This is a question that we get all the time. How to evaluate if you need to file a claim for roof damage. The most common causes of roof damage is hail and wind here in Georgia. However not all roof damage is created equal. What I mean by this is that your roof could have damage to it but that doesn't mean your home is in imminent danger of needing to have a claim filed. Here as some roof basics to know should you believe that you have roof damage. Please note that any concerns you have should always be directed to your carrier or agent for further assistance.
1) Hail damage is very common in Georgia. Just about every roof is going to have evidence of hail damage but that doesn't necessarily mean the roof is in need of repair. I will typically ask clients that suspect roof damage; have they seen evidence of leaking inside their home to draw a conclusion of possible roof damage. If they have then, that is a good time to reach out to a local roofer or their agent for further assistance.
2) Call a professional to assess damage beforehand. Calling a local roofer or a reputable roofing company to determine that potential amount to repair the damage will help you in determining if a claim should be filed. Although any and all potential losses can be filed with your carrier, you want to avoid filing a claim for damages/repairs that are below your deductible. Filing a claim for repairs below your deductible are valid but the most carriers will issue a partial denial. This means your claim is valid but it is below your deductible so there is nothing the carrier needs to pay since you are responsible for any amount up to your chosen deductible.
3) Never let an unannounced person evaluate your roof. Many times I warn clients about "storm chasers". These are companies that will follow a storm and come to your home informing you that a hail storm passed through and that it could have caused damage to your roof. While this may be true, it is never a good practice to let an unannounced person climb onto your home. By allowing a person that you didn't call climb up to do a roof evaluation, they could be causing more harm than good and it could affect the type of claim that will need to be filed. If you feel that your roof was damaged in a storm, call a roofing company yourself or call your carrier/agent. Never let anyone file a claim on your behalf.
4) Roofs are design to last 20,25 or even 30 years. Shingles on a roof are made to withstand a certain amount of weather damage. It is possible to go through many years of bad weather before needing to file a claim. One or two shingles missing does not mean that your roof is in imminent need of a claim to be filed. You should still have those shingles replaced and generally can do so without having to file a claim. Always remember that if you have additional concerns, then you should contact your agent or carrier.