Nature has the potential to captivate us all with its beauty and glory. However, it also has equally catastrophic potential. Natural disasters such as hailstorms best demonstrate this. Hail can damage automobiles, plants, and infrastructure (especially roofs) among other things. Indeed, anyone who has been affected by it will tell you how costly it can be to make repairs afterward.
Thankfully, there are several ways by which you can minimize your losses. Here is a brief list of steps that if properly followed, could help you save a considerable amount of effort and money in the long run.
Step One: Record the damage
During a hailstorm, you should take shelter indoors. You will have to start collecting data for your insurance claim straightaway. Note down the date and time of the storm so that the insurance company can verify it from weather reports.
It is important to ensure that the storm has passed before trying to venture outside. Once it’s safe, step outside and record as much of the damage as you can using your camera. Wear proper footwear as there may be debris such as glass on the ground.
Take pictures of anything from cracked lawn furniture and broken windows to any dents on your car. Do take pictures of fallen hailstones on your property such that their size is evident.
This will help the insurance company in their evaluation. Now, just step inside, ring the insurance company and let them know what has happened. Clear any shattered glass or general fragments from the floor and move any wet items to a dry location. If there are emergency repairs to be made on a temporary basis, such as boarding up broken windows, get to those immediately. Save the receipt of any such work you get done.
Step 2: Estimate the monetary cost of the damage
Once you’ve recorded the damage, the next step is to estimate its monetary cost. While the insurance company will send someone over to do this for you, it’s best to make a rough estimate yourself.
One of the key things to assess is the extent of injury to your roof. To do this, climb to the roof using a ladder. Check for any adulterations such as bruises and cracks in the shingles or pieces of missing asphalt. If possible, check for dents on any metallic surface.
As a rough guide, any flat surface on the roof is more likely to suffer hail damage. This may take some expertise so you might want to contact a reliable contractor or roofing company just to be sure.
If any such signs are found, it is vital to get them fixed immediately. Hail damage to roofs may not seem significant, but it accumulates and can end up costing a fortune to fix if not dealt with in time. After you have concluded the extent of damage, find out if your insurance will cover the costs.
Step 3: See damages to your vehicle
Vehicles aren’t built to weather abuse like hail. Thus, it is not surprising that any car parked out in the open during a hailstorm is bound to suffer heavy damage such as dents, scraped paint and maybe even a broken windshield or windows.
You should get in touch with a dent repair workshop and have them take a look at your car. More often than not, insurance will pay for the required repairs. However, do note that this car’s value will depreciate even after being reconditioned.
Furthermore, while your insurance should pay for the current damage, they might not fully pay for future damages to your car as they may chalk them up to something called “unrelated prior damage.”
Thus it may be wise to take this chance to think about cutting your losses and selling your old car for a new one. Services such as we buy cars today will take even your damaged car off your hands.
Step 4: Minimize the losses
While you may have suffered substantial financial losses because of hail, what has passed has passed. Your focus should now be on minimizing loses in case of a reoccurrence. Firstly, keep an eye out for weather forecasts especially if you live in an area susceptible to hailstorms.
If there is a prediction of hail, stay ready beforehand. Park your car in a covered area, such as a garage. Stow your patio furniture under a shed or cover if possible. Close your curtains so that if the glass does break, it is contained.
Temporarily taping cardboard over your windows may be a good idea. Regularly inspect your roof’s condition as even a slightly damaged roof is more vulnerable to hail. Lastly, if you don’t have the required insurance yet, now would be a great time to consider getting it.
This little effort may end up saving you from a lot of hassle. After all, prevention is indeed better than cure.