If I file a claim for hail damage, will my insurance claims be affected?
Homeowner’s insurance companies won’t increase premiums or raise deductibles based on hail damage or wind damage claims, as these situations are classified as Acts of God or Nature. Unlike a car crash, hail and wind cannot be avoided. Homeowners pay premiums for home insurance in order to be covered for unforeseen damage, so your claim won’t result in higher insurance premiums.
Although insurance companies won’t directly raise insurance rates or increase deductibles for firing a single claim, this does not mean that rates won’t go up. When one or more disastrous storms result in many claims in an area, insurance companies may increase deductibles over the affected area in an attempt to recover the losses and remain viable in the market. By increasing deductibles in areas prone to storms, they are able to keep rates down for insured homeowners in areas that are considered low risk for these types of events.
What does this mean for homeowners?
For homeowners living in areas that have experienced hail or wind damage, you may notice neighbors having work done to their roofs after a storm. In this case, you should have your roof inspected, as damage may not be immediately noticed. When the roof has sustained damage, there are advantages to filing a claim with your insurance company. Your insurance company won’t punish you and you may find that your premium or deductible increases if there have been many claims in your area.
For homeowners in areas that have sustained serious damage, the window to act is after the hail or wind event, but before insurance companies raise deductibles in a given area. If your area has recently suffered a hail storm, it is prudent to contact us for a free roof inspection.