Why is hail such a problem for home and property owners?
According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, hail causes right around $1 billion in damage each year to homes, property, and crops in the United States. In 2016 alone, there were over 5,000 hail storms. Illinois did not make the top five list of states for number of hailstorms that year, but in recent memory the stateline has had plenty of hail issues. In May of 2017, a severe hailstorm hit the Loves Park/Machesney Park area and thousands of homes and vehicles were damaged.
What is a wind/hail deductible?
Every insurance policy — whether it is a home or an auto policy — has a deductible. A deductible is the amount a policyholder pays towards claim before the insurance company will pay out on it. Most homeowners policies have $1,000 deductibles, but some companies have higher deductibles (such as $1,500 or $2,000) set for any hail or wind related claims. This is because wind and hail are some of the most common claims that occur on a homeowners policy, and a higher deductible can be beneficial for the insurance companies. Make sure you take a careful look at your policy or talk to your agent if you are not sure if you have a different deductible for wind or hail claims. A new roof can be well over $10,000, depending on the size of the home and the extent of replacement that needs to occur.
What should I be aware of when there is a hail storm or I need to file a hail claim?
If you believe your home has sustained damage from a wind or hail storm, you should be the one reaching out to a contractor to assess the damage and determine whether repairs are needed. If someone is coming to your home and knocking on your door offering unsolicited assistance, beware. “Storm chasers,” as they’ve come to be known, will ride into town after a severe storm looking for homes they can work on. Often these contractors lack proper licensing and will not do proper work to fix the damage to your home (if there even is any substantial damage). After they leave, you may still have problems to fix with no way of getting in touch with these contractors who have gone back to their homes hundreds of miles away.
Always be wary when someone is knocking on your door and offering to help. Local contractors or roofing companies won’t do this, because they will be busy enough taking calls from people in Rockford who need help with their roofs. When you think you might need repairs to your home get multiple quotes from local roofers, ask for proof of licensing and local work history, and call your insurance agent to discuss whether or not a claim needs to be filed.
Eckburg Insurance Group is the largest home and auto insurance provider in northern Illinois. We can cover all your home, auto, business, and life insurance needs. Our dedicated staff, made up almost entirely of men and women who were raised in our community, works tirelessly everyday to keep you protected. Call us today at (815) 877-4100 or click here for a quote!