Hail damage: What you need to know to file an insurance claim

A Sunday hailstorm left parts of Central Texas with broken windows and dented roofs. 

By late Monday morning, State Farm was reporting more than 3,500 home and auto claims following the storm. Most were out of Williamson and Travis counties.

State Farm data has Texas as second in the nation for paid hail claims in 2022, with the total payout equaling $510 million.

"You have to make the first call. Go ahead and call your insurance company and ask about filing a claim and just be ready to answer questions about what kind of damage you experienced, whether it's your home or your car, and try to keep a record of everybody that you're talking to in case you need to refer back to something that you were told earlier," said Ben Gonzalez, spokesperson for the Texas Department of Insurance.

When it comes to car repairs, comprehensive coverage is needed for hail damage. Liability coverage only covers damages caused to another vehicle.

Homeowners insurance will usually cover weather damage, but it may depend on your plan. 

"Ask your insurance company what your deductible is. That's what you pay before the insurance kicks in," said Gonzalez. "That's important because if you have a high deductible and your damage is less than the estimate for repairs, you may have to pay for that repair yourself." 


The biggest tip from Vince Perri, a public adjuster and commercial claims expert, is to take as many photos as you can. 

"If you see any little dinks or different indentations and stuff like that, take a photo of it," said Perri, owner and CEO of Elite Resolutions as well as host of the Commercial Claims Show on YouTube.

It can also help if you gather information from neighbors. 

"What happens is the insurance company will come to you and they'll say, ‘I don't believe this damage was a result of this hailstorm. I believe this damage is preexisting and it was there before the storm occurred, or it’s wear and tear,’" said Perri. "But you can say, ‘No, my neighbor over here had hail damage and I could prove it…it all occurred on the same day.’ That's going to go a long way in trying to prove your case."

Don’t be afraid to push back on an initial estimate from an insurance company. 

"They have estimating guidelines where they're going to always lean towards a repair for your roof as opposed to a full replacement," said Perri. "You should never really accept the first offer. I mean, if it's good, if it's enough, then that's fine, of course. But more often than not, it's not."

For more tips from the Texas Department of Insurance, click here.