The Truth Behind Hail Storm Damage – Is it Covered in Your Policy?

June 10, 2016
hail storm damage coverage

Your apartment community may be at risk for hail damage as the summer storms roll in. Your insurance policy has you covered for most natural disaster related damage. But, is hail damage covered in your current policy? Now is a great time to review your apartment community insurance policy to ensure you are covered for everything the summer has in store. The insurance specialists at Top Floor Insurance can provide a comprehensive policy review to go over your current policy and recommend changes to give you added protection. Though not very common, hail storms can wreak havoc on windows, shingles, and roofs. How insurance companies handle hail damage has always been the topic of great debate.

Before the next hail storm hits, educate yourself on the truth behind hail damage and how insurance companies determine coverage.

Myth #1 – If there are no missing shingles, then there must not be any damage.

This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Keep in mind that just because you do not have missing shingles, doesn’t necessarily mean that your apartment buildings’ roofs are not damaged.  Missing shingles are a common sign of wind damage. Hail damage can happen and not be visible unless the shingles are removed and the underlying structure of the roof is examined.

Myth #2 –  I can only file a claim within one year of the hail damage.

It is true that most insurance companies do impose a one year time limit for most damage claims, including hail storm damage claims.  However, depending on the nature and severity of the hailstorm, some insurance companies may cover damage from current and previous storms. The key is to get a reputable roofing company to evaluate the damage and work with your insurance provider to cover all hail-related damage.

Myth #3 – My apartment building has a new roof, so all damage to it will be covered under my insurance policy.

This can be a dangerous assumption that many apartment community owners make. In fact, many manufacturers specifically list hail damage as a condition that can and will void a manufacturer’s warranty. It is best practice to have your roof inspected at least twice per year to identify damage early and to ensure that your warranty is not voided. In addition, having supplemental insurance to cover hail damage is a great way to safeguard your property investment before the damage occurs.

Myth #4 – My insurance company will cancel my policy if I file a hail damage claim.

In many states, insurance companies are not allowed by law to cancel your policy because you file a legitimate hail damage claim. To be sure, at Top Floor Insurance we advise our clients to review their insurance policy with their agent.

Myth #5 –  If I file an insurance claim, then my insurance rates will go up.

After a large hailstorm, or after any catastrophic natural disaster, insurance companies can and often do raise everyone’s rates. This is regardless of whether you filed an insurance claim for damage or not. If you do not file a claim, there is no guarantee that your insurance rate will not go up. Your insurance rate is often set by the amount of claims that others around you make. So, you may not have a claim, but if the other apartment community owners in your area have significant claims, insurance companies may look to raise rates in your area, as the risk for damage may be deemed higher than in other areas.

The summer months can bring some of the most violent storms all year round. Finding out that damage is not covered, after the fact, can be a costly mistake. If you would like a thorough review of your insurance policy and want to learn more about what damage is covered and what damage is not, feel free to call the apartment community insurance specialists at Top Floor Insurance at 404-266-3218.