or fractured shingles. It’s also possible for hail to pierce holes in asphalt shingles but not be visible from street level. Regardless, if your sustains hail damage, contact your insurer right away to inform them of the loss and submit your claim. Have your policy number ready and a thorough explanation of the damage indicated in the “proof of loss” form when you submit the hail damage claim 

  • Document the damage - Be sure to take photos and videos of the damaged parts of your home, but only if it is safe to do so

  • Prepare for the insurance adjuster - Once your claim has been submitted, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with an insurance adjuster who will assess the hail damage on behalf of your insurance company. Your insurer will then accept or deny your insurance claim and determine a payout based on this assessment. If possible, get repair estimates from licensed contractors in your area prior to the adjuster’s visit. Having estimates on hand could give you negotiation leverage in the event that you get low-balled by your insurer

  • Hire a contractor to complete the repairs - Once your hail damage claim is approved and you’ve agreed on a settlement amount, contact licensed roofing contractors in your area to complete repairs 

Frequently asked questions

Does a hail damage claim raise home insurance rates?

Not necessarily. Insurance companies tend to raise home insurance rates on policyholders who have filed multiple claims in a short period or claims that can be attributed to negligence, but a one-off hail damage claim shouldn’t impact your policy premiums too much.

Is it worth filing a claim for hail damage?

Generally speaking, you should only file a home insurance claim on major losses or damage that is more than twice your policy deductible. But if you’re only getting a few hundred dollars for the claim after you meet your deductible, it may not be worth it to go ahead with the claim.

What if my insurance adjuster concludes there’s no hail damage?

If your insurance adjuster reaches the conclusion that the hail damage was purely cosmetic and therefore not covered, or that the damage was due to normal wear and tear, you have the option to appeal the decision with your insurance company. To aid your case during the appeal, it helps to have an independent assessment or estimates from a licensed contractor.

How do you know when it’s time to replace your roof after hail damage?

According to Restoration Builders, insurance companies require a certain amount of hail damage in order for your insurance to pay out for a full roof replacement. In some cases, that could mean multiple “hits”, or damage spots within three different spots on the roof.

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