Hail storms can wreak a great deal of damage on your home's roof, and that damage can be expensive if you end up paying for it out-of-pocket. Fortunately, if you have a homeowner's insurance policy, roof hail damage is something that's typically covered. Still, there are some things you should know about having roofing repairs done following a hail storm if you want your homeowner's insurance claim to be accepted.
First and foremost, any time there's a major storm that hits your property, it's a good idea to be prepared to document as much as possible. For example, with a hail storm, you should take photos of the hail. If possible, get a photo of the hail with a ruler or something else next to it so your insurance company can have an accurate sense of scale. If there are any downed tree branches of other signs of storm damage on your property, be sure to document this as well.
Look for Obvious Signs of Problems
After the storm has safely passed, it's time to look for obvious signs of roofing problems. If you can safely view your roof from the exterior of your home, take a look and see if there are any patches of shingles missing or other signs of damage. You can also check around your home for dislodged shingles and other roofing materials. You may also want to go up into your attic to look for signs of leaks or other issues.
Call a Roofing Contractor
Even if there are no obvious signs of roof damage, it's a good idea to call a reputable roofing contractor to perform an inspection on the roof itself. If there is any damage--even if it is minor--he or she will be able to document it properly and perhaps even help you with the process of filing a claim with your insurance company.
File an Insurance Claim
Speaking of filing a claim, this is something you'll want to do as soon as possible once you're aware of any hail damage to your roof. Some insurance companies will have strict requirements for how many days you have to submit a claim after damage is discovered. When you file your claim, you should also be prepared to have any roofing repair quotes you've received from local roofing companies and photos of the damage on-hand, as your claim representative will likely need to see them.