Does Home Insurance Always Cover Hail Damage?

(Know when you might not be protected)

Hail damage

If a hailstorm sweeps through your neighborhood and damages your roof, are you protected by your homeowners insurance? The answer isn't cut and dry, and the risk is something that homeowners who live in areas prone to hail need to think about. So what happens if you have hail damage on your roof? Don't worry, we'll tell you. We'll also tell you if you're covered.

Fortunately, an independent insurance agent is an expert in preparing homeowners with insurance that covers all the risks associated with owning a home. Whether you're a new homeowner or taking a deeper look into your coverage, they can help you keep risks like these in mind and find the right protection when you need it.

What Happens if My Home Gets Damaged by Hail?

Hail is not your home's best friend. A severe hailstorm can cause major damage to the roof, windows, decks, garages, sheds other areas of your home. In fact, according to the International Insurance Institute, property damage from hail was more than $722 million in 2018.

Property damage from hail in the United States from 2014 to 2018 

(in million U.S. dollars)

If a good-sized hailstorm hits your roof, you could be looking at a variety of damage including:

  • Leaks
  • Dings and dents to aluminum slidings
  • Damage to gutters and shingles
  • Cracked vinyl
  • Broken wooden shakes

Essentially, when golf ball-sized hail is coming down on your roof, no material is safe. If your roof is older, it could sustain more damage than a newer roof. 

Of course, not every state is prone to hail storms. But if you live somewhere that is, and especially in one of the following states that tops the list of hail claims between 2017 and 2019, you want to make sure you're properly protected.

Top 10 States Ranked by Number of Hail Loss Claims, 2017 to 2019

What Insurance Is Going to Help Protect Me or Fix My Roof after an Incident?

If Mother Nature plans a personal attack on your roof, there's a good chance that your homeowners insurance will cover the damage. Leaks, dents, and repairs related to hail are all covered perils under standard homeowners insurance. However, some policies do have a wind and hail exclusion, which makes it important to understand what your policy covers. In addition, some policies will not cover the damages if it's proven that the roof was not being well maintained before the incident. And some insurance companies will not cover a really old roof. So make sure you know the maintenance and installation history of your roof when speaking with your independent insurance agent.

While hail damage is typically covered by homeowners policies, there may be restrictions on hail insurance claims. Some policies have higher deductibles for claims due to hail or wind damage. Others may require the claim to be filed within a certain time frame following the storm. 

Will Insurance Cover an Old Roof?

The older the roof, the more chance you have of potentially not receiving coverage from insurance companies. Once a roof reaches 20 years old or more, some insurance companies will not renew homeowners policies or will require that they write a new insurance policy. If the hail-damaged roof is 20+ years old, the insurance may not pay to replace the entire roof, but instead just pay its current cash value. 

Is My Car Covered if It's Damaged by Hailstorms?

If your car was parked outside your house during a hailstorm, it's likely it also received some damage. As long as you have a comprehensive auto insurance policy, the repairs will be covered.

Your typical car insurance policy will have liability insurance and collision insurance with the option for comprehensive coverage.

  • Liability: This is required insurance with a minimum amount of coverage. It covers your medical expenses (up to a point). If you’re at fault for an accident, it also covers the other driver’s medical expenses and car repairs. It does not cover repairs to your car.
  • Collision: This covers repairs to your car in case of a collision with another vehicle or inanimate object, like a mailbox.
  • Comprehensive: This covers everything else that can happen to your car: fire, wild animals, hail damage, etc. It’s more often called “other than collision.”

Without comprehensive car insurance, you'll have to pay for any damage as a result of hail on your own.

What Precautions Can Be Taken to Minimize Hail Damage?

Taking good care of your roof with annual inspections can help minimize hail damage. A roof that is aging, worn, or has missing shingles prior to a hailstorm is likely to result in more extensive damage. This is also when you dip into the potential of the repairs not being covered by insurance. The main precautions you can take to minimize hail damage to your roof and other property include:

  • Understanding your homeowners insurance policy and what is covered
  • Consider rubber or metal roofing for the best protection from hail 
  • Parking your car in the garage or under a covered unit
  • Applying storm shutters to your windows
  • Covering patio furniture
  • Bringing any yard decorations or ornaments inside if there's a hailstorm coming
  • Covering any delicate plants

Other Common Home Insurance Claims

Hail damage is not a concern for all homeowners, but knowing what risks you do face can assure that you have the best protection when you work with your independent insurance agent.

While wind and hail lead to home insurance claims more often than anything else, fire and lightning are the most costly property damage that homeowners experience. Check out these stats between 2014 to 2018 of homeowners losses ranked by claims frequency and then severity.

Homeowners Losses Ranked by Claims Frequency, 2014 to 2018 (1)

(1) Claims per 100 house years (policies). For homeowners multiple peril policies (HO-2, HO-3, HO-5, and HE-7 for North Carolina). Excludes tenants and condominium owners policies. Excludes Alaska, Texas, and Puerto Rico.
(2) Includes vandalism and malicious mischief.
(3) Includes coverage for unauthorized use of various cards, forgery, counterfeit money, and losses not otherwise classified.

Source: ISO®, a Verisk Analytics® business.

Homeowners Losses Ranked by Claims Severity (Average Claim), 2014 to 2018 (1)

(Weighted Average, 2014-2018)

(1) For homeowners multiple peril policies (HO-2, HO-3, HO-5, and HE-7 for North Carolina). Excludes tenants and condominium owners policies. Accident year incurred losses, excluding loss adjustment expenses, i.e., indemnity costs per accident year incurred claims. Excludes Alaska, Texas, and Puerto Rico.
(2) Includes coverage for unauthorized use of various cards, forgery, counterfeit money, and losses not otherwise classified.
(3) Includes vandalism and malicious mischief.

Source: ISO®, a Verisk Analytics® business.

Property damage claims accounted for 98% of insurance losses in 2018, while liability related claims accounted for less than 2%. Wind and hail damage accounted for 34% of those claims that year.

Homeowners Insurance Losses by Cause, 2014 to 2018 (1)

(1) For homeowners multiple peril policies (HO-2, HO-3, HO-5, and HE-7 for North Carolina). Excludes tenants and condominium owners policies. Excludes Alaska, Texas, and Puerto Rico.
(2) First party, i.e., covers damage to policyholder's own property.
(3) Includes vandalism and malicious mischief.
(4) Payments to others for which policyholder is responsible.
(5) Includes coverage for unauthorized use of various cards, forgery, counterfeit money, and losses not otherwise classified.
(6) Less than 0.1 percent.

Source: ISO®, a Verisk Analytics® business.

What about Extra Endorsements? Do I Need Them?

Endorsements to insurance are individually added coverages that allow you to customize your insurance to fit your needs. Often times endorsements are referred to as riders that you can add to your insurance package. If you live in an area prone to hailstorms, but your insurance excludes wind and hail damage, you can add a wind insurance rider to your package. Many states have provisions for windstorm insurance riders that can be purchased by homeowners to cover damage to property and personal belongings.

Windstorm insurance may cover damages from hurricane-force winds, tornadoes, hail, and other weather events that are accompanied by wind gusts that exceed 35 miles per hour.

In addition to windstorm insurance, there are a variety of other endorsements that you could benefit from adding to your insurance including: 

  • Flood damage coverage
  • Earthquake insurance
  • Dwelling coverage

These are just a few common homeowners insurance endorsement options. You can work with your independent insurance agent to discuss your needs and any endorsements that might fit your situation. 

Here’s How an Independent Insurance Agent Would Help

When it comes to hailstorms and other homeowner risks, an independent insurance agent is the best person to make sure you have the proper protection. They search through multiple carriers to find providers who specialize in this type of insurance, deliver quotes from a number of different sources, and help you walk through the quotes to find the best blend of coverage and cost.


Share this page on Twitter Share this page on Facebook Share this page on LinkedIn

©2020, Consumer Agent Portal, LLC. All rights reserved.

https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-homeowners-and-renters-insurance

https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-hail

https://www.honestroof.com/your-homeowners-insurance-may-have-a-problem-with-your-old-roof/