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What to Do if Hail Damages Your Home

It can be stressful if your home is damaged by a storm.

Since homeowners often ask us what to do if their property endures storm damage, we created a guide with steps on what to do if your house is damaged by hail or high winds.

Note: it’s important to know what your homeowner’s insurance policy and riders say in regards to storm damage to your property. Each policy is unique, so treat this as a general guide to get started.

Quick List: Actions Homeowners Should Take after a Hailstorm:

  1. Record the date and time of the hailstorm
  2. Inspect your property and take photos of storm evidence and damage
  3. Put a temporary stop to any urgent situations
  4. Call a trusted contractor or roofing company to assess the damage
  5. Call your homeowner’s insurance company to file a claim (if the damage is suspected to be greater than your deductible)
  6. Keep track of receipts for any work done
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What to do if hail or storm damages your house:

For more tips on each of these recommended steps following a storm, keep reading.

1) Record the date and time of the hailstorm

The first thing to do after a hailstorm is to record the date of the storm that caused damage. You can also note the approximate time if you know it.

Many insurance companies will only allow a claim to be made up to one year after the hailstorm. 

2) Inspect your property and take photos

Next, walk around your property and take pictures of any damage and evidence, such as:

  • hail on the ground or property surface
  • size of hail stone with your hand or an object as a point of reference
  • damage to the outside of the house or garage, such as dents, cracks, holes, and missing shingles (check the roof, siding, air conditioning units, etc.)
  • damage to shrubs, trees, or plants
  • damage to windows or window screens
  • damage to fences
  • damage to sheds

These photos of the storm damage can be helpful if you submit an insurance claim.

3) Put a temporary stop to any urgent situations

If there are any urgent situations, such as leaks or broken windows, put a temporary stop to prevent further damage. Clean up anything potentially hazardous like broken glass.

Get a professional to help if there’s a dangerous situation, such as a fallen tree on a power line.

4) Call a trusted contractor or roofing company

The next step can depend on your situation. If there’s obvious damage that’s going to need a claim, call your insurance company to file a claim first (step 5) then call a trusted contractor (step 4).
However, if you’re not sure there is enough storm damage worth filing a claim, call a trusted contractor or roofing company to inspect your house for damage. This initial inspection is typically done free of charge.

Your neighbors, friends, and community Facebook groups can be good sources for local recommendations. You could call several contractors to get multiple opinions before choosing one.

If you’re in the South-Central Wisconsin area, we are working on a list of local vendors we’ve used. Contact our office or your trusted Shine Realtor for more information. We’re happy to help!

5) Call your insurance company to file a claim

After you have an idea of the damage, it’s time to contact your insurance company to file a claim.

Your homeowner’s insurance rate will likely increase if you file a claim, so most homeowners only file a claim if the cost to repair the damage is more than their deductible.

If you file a claim, your insurance company will likely send an adjuster to your house to assess the damage. They’ll likely look at siding, garage doors, gutters, downspouts, roofs, fences, outside lights, shutters, air conditioning units, etc.

It can be helpful if your contractor and the insurance adjuster can be there at the same time so they’re on the same page.

6) Keep your receipts for any work done

Your insurance company will likely require receipts to reimburse you for repair expenses that exceed your deductible, so keep track of receipts for any work done related to your claim. 


What if a Home Endures Storm Damage While on the Market?

Once in a while, a house is damaged from a storm while it is on the market. Below is a screenshot of what the Wisconsin Offer to Purchase (WB-11) states about property damage between acceptance and closing. Hopefully, you are working with a trusted local real estate agent who can help guide you through this difficulty.

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If you are selling a house and know you have damage that would be considered a defect, it needs to be disclosed.

Sellers should work with their real estate agent to amend the real estate condition report if the house sustains storm damage. There’s also a place on the condition report where sellers should disclose if there has been any insurance claims during the last five years.

With real estate, each situation is unique so contact your real estate agent to help you through your situation.

We say honesty is always the best policy to make your home experience better for everyone!


Related Posts:

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FAQs for Selling a House

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How Much Does Building a House Cost in Wisconsin

Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

Best Time to Sell a House in Wisconsin

40+ Reasons to Work with a Local Realtor

More Tips for Homeowners

Resources from the Realtors

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