DO contact both your insurance agency and a respectable contractor at the earliest opportunity after hail storm damage is done. Most contractors and insurance agencies work on a first come, first serve premise, so timeliness is important. In the Midwest, where winter can be brutal, when you contact your agency and contractor could mean the difference between getting things fixed in the Fall… or having to wait until next Spring.
DO set-up a time/place for you, your spouse, a respectable contractor and the insurance adjuster to all meet together to talk about the claim. In situations where large regions are impacted by hail storms, some insurance agencies get adjusters from out of the state– especially on the phone. Therefore, do what you can to arrange in-person meetings regarding your issues.
DO keep a duplicate of your homeowners insurance policy and thoughtfully consider the coverage you need before actually buying it. Should you have to file a claim, have the policy within reach with the goal that you comprehend what you have listed in the policy as far as compensation is concerned.
DO realize that the manufacturer’s guarantee on things (for example: gutters and siding) are typically “nulled” in the event of hail storm damage.
DO have a public insurance adjuster do a free evaluation of your damages.
DON’T hire the first person that comes to your door offering to help you. When huge hail storms hit a region, contractors from “everywhere” descend upon neighborhoods going door-to-door trying to get your business. They might be shady! They’ll promise you things but their work might be shoddy– or they’ll take your money and run!
DON’T automatically take what the insurance agent offers at first… you might end up needing more money if the extent/scope of the work goes above and beyond what was initially decided. You might need the help of a public adjuster or lawyer to either get more money and/or file a complaint.
DON’T feel compelled to utilize a contractor recommended to you by the insurance agency. Customarily, their wish is to finish the work as economically as possible under the circumstances, deceiving the homeowner through using inferior/sub-par materials. Instead, find your own contractor.