If you have suffered a windstorm or hail storm, you will likely need to assess your house for damage. Some homeowners find that these storms wreak havoc on the siding of their homes. When the siding is damaged, it is important to know whether home insurance covers wind and hail damage to the siding.
In specific scenarios, your homeowners insurance will cover the repairs for wind damage to siding. Insurance will not always cover this damage, though. There are many scenarios and important factors that will come into play when the insurance company makes an assessment of a claim.
Windstorms and hail coverage for damaged siding can be tricky in some cases. Keep reading to learn the scenarios and factors that will affect your windstorm or hail claim when trying to repair the siding of your home.
- Siding damage caused by a windstorm or hail storm is typically covered under a standard home insurance policy.
- If a policyholder lives in a high-risk state, windstorm and hail coverage may be excluded from a standard policy.
- Windstorm and hailstorm policies are available for those with this exclusion.
- Some insurance companies differentiate between cosmetic and functional damage.
Siding damaged by a windstorm
There are many types of windstorms that can affect you and your home. Hurricanes and tornados are often the most commonly thought of windstorms, but even a severe thunderstorm can cause some damage to the siding of your home.
Unless it is listed as an exclusion on your homeowner’s insurance policy, functional damage to your siding caused by a windstorm or hail is usually covered through your standard homeowner’s insurance.
When submitting a claim for siding, make sure the damage is considered to be functional damage as opposed to cosmetic damage. If a small area of siding has come down or a few cracks are present, this cosmetic damage may not cost more than your deductible to fix. In this case, a claim would likely not be worth the time. It also does not always qualify for a covered claim as the siding is mostly still on and doing its job – protecting your home.
If the entire left side of your house has siding that is missing and falling off, a larger claim and functional damage are present. This type of claim should go through insurance for an assessment so that it can be covered properly.
Siding damaged by a hail storm
Sometimes hail can also wreak havoc on your home, and especially your siding. The solid ice that falls from the sky can be large in nature and cause damage to the siding due to impact and weight. If there is a severe hail storm and it causes significant damage to your siding (i.e., the damage costs more than the deductible), then it is important to file a claim as soon as you can.
Hail damage siding insurance claims should be handled with care. Sometimes the damage is hard to see because of the nature of the hail. Be sure to inspect your siding carefully after a hail storm to look for indentations, cracks, and holes.
Once you identify the hail damage, file a claim immediately. This will help get the claim process started and lessen the time the home will suffer from the elements and debris with broken siding. Essentially, your home’s siding will be fixed faster, which can prevent more damage in the long run.
Types of siding damage
There are different types of damage that can affect your siding. Not all damage will be immediately obvious. When looking at your siding, some of the most common types of damage to look for are:
- Peel back
- Fallen siding
Then remember to assess how the damage occurred. Was it due to a windstorm, hailstorm, or other covered peril? Did the policyholder maintain the siding appropriately to prevent further damage? If the answer is yes to both questions, you may have a qualified claim.
Document service and damage
Whenever you have your maintenance worked on, cleaned, or otherwise maintained, you should keep these documents and snap a couple of pictures to hold onto. This will provide proof to the insurance company that you have properly maintained your home and that there is no policyholder negligence that leads to the damage as part of the claim.
On the other hand, ensure that you document the damage before work on a claim is started and then again after the claim. It will show that the work was handled properly and provide a new expected reference point for the siding on the house in the future in case of another claim.
Exclusions for wind and hail
Some policyholders live in states where windstorms and hail storms are much more common. When this is the case, they may find that these storms are considered exclusions in their standard homeowners insurance policy. This exclusion means that the standard policy will not cover this type of damage, and the homeowner would need to seek alternate coverage.
In the case where an exclusion applies, some insurance companies will offer windstorm insurance endorsements to cover the difference. These endorsements add more cost to the policy and can also have their own separate deductibles. When comparing the cost of an endorsement to the cost to replace items affected by hail or wind damage, the endorsement tends to be much more economical.
Functional vs cosmetic damage
Another exclusion insurance companies may have cosmetic damage. If cosmetic damage is present, but the siding is still performing properly, they may not cover the claim. Some companies consider this to be basic wear and tear. This means that unless there is functional damage to the siding, the policy will not cover it.
Confer with your agent
When reviewing your windstorm and hail coverage, it is important to talk with your agent. They can outline the policy so that you have a clearer idea of what to expect in the case of the unexpected. This way, you can determine whether the policy you currently hold is the right one for your home and your family.