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Trying to figure out if I should file a claim


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Back in July or so, there was hail storm that dropped ice cube size hail on our property. I could hear the banging all the way in the basement. There were trees branches all over my yard, but the house seemed OK. This was followed up by a bunch of people knocking on our door telling us that we had hail damage (I ignored them, they show up every year). I took a look around and notice there were several a few visible dent, but a lot of the other ones were not visible until you look closely, some holes in the window screen, some odd marks in the rain gutter. There were no visible damaged to the roof.

I had the roofer who was doing my neighbor's roof take a look and he indicated that we should file a claim and have the roof and siding replaced. His reasoning was that there was impact on the shingle which would eventually collect water and eventually result in leaks and the dents in the siding can't be fixed because they can't get the same colors. I did call my insurance agent, who indicated that if I have damage, we should file unless the damage is below the deductible.  I asked if there was some consequences, he indicated that if you file more than 1 claim within a time period of a 5 years or so, we could get dropped. I guess my worry is that we could fix the house only to get hit by a tornado next year. Keep in mind that I have never file a claim with home owners, so I am not even sure what to expect.

On one hand, I don't want to file a claim, on the other hand, I don't want to devalue my house. What can I do to determine if I should file or not. I am not sure if the roofer is objective enough. Should I hire some sort of independent adjuster or inspector to take a look?  According to my agent, having the insurance adjuster look at it would require me to file a claim.





Edited by paulsiu
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Ask the best inspector you can find to examine the roof.  The roofer has a huge stake in selling you a new roof cover and is thus conflicted with being honest in reporting its condition.  Besides that, insurance companies don't bother with confirming damage (at least here they don't), they just send you a check.  Roofers love it.

A good friend recently asked me the same question.  Roofers were working on his neighbor's roof as we spoke.  The roof was allegedly damaged by recent hail.  On my friend's house, I found some manufacturer defects on the shingles but no hail damage and nothing of consequence.  In the 4 weeks since then, at least three other houses on the same block had their roof cover replaced.  They're architectural shingles and the entire subdivision is only about 14 years old.

Edited by Marc
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File the claim and get it replaced. This is common occurrence where I am and your rates will go up anyway depending on the region, not your individual claim status in this regard. Your house has already been devalued by the storm and that is why you have insurance. Yes, have someone take a look at it first, but if you have damage visible from the ground, I guarantee you have much more damage once you check it out from the roof.

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