After a big hail storm passes through your area, there is a good chance that your roof may have sustained some hail damage, especially if your home was hit with the full force of the hail storm. If your roof was damaged by hail, your insurance company should pay to fix the damage to your roof. Here are three things to keep in mind.

#1 Get Your Roof Inspected by a Professional

Before you call up your insurance company and file a claim for hail damage, do a little investigative work of your own. Once you file a claim with your insurance company, regardless of if it is valid or not, it is going to stay in your file with the insurance company for a set number of years. You don't want to file claims that your insurance company does not think are valid.

It is best to call up a roofing professional and have them inspect your roof first if you suspect that your roof was damaged by hail. A roofing professional can document the damage they see to your roof and provide you with a written statement that they believe the damage they see to your roof was caused by the hail storm.

A roofing professional can also spot signs of hail damage that you may miss. Hail damage is not as obvious as other types of storm damage and requires an observant eye from someone who examines shingles on a regular basis.

Get your roof inspected by a roofing professional first to confirm that the damage to your roof was caused by hail before you file a claim with your insurance company. That way, you have proof in hand to back up your claim.

#2 Find Out How Long You Have to Make A Claim

You do not need to file a claim immediately after a hail storm to get your insurance company to pay for the damage. However, you do need to file your claim promptly. The amount of time you have to make an insurance claim can vary by insurance company and by state.

Call your insurance company and ask how long you have to file a storm related insurance claim. Be sure to use the words storm related because the time limit for normal claims verses storm-related insurance claims can differ.

Insurance companies give you anywhere from six months to a year to make a claim. Sometimes, when an area is hit particularly hard by a storm, the insurance company may extend the period of time you have to make a claim. They do this because they know that the roofing professionals in the area have their hands full and may not be able to inspect and repair your roof right away.

#3 Don't Be Afraid of a Rate Increase

Be sure to submit your hail damage claim on time to your insurance company. Do not hold back on filing a hail damage claim with your insurance company because you are afraid that your insurance company will raise your rates.

When you file a claim related to hail damage, you are filing a storm-related claim and not a regular insurance claim. With storm-related claims, your insurance company is not allowed to raise your rates. They may increase the rates of everyone in your region due to paying out increased claims; however, they can't punish individuals for storm-related damage.

It is better to file a claim and get the benefits of a repaired roof than to suffer because you are afraid your insurance will increase.

If you need assistance getting your roof inspected after it has been damaged by hail, the roofing team at Eagle Home Restorations can assist you with inspecting and taking care of your hail related roofing issues.