On April the 12th what is probably the biggest Hail Storm to ever hit San Antonio, damaged an estimated 200,000 homes, apartments and other buildings, along with massive damage to cars. This page is to help the property owner with some frequently asked questions about the insurance claims process, as well as tips to make the process as pain-less as possible.
1. Was my roof really ruined?
Answer: In some areas the roofs were absolutely hammered, and in some cases may be leaking or will leak soon. However, in some of the areas not hit as hard, what has happened is the roof was "aged" by the hail loosing years of life. While it may not leak immediately, it will fail years before its time, and the insurance companies recognize this and will pay for replacement. In general if the hail was large enough to dent cars in the neighborhood, even lightly, it has damaged the roof.
2. My roof doesn't look particularly damaged or different from the ground. If it is damaged why is it not more apparent?
Answer: Even in areas fairly heavily damaged, it may take an up close look at the roof from on top to really see the damage. what the hail does in most case is knock off or loosen the granules (like large grains of sand) that give the roof it's color and provide protection to the underlying substrate of the shingle. This is the asphalt "core" of the shingle and the hail stones knock "bruises" on the shingle where the granules are now missing or weakened. You may see a lot of granules on the ground or in your gutters as they wash down in following rains. If the roof is a darker color, the bruises are even harder to see from the ground.
3. Will filing a claim make my insurance go up?
Answer: It should not. You may have noticed insurance goes up periodically anyway, but you cannot be punished or singled out because you are making a legitimate claim for storm damages...that is what insurance is for. The insurance companies are regulated by the State and can only make increase with regulatory approval and this would apply to all property owners.
4. You promote that you can get the claim increased or enhanced, how is this done?
Answer: That would take a couple of pages to fully explain, but in short, the insurance company is making an offer and more can be negotiated in a counter-offer. Also they sometimes miss items that should be included in the claim. In addition they do not pay code related upgrades up front even if you are paying for that coverage and most homeowners are. In order to get this extra money and work on your home, you have to have a knowledgeable company like ACCENT ROOFING & REMODELING
COMPLETE ROOFING AND REMODELING