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Hail damage is covered by standard home insurance in most states. The average insurance payout for hail damage was $12,000 in 2021, according to data gathered by State Farm.

A hail damage insurance claim can be pricey, and it can also be complicated. In many cases, a roof hail damage insurance claim may be combined with a claim for windows, siding, and other damage if it was caused by the same storm.

Here we'll explain how home insurance pays for hail damage to your house and how to deal with a hail damage claim.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • In most states, your standard home insurance covers hail damage under the dwelling coverage portion of your policy.
  • Insurance giant State Farm reports that it paid $2B in homeowners hail damage claims in 2021.
  • Your homeowners insurance covers hail damage to your house and other structures but does not cover damage to your car.

Is hail damage covered by home insurance?

Yes, homeowners insurance covers hail damage to your home's structure as well as to other structures on your property. Common areas for hail damage are the roof, siding, windows, and gutters. All of these are covered by your insurance policy’s dwelling coverage.

Damage to a detached garage or shed, for example, would be covered under the other structures portion of the policy.

Some insurance companies may have special limits for hail damage, or a special deductible. Read your policy carefully before you buy, especially if you’re in an area with frequent storms.

Average insurance payout for hail damage

The average homeowner claim totaled nearly $12,000, according to State Farm 2021 hail claims data. For auto hail damage claims the average payout was about $5,000. Of course, your claim may be higher or lower.

Regardless of the amount, an insurer will usually cover the damage up to the policy’s limits, minus the deductible.

Top states for home hail damage

According to State Farm 2021 claims data, the states with the most hail damage claims are as follows:

  1. Texas: $710 M
  2. Minnesota: $253 M
  3. Oklahoma: $202 M
  4. Illinois: $187 M
  5. Colorado: $139.5 M

These numbers represent the total claims payout for both home and auto hail damage. Texas is well ahead of the other states on this list, likely due to hurricane damage that doesn’t occur in the other states listed.

Does a hail damage claim raise home insurance rates?

Not in all cases. Since weather damage is out of your control, your insurer typically won’t hike your rate. However, your rate may increase if you’ve filed a claim within the three previous years, and the hail claim is your second.

Also, while your individual rate may not go up, if you live in an area prone to hail damage, the insurance company may charge everyone in that vicinity a higher base rate compared to places where hail is infrequent. Finally, some states, including Texas, prohibit home insurers from raising rates after just one claim, so it also depends on your state laws.

How does hail damage insurance work?

Hail damage is part of your homeowners insurance policy and it works like any other coverage. You will contact your insurance company to notify them of the damage, and they’ll provide you with the next steps. Some insurance companies will just need photos of the damage, while others will send someone out to inspect the damage in person.

The Insurance Information Institute (III) and insurance companies say policyholders need to file promptly when hail damages your home. You should also take photos of the damage. Don't make repairs before contacting your insurer, though you should avoid further damage by covering roof or window damage.

If you're wondering how long after hail damage you can file a claim, most standard policies require filing a claim within one year of determining that a hail storm damaged your roof or other parts of the house. Michael Barry, an III spokesman, recommends contacting your agent or insurer to ensure you know the time limit for any claims.

How to make a hail damage insurance claim

The dwelling coverage portion of your homeowners insurance covers your home, including the roof, and anything else damaged by hail. Here’s an example of how a hail damage claim for your roof would go, depending on the type of insurance policy you have.

A replacement cost policy pays to replace your roof based on current construction costs. An actual cash value policy decreases your payment based on the age of your roof. Here’s an example: Let’s say it costs $30,000 to replace your 10-year-old roof after hail damage, and your home policy has a $3,000 deductible. A policy with replacement cost will pay $27,000. A policy with actual cash value coverage will subtract the depreciation in value for the age of your roof. If the value of your roof depreciated by half after 10 years, the policy would pay $12,000.

If you have replacement cost, typically you receive two payments from your insurance provider. The first is for the actual cash value of the roof. Then, after the roof is replaced, the company will pay the rest. Your deductible will be subtracted from the total payout.

To file a claim, do the following:

Document the damage. Take photographs and if possible measure or estimate the size of the hail.

Submit your claim. Contact your insurer and have your policy number and an explanation of the damage. Your insurance agent will discuss your current policy, what’s covered and your next steps.

Get repair estimates from local contractors. Get three to four estimates from contractors in your area that you trust. However, do not sign any contracts or make any type of payment or hire anyone for the work yet. Don’t begin any repairs until after the adjuster has inspected your home.

Schedule an appointment with an insurance adjuster. After filing a claim, you will be asked to schedule an appointment with an insurance adjuster. If possible, ask a trusted roofing contractor to attend the meeting with the adjuster. That helps ensure you get a fair assessment and that damage isn't overlooked.

Meet with the insurance adjuster. The adjuster will help determine the cause of damage and assess the total cost. You will share your notes, photos and estimates at this meeting. The adjuster will then create a report with all the details that will be submitted to the insurance company to help process the claim.

Hire a contractor to do the repairs. Once your claim has been approved, and you have reached a settlement for the cost of repairs, you can hire someone to repair your roof. You should review the background of any contractor or company you hire and the person or business should be licensed. Typically, your insurance provider will pay in advance half of the total cost to allow you to begin repairs. The last half will be sent upon completion, minus your deductible.

If you have a mortgage on your home, the company will usually send a check made out to you and your mortgage company. You’ll then have to work with the mortgage company to get the money released for repairs. United Policyholders, a non-profit insurance consumer advocacy group, has more details on how to work with your mortgage company to get claim money released.

Do I have to pay a deductible for hail damage?

Yes. There is always a deductible for hail damage. How it works depends on whether or not the hail was related to a hurricane, and what sort of deductibles your policy has.

"There are two kinds of wind damage deductibles: hurricane deductibles, which apply to damage solely from hurricanes, and windstorm or wind/hail deductibles, which apply to any kind of wind damage," according to Barry, which notes that these deductibles are based on a percentage of the home's insured value.

Typically, he says, the deductibles range from 1% to 5% of the home's insured value, depending on where the home is located and the historic storm and hail damage in the region.

"In some states, policyholders may have the option of paying a higher premium in return for a traditional dollar deductible," according to the III."In some high-risk coastal areas, insurers may not give policyholders this option, making the percentage deductible mandatory."

Again, Barry says homeowners need to discuss their situation with their insurer to know exactly how much coverage they should consider and how much it will cost.

There are currently 19 states that have mandatory hurricane deductibles, which also cover hail damage. They include Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Does home insurance cover cosmetic damage from hail?

To keep costs down, some insurance companies have added a cosmetic damage exclusion to homeowners insurance policies.

"This was a reaction by insurers to deal with the increasing volatility of weather events, which are causing havoc with insurers' loss ratios," says Robert Prahl, a finance author and former insurance claims adjuster in New York.

Insurance companies now have the option to exclude payments for damage to exterior surfaces, including walls, roofs, doors, and windows from hail or wind if the storm impacts the appearance but not the function of these elements. Insurers say the exclusions are necessary to avoid raising insurance premiums for all homeowners.

J. Robert Hunter, director of insurance for the Consumer Federation of America, says homeowners need to find out exactly what the insurance company thinks is cosmetic versus functional hail and wind damage. It may be a gray area that needs to be specified by your insurer, he says.

"A home with siding that's dented keeps working, but it looks terrible and will cause the home to drop in value," Hunter points out. "Insurance companies should make it whole, even if the home still functions. This is a lawsuit waiting to happen because of the ambiguous definition of cosmetic damage."

Frequently asked questions

Is it worth filing a claim for hail damage?

Yes, if the damage is significant. If you’re not sure, ask a local contractor to take a look. Many will offer free inspections and let you know if the damage is worth filing a claim.

Will my homeowners insurance cover my car for hail damage?

No, homeowners insurance doesn't cover hail damage for your car. However, comprehensive car insurance covers hail damage. Comprehensive coverage is optional, and also covers theft and damage from flooding, fire, vandalism and animal collisions.

Can you claim hail damage twice?

Yes. But there are some things to keep in mind before you make this decision. You can file as many claims as you need, but the more claims that are filed means the higher your premiums will be. One claim won't typically affect your rates but two claims in a row may cause an increase in your premium.