While hailstorms can be interesting to watch, they are so damaging that they cause more than $13 billion in losses in the United States each year. Thousands of hailstorms spread across the U.S annually, which means that you should know what to do if one ever comes to your area. Use the following tips as a checklist to guide you.
Make a Record of When the Storm Happened
Whenever a hailstorm occurs, make a habit of noting when it happened and how long it lasted. This can benefit you when you file your insurance claim. Sometimes you won’t know the extent of the damage for days or weeks, so it’s best to not rely on your memory to track back when the storm happened. Also, if the hailstones are abnormally large, take pictures of several hailstones beside a coin or ruler to indicate how big they were. This can help you if the damage to your car or house is more than what typically occurs during a hailstorm.
Look for Damage
After the storm has passed, go outside to look for damage that may have occurred and photograph it for your insurance claim. Hail often damages the following:
- Vehicles – Dented and broken windows and mirrors
- Fences – Split, dented or discolored wood
- Roofs – Loose or fallen shingles
- Sheds – Dented outer structure or missing metal panels
- Air conditioners– Dented fan fins
- Yards– Broken or fallen trees and bushes
- Windows – Shattered windows
Once you’ve been able to assess what damage occurred, focus on taking care of emergencies first. If strong winds flung hailstones into your house or car windows allowing rain to get into your home or vehicle, put up a tarp or plastic over the breach to prevent water damage. Immediately clean up any water that got inside and set up fans if the water was significant. Doing so will prevent mold growth.
If your car is severely damaged, take it to a company that specializes in hail storm vehicle repair Denver CO as soon as possible so that you aren’t without transportation for too long.
Contact Your Insurance Company
If you need to fix your car or property following the storm, call your insurance company to see what options you have. Most homeowners’ insurance policies will cover storm damage to your home, and comprehensive auto coverage will protect your car. Note that your insurance agent may ask you to wait to file the claim until after you’ve completed the home and vehicle improvements.