How to prepare for a hailstorm

The Insurance Information Institute cites hail damage as one of the most common sources of property damage claims nationwide. And while the entire country can experience a hailstorm, hail is especially common in the middle of the country, with the Insurance Information Institute ranking Texas, Nebraska, and Kansas as the leading states for hailstorms in 2023. The dwelling and other structures coverage of your homeowners insurance policy might pay for broken windows and/or roof damage as a result of a hailstorm.

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How to prevent hail damage

While just about everyone is at risk for hail damage, there are a few things anyone can do to be prepared for a hailstorm. Here is how to help minimize hailstorm damage whether you receive a storm warning or watch:

Consider your roof

Having impact shingles can be an important tool to prepare for severe weather and combat hail damage. They’re high-end shingles made with asphalt and synthetic rubber (SBS) blended into them. The shingles are less prone to cracking and sustaining damage from the elements, and they have a bit of bounce, which helps them resist impact damage from hail or other objects.

A downside to impact shingles is the cost. They’re about 10% to 25% more expensive than standard roofing shingles. They’re also tough to install after the fact but are an excellent option to consider if it’s time to replace your roof. However, their durability can make the investment worth it if hailstorms are common in your area. Material and labor costs, the height of your home, the type and pitch of your roof are factors that contribute to the cost of replacing a roof.

Hail-proof your windows

If high winds are involved, your windows may also be at risk if a hailstorm is imminent. Direct impact is one of the primary ways hail damages windows. Hail striking a window can result in cracks, holes in the glass, or structural integrity compromises.

A few ways to help prevent window damage include using protective window films, which can withstand impact and prevent shattering. Additionally, using exterior storm shutters and other protective screens, which can forgive impact more easily than glass, may also help prevent window damage.

Pro tip:

Keep you and your family safe by staying inside and away from windows -- hailstones can vary from the size of a pea to larger than a softball and can reach high speeds as they fall.

How to tell if your home has hail damage

To check your home for hail damage, you’ll want to survey both the interior and exterior for damage. Check all windows and doors for any glass damage, including tiny pinholes that could later spread into a larger crack. Check ceilings for any water damage, as this can indicate something less obvious with the roof.

Once you get outside, review the roof more closely. If you aren’t well-versed in how to tell if you have hail damage on your roof, it's recommended to consult or hire a professional to inspect it. They’ll be able to properly assess the damage to determine if it would warrant repairs.

Learn more about how home insurance claims work.

Is there anything you can do to fix your home after hailstorm damage?

Luckily, many home insurance policies may cover repair costs if there’s been hail damage to your house. If necessary, you can file a claim to have your roof or windows repaired or replaced by submitting photos of broken windows and the damaged roof. Your insurance policy may cover the costs to repair or replace damaged windows and your roof up to your policy’s limits and minus any deductible.

Learn more about how homeowners insurance can help cover broken windows and a damaged roof.

Pro tip:

Hail can cause significant damage to your car if parked outside. If you have a garage or carport, consider parking your car under cover.

No cover? No problem. Learn how to protect your car from hail damage.

What to do after a hailstorm

Even if your homeowners insurance policy covers hail, you may wonder what to do after a hailstorm when the damage is minimal. If the repair costs are less than your deductible, you may have an out-of-pocket expense. If you have experience with home DIY, you may be able to tackle the project yourself and replace a few damaged shingles. Otherwise, an experienced contractor will have the tools and knowledge to do the job quickly.


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