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Hail Damage to Your Car or Home: What to Do

hail damage.

You've made it through the crashing, banging symphony of ice pummeling the roof of your car or home—now how should you deal with the storm's aftermath? If you've ever experienced a severe hailstorm, you know how chaotic the experience can be. Each year, hail causes about $1 billion in damage, according to the Insurance Information Institute; in 2017 alone, more than 6,000 hailstorms were reported across the U.S.

Here's what to do if your home or car experiences hail damage.
Document the Damage While you're waiting out the storm, record the exact date and time. Your insurance company may need to verify this information with weather records after the fact. Once the hailstorm passes and it's safe to venture outside, assess the damage to both your home and vehicle. With a camera in hand, document and check all around your house, paying attention to structures and landscaping on your property. It's useful to take pictures of hail that might be left on the ground or on surfaces; use a coin, for example, as a point of reference to show the size of the hailstones.

Some items to look out for on your home are:

  • Roof (use a sturdy ladder when checking your roof)
  • Shingles, siding and vents
  • Walls and windows
  • Look for leaks, cracked tiles, dents or cracks that may not appear major right now, but could worsen over time

Check your car for dents on the roof or doors, and chipped or broken windows, as well as examine your tires thoroughly. Lastly, start your vehicle to make sure it runs properly.

Address Quick Fixes

After you have everything documented properly, determine what you can do to protect your car and home immediately. Board up broken windows or doors, and cover potential leaks with tarps, plywood or plastic. Clean up broken glass or other hazardous debris; if you notice downed power lines in the area, report them to the utility company immediately. These quick fixes should help protect your property until you can get a contractor to your home or get your car into the shop.

Call Your Insurance Agent

Be sure to call your insurance agent as soon as possible to discuss filing a claim and what may or may not be covered under your policy. Keep records of any money you spend on repairs, even on materials you use to make quick fixes, as you may be able to get reimbursed.

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