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Leaky roofs. Dinged-up paint jobs. Busted windows. Hailstorms cause extensive property damage throughout the U.S. each year, especially once hail reaches quarter size (1 inch) or larger, according to the National Severe Storms Laboratory.

If severe hail falls in your area and damages your home or vehicle, will your insurance cover the repairs? It all depends on the coverage you selected. Here are five things to know about hail damage and insurance coverage – you may want to check in with your independent agent about each one:

  1. You need comprehensive on your auto policy if you want hail damage covered.
    Park outside? Live in an area that gets a bad hailstorm at least once a year? If you don’t have comprehensive coverage on your auto insurance policy, you don’t have coverage for hail damage. Comprehensive provides coverage for your own vehicle for incidents other than collisions. This includes covered instances of hail, as well as fire, vandalism, theft and more. Keep in mind that not every auto policy includes comprehensive coverage, especially if you only purchased the minimum amount of insurance your state requires.
  2. Comprehensive also gives you auto glass coverage.
    During a hailstorm, it’s just as likely for your windshield to get cracked as it is for your paint job to get dinged. With comprehensive on your auto insurance policy, you should have coverage for glass repairs or replacements, as outlined by your policy.
  3. Most homeowners policies cover hail damage.
    You likely don’t need to do anything special to add hail coverage to your homeowners policy, but check with your independent insurance agent if you’re not sure. Your homeowners coverage may help with hail damage to your roof, siding, windows, fencing and other structures, up to your policy limits.
  4. Your home deductible might be higher for hail damage.
    You know that, for any covered home repairs, you’re responsible for paying your deductible. And, your insurance covers the rest, up to your policy limits. Just know that you may have a higher deductible for certain incidents. This sometimes includes hail. Check your policy so you’re aware of your hail deductible.
  5. A full roof replacement is never guaranteed.
    Your neighbor is getting a brand new roof due to hail damage, so you’ll probably get one too, right? Not necessarily. Not only can hail damage vary widely, even within a small radius, but the original condition of your roof may factor into the decision. A roof that was poorly maintained prior to a hailstorm may not have any coverage after a hailstorm. This is because your insurance covers sudden, unforeseen damage rather than everyday wear and tear. However, if you regularly maintain your roof, and it’s damaged by hail, your insurer may repair or replace it, according to your coverage.

Remember that, for any insurance claim, your insurer will likely need to inspect the damage before repairs can begin. This is especially true for roofing claims, so be wary of contractors who pressure you to authorize repairs before you’ve determined if you’re eligible for any coverage. This is one sign of an untrustworthy contractor who may be involved in roofing scams.

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