Spotting Hail Damage, Stopping Hail Fraud
Spring storms bring an increased chance of hailstorms. Hail results in some of the biggest homeowners claims each year. According to NOAA’s Severe Weather database, there were 5,396 major hailstorms in 2019. Here are some tips to spot hail damage on your home or car, and how to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of hail fraud:
Spotting hail damage:
Hail damage is not the easiest to spot on your roof. These damages often look like average wear and tear unless you are an experienced professional. If you feel that your home has suffered hail damage, it’s important to contact an expert to check it out. A professional will determine how bad the damage is, and the best way to fix it properly. They will look for the following:
- Black spots or dots
- Loss of granules
- Tears or splits to the shingles
- Bruises on the shingles
Hail damage on a car is slightly different than the roof, but it is much easier to spot yourself. Look for any of the following:
- Cracked or chipped windshield
- Small dents across your vehicle
Stopping hail fraud:
After a hailstorm beware of storm chasers, these individuals use the storms to take advantage of people. It is important to know what to look for to avoid being their next victim.
- Never pay all your money upfront: There may be a small amount due before they begin fixing any issues on your home, but never pay for everything upfront. The likelihood of the work being done correctly or at all is very slim.
- Read the contract: Before signing a contract be sure to read through it first. A contract should be very thorough, and should cover costs, payment plans, scheduling, etc.
- Exaggerate damage: Storm chasers will exaggerate the damage that has occurred or create more damage in order to get additional insurance profit.
- Research: If you are feeling wary about a contractor, conduct additional research to make sure they are a suitable candidate. Validate if they have a website, reviews, and their history. You can also search sites like the Better Business Bureau to ensure you are using a business you can trust.
If your home or vehicle has been affected by hail, be sure to contact your local insurance agent or your insurance provider so they can advise you on the next steps.