severe weather

If you have hail damage, what's next?

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June storms brought wind and large hail to parts of North Texas. If you have damage, read on for steps you can take to navigate insurance claims.

DOCUMENT DAMAGE, READ POLICY

North Texans shared images of large hail that fell in parts of the area on Sunday – some of the hail appeared to be as large as baseballs.

“If you're talking softball, golf ball size hail, get that roof inspected because you may have some serious damage,” said Rich Johnson with the Insurance Council of Texas.

If you have damage, contact the insurance company quickly to start a claim. Make sure you know what’s covered. You can find that information summarized in the declarations page, the first page or two of your policy.

You’ll want to confirm the deductible. Understand if you have replacement cost coverage, a policy that pays the full cost to repair the roof at today’s prices. Some policies may pay actual cash value which factors in depreciation. As the Texas Department of Insurance explains here, those policies pay less if the roof is older or showing wear.

Save photos of the damage.

“Hopefully, people aren’t climbing on their own roofs, but if you do have a contractor come out, have them take pictures,” said Johnson. “If you do have damage to other parts of your home, document everything. Everything you can do to show that damage is going to help you in the long run with your insurance claim."

Save all communication with your insurance company. Keep a detailed record of who you spoke to and when. You can also follow up with an email highlighting what was discussed to help create a paper record for yourself.

Texas Watch shares additional resources on this page.

The TDI has shared recovery tips here.

HOW TO RESEARCH ROOFERS

After the storm, a roofer may knock on your door offering their services.

The North Texas Roofing Contractors Association recommends confirming if the roofer is local.

“Do they have a local address? Will they be around six, nine, 12 months from now when you might need them to come back and look at something? Or are they just a storm chaser?” said Karen Vermaire Fox, executive director of the NTRCA.

That’s the advice Fox has shared with NBC 5 Responds throughout the storm season. Texas doesn’t require state-level licensing for roofers and general contractors. It’s up to consumers to check them out.

Other steps include researching the roofer and company. Look into past complaints, ask about the contractor’s experience in roofing and confirm how long the roofer has been in business under the same name. Request references and check them.

Fox said consumers should also ask to see a certificate of insurance.

“If you don't have a contractor that carries general liability insurance, what if they drop a ladder on your car? What if they fall off the roof?” asked Fox.

You can take it a step further by contacting the contractor’s insurance company to confirm the policy is current.

If the contractor offers to “waive” your deductible, Fox said that’s a red flag.

Don’t pay for the job in full, upfront.

VEHICLE DAMAGE CLAIMS

If you need repairs to your vehicle, confirm you have comprehensive coverage.

Check your deductible amount. If you have rental reimbursement, understand what insurance will cover to avoid surprises later.

“Your insurance company may cover the cost of having that rental car up to a certain limit. It may be days, it may be a dollar amount, it may be a dollar amount per day that they limit it to,” explained Johnson.

Your insurance company may recommend a body shop. As the vehicle owner, you have the right to pick who does vehicle repairs.

NBC 5 Responds is committed to researching your concerns and recovering your money. Our goal is to get you answers and, if possible, solutions and a resolution. Call us at 844-5RESPND (844-573-7763) or fill out our customer complaint form.

Your pictures of large hail in Sunday evening storms, June 11, 2023

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