Here in North Texas, spring can mean beautiful weather, sunny days, and also devastating hail storms. Most people aren’t prepared for what comes next after your car or roof looks like a golf ball because it is so full of divots. That’s why we are here, to help you prepare for the hail as best you can, and be prepared for what comes when it’s claim time.
1. Lower the comprehensive deductible on your auto insurance. This one is easy – if you park your car outside regularly, it’s more likely to be damaged by forces beyond your control – hail. neighborhood kids, even being squashed by a meteorite. Since your car spends a good portion of time unprotected from the elements, why not lower the deductible to $100? You are more likely to make that claim, so why not keep more of your money in your pocket? Usually, lowering the comprehensive deductible isn’t very expensive. You can mix and match deductibles, so hedge your bets.
2. Even better than a lower deductible, put up a carport. Obviously if you are in an apartment, this is a tough one, but a carport is relatively inexpensive compared to the hassle of dealing with a hail damaged car. In most cases, a single car carport can be had for less than $800, and even if you are renting a home, you can always unbolt it and take it with you. Many homes here in the Dallas area are single car garages, or have had their garages converted to spare rooms.
3. Make your own “escrow” account with your homeowner’s wind and hail deductible in it. Here in the Dallas area, most insurance companies require a 1% wind and hail deductible (that means 1% of the insured value of your home). Since you never know when you will need to pay that deductible, set up a bank account with just that amount in it, and leave it alone. (For bonus points, put your auto deductible in this account as well.) Once you have it, forget about it and it’s ready to use when you need it.
4. Try to package your home and auto insurance policies. Most insurance companies would prefer to write both your home and auto insurance – and in order to entice you to package your policies, many companies offer a single deductible option – so if you end up with hail damage on both your roof and your car, you will only pay one deductible for both claims. It saves you money, because you save that deductible, but also the discounts for bundling home and auto insurance are also pretty significant.
5. Get a Class 4 hail resistant roof installed. This one is for those of you that have to replace your roof because of hail damage. Don’t just put the cheapest roof you can find, spring the extra money for the class 4 roof. If you do so, you will reap some pretty serious insurance discounts, but you will also not have to deal with a hail claim for a long time. Read more about Class IV roofs here. http://www.helpinsure.com/home/roofingx.html
Obviously, you can’t really be 100% prepared for sudden North Texas weather, but you can be aware of your options, and hopefully I have helped you feel a little better about your insurance situation.
My final tip is to be patient. If you have a hail claim, you are not the only one, so the insurance company is hopping, trying to make the process as easy as they can – but they are only human.
If you have not already, give us a call and let us take a look at your current policy to see if you are covered properly. 877-717-4054