Is it worth it to make an insurance claim after a hail storm?

(WSPA) – When a severe hail storm hits like it did this week, you may be wondering if you should file a claim, and how much that could affect your insurance rate.

Obviously if there is extreme damage, you already know the answer.

But what about a few dings to your car, or the stuff you can’t see on the roof.

That’s something Heather Greene in Greer was grappling with this week.

“I just, I kind of walked up and I went like this and I was like, oh!” she said looking at her boyfriend’s dented car.

Greene says her back patio is also full of dents, and she’s worried about the roof.

“We just got a new roof a couple months ago so we’re hoping that’s not damaged,” said Greene.

Hail damage on cars can be mostly cosmetic, so if you’re deciding whether to file, here’s the rule. If it’s within 20% of the deductible, insurance experts say you may want to pass on making that claim.

You’d be wise to get an estimate from a body shop, before calling out the insurance adjuster.

“Once you file a claim, and an adjuster comes out, whether they pay or don’t pay, a claim has been filed,” said Max Fain with Carolina’s Choice.

He says if you do file this type of claim, it shouldn’t affect your rate too much, beyond losing any clean record discount.

“It’s not an accident so it does not increase the risk of the driver.”

As for your roof, look for any shingle shavings, and especially leaks.

There are plenty of contractors willing to give you estimates, but beware of storm chasers.

Fain says you don’t have to trouble yourself with proving the storm happened to your provider.

“They’ll have access to those reports, they know when hail falls.”

But don’t wait too long to file.

“The boyfriend’s handling it,” said Greene.

Insurance agents say filing a claim of this type for roof damage shouldn’t affect your individual rate.

But we may all feel the impact eventually since the amount of claims can lead insurance companies to raise rates overall.

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