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Myths and Facts about Hail Damage - a Note from Mark Solomon

Myth: I looked at my roof and didn't see any problems, or my roofer inspected it and there are no problems. Fact: Roofing systems must be physically inspected by someone who has training and experience to determine if there is actual hail damage. Insurance companies send their adjusters to special training so they can properly identify hail damage to property, unfortunately there is not much ongoing training for the roofing or home inspection industries, and the adjusters as well are not the final “experts”. Hail damage identification, no matter what the “experts” say, is subjective. We’ve been looking at St. Louis hail damage for 29 years, we are the final answer.

Myth: I'm not missing any shingles so I must not have damage. Fact: Missing shingles are related to wind damage claims and can happen during a hailstorm if the winds are high enough. However, hail damage is insidious in nature and may not physically cause leakage for years after a hail storm or ever. Wind damage is typically do to improper installation, namely improper shingle fastener placement by new home builders’ cheap labor and by the storm chasers who are canvassing your neighborhood now.

Myth: I only have 1 year to file my insurance claim. Fact: This is a fear tactic used by solicitors and opportunists who portray themselves as qualified roofers. Whenever hail is discovered it is compensable by the insurance company, now or ten years from now.

Myth: My roof is new so it's covered by the manufacturer's warranty, home builder, or contractor. Fact: Hail damage is not covered by anyone but the insurance company and even they may try to slip a partial exclusion and/or higher deductible into your policies covering hail.

Myth: I was told my roof has minimal or very little damage and therefor I don't need to file a claim. →True

Myth: If your roof has any damage what-so-ever you have a valid insurance claim and should file with your insurance company. Damage might not cause your roof to leak for years. This is why it's important to have a qualified person inspect your roof. → False

Myth: My insurance company will cancel my policy if I file a claim. Fact: Most states prohibit insurance companies from cancelling policies for filing claims arising from severe weather related events. Check with your state however and your policy language as well. – They may. And at the very least you will be tagged as a “claim filer”. You must trust your qualified roofer, not a solicitor or opportunist who portrays themselves as an expert.

Myth: If I don't file my claim, my insurance company won't raise my rates. → False

Myth: After a disaster, insurance companies may raise every one's rates. By not filing your claim, your personal rate increase is paying for every one else's damage except yours. Fact: True but you still don’t want to file a claim that is not compensable, no matter what “everyone else” is doing.

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