How to Handle Insurance Claims for Hail Damaged Homes

Posted by Justin Havre. on Monday, August 11th, 2014 at 8:01am.

If you have a home that was recently damaged by hail, you'll need to check your insurance policy to make sure that you are covered. Here in Canada, most of the insurance providers offer wind and hail damage and some automatically include this damage in all of their policies.

To find out whether you are covered or not, look at your policy exclusions. If you don't see wind or hail mentioned in the list, you're insured. If you have an insurance policy that names perils, check to make sure that wind and hail are on the list.

Most policies also provide conditions in the coverage. For example, if your roof or siding was close to reaching its life expectancy before the damage occurred, you might not receive the full replacement cost. As well, depreciation may be applied for wear and tear. If your siding was already well-worn, for example, it's assumed that it would naturally be more susceptible to damage.

In most cases, manufactured and mobile homes aren't covered for hail damage. If you aren't sure whether you are protected or not, it's always best to call up your insurance provider for verification. Sometimes it can be extremely difficult to understand the wording in your home insurance policy.

If you find out that you are covered, your insurance company will walk you step-by-step through the claim process. If your home is currently up for sale or you are closing on a home that may have been storm damaged, it's important to get a hold of your lawyer and real estate agent right away. It's also necessary to get the claim started immediately so that the information can be passed on to the new homeowner through his lawyer or real estate agent.

Everything needs to be properly documented since all claims stay with the home. Even when home ownership changes, the repairs will still be completed and the claim will be honoured. When the claim credit comes through, you may want to consider upgrading your vinyl siding to hardie board. This type of board is naturally resistant to storm damages, insects, corrosive salt, fire, mold and rot and comes with a 50-year warranty.

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