Hail Damage: What To Do and How To Avoid

By Anna Bryant
State Farm Insurance

The hail and wind that can accompany summer thunderstorms account for an average yearly loss of over $5 million in North Carolina, according to the state Climate Office. In any given location, 40 or 50 thunderstorms may be expected in a year.

Damage from hailstorms is covered by standard homeowners’ insurance policies.

State Farm insurance advises homeowners to contact their agent to start the claim process immediately after storm damage occurs. The company has a few tips for area residents:

  • After a hail storm, visually inspect your home for structural damage, take pictures and if possible, move your personal belongings to prevent further damage.
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  • After an insurance adjuster has surveyed the hail damage to your property, select a reputable roofing company or auto body shop to make repairs.
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  • Be wary of out-of-town roofers who move into an area and set up shop following a storm. While most of these firms are reputable, some collect money from homeowners and move on to the next storm site without paying suppliers or leaving work unfinished. It’s a good idea to select a company with established credibility and local references.
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  • Get everything in writing. Cost, work to be completed, time schedule, guarantees, payment schedule and other expectations should be detailed.
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Tips to prevent damage during future storms include:

  • Personal safety is the No. 1 priority. Go or stay indoors when a hailstorm hits.
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  • Hail can shatter windows, so close blinds or window shades to help reduce the amount of glass that might blow inside. Stay away from skylights and doors.
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  • Good tree pruning can prevent the problems of downed limbs associated with a hail storm. Prompt removal of diseased, damaged, or dead parts helps reduce the possibility of future storm damage.
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  • If a storm is forecast, park your car in a garage or carport. If you don’t have a covered parking spot, consider a specially designed car cover to minimize vehicle damage.
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  • If you have to leave your car outside, avoid parking under trees. Cover the car with a thick blanket to minimize hail’s impact.
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