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.
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 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 your home may not be covered. Be sure to check with your insurer to see if cosmetic structural damage is excluded from coverage.
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.
Learn more >> How to get home insurance with a bad 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 $10,000, you’ll only receive $9,000 to cover the cost of repairing your roof.
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.
Let's take a look at an example.
Say you have a 3% wind/hail deductible 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.
What is the average home insurance payout for hail damage?
Over the last 10 years, the average homeowners insurance hail damage claim is around $9,000  , 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 to 2018  , 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 to 2019  , 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.
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 home 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 a home 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.