Hail yes. We got slammed!

A hail storm pounded Clinton and much of central Mississippi yesterday.   This is what the outside of our office looked like after just a few moments. 20130318_155326



There were other reports of hail all over the area throughout the day.  My wife’s parents’ house received a second hail bath around 8:00 pm last night as well.  This storm will result in a tremendous number of insurance claims.  Primarily the claims will be for damage to homes, businesses and automobiles.  Here are a few tips for handling your hail claim.

  1. Keep all pictures you have taken of the hail that fell.  If you don’t have pictures, see if your friends or neighbors took pictures of the area where you sustained damage.
  2. Notify your insurance company immediately.
  3. Make a list of what you see damaged.  Here at the office a quick walk around revealed that we have broken windows, dented gutters, busted up shutters, damaged stucco columns, and a broken sprinkler line.  I would also suspect the roof will have to be replaced due to the golf to baseball sized hail.
  4. Take pictures of the specific items or property you see damaged.
  5. Do not let anyone on your roof except the contractor you intend to use and the insurance adjuster.  Every time a person walks on a roof it can be damaged.
  6. Keep receipts for any temporary fix items you purchase such as tarps.
  7. Keep detailed notes (date, time, contact person, and substance of conversation) of every contact you have with your insurance company.
  8. Meet with your adjuster at the scheduled time.
  9.  Do not deal with “shade tree” roofers.  Insist that they provide proof of workers compensation insurance for their employees and that they are licensed and bonded.  You do not want an injured roofing employee suing you!
  10. If you are replacing your roof, request a sample shingle from the roofer so that you can absolutely verify the color of the shingles going on your roof (this is known as the Ward rule and is named after a good friend of mine that has a roof with a color he doesn’t like).
  11. Do not pay a roofer all of the money up front.  Generally you pay for the materials and a portion of labor to get started.  Then you pay a final amount when the roof is complete.
  12. Be patient.  Insurance agents and adjusters are people just like me and you.  They have a job and are working as fast as they can.  Widespread events like this push them to the limit.  Remember, it takes time to do a job right.

Chances are your homeowners insurance policy covers any hail damage you received to your home.  If your vehicle was damaged, you are probably out of luck unless you carry “comprehensive coverage.”  Comprehensive coverage is completely different than what agents often represented as “full coverage.”  Generally when an agent says full coverage about all you have is the minimum requirements $25,000 per person and $50,000 per occurrence in liability coverage.  At best they may through in some uninsured motorist coverage equal to your liability limits.  Neither liability, nor uninsured motorist coverage will pay for hail damage to a vehicle.

About randywallace
I am a husband, father, attorney, outdoorsman and cook.

One Response to Hail yes. We got slammed!

  1. Pingback: Look out for leaks! | randywallace

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