According to the Insurance Information Institute, the United States experienced nearly 5,400 hail events with hailstones of one inch in diameter or larger in 2019. Those storms affected millions or properties and likely damaged a few roofs.
There’s a common misconception that metal roofs are a bad idea in hail prone areas because they are susceptible to damage. The truth is that these roofs are incredibly durable and have a longer useful life than traditional materials. But, if you do get a metal roof, you should understand common insurance hail exclusions for cosmetic damage.
Metal Roofs Are Tough
If you have a metal roof on your home, you’ve chosen one of the most durable materials to keep your structure safe from the elements. An article in Green Builder references studies conducted by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS). Researchers determined that, while all roofing systems sustain some cosmetic damage in hailstorms, metal roofs performed the best and were the least likely to receive structural damage, even with large-sized hail.
Metal roofing materials, by their nature, are tough. No matter the age of the metal, it stands up to severe weather conditions such as hail. In contrast, other roofing materials such as asphalt can become more brittle or softer with age and more susceptible to hail damage.
How Hail Can Damage a Metal Roof
If you have a metal roof on your home, you might be concerned about how hail can impact the materials. In truth, hail can damage your roof in a few ways:
- Denting – Most metals, like aluminum, copper, and steel, are malleable, so they can change shape under stress. If there is a strong hailstorm, it’s possible that your metal roof will suffer some denting, which should be cosmetic only.
- Puncturing – A punctured metal roof due to hail is a rare occurrence, but it can happen. If something punches a hole in your roof, this is something that requires a structural fix, which may only involve replacing a panel.
The type and extent of damage that takes place can depend on a variety of factors. These include:
- The size of the hail
- The thickness of the metal roofing panels
- Your roof’s slope
- The type of metal panels
- The presence of roof deck or substrate
- Your paint system
Hail Damage and Insurance Waivers
Some property insurance policies will cover damage to your metal roof, and others will not. If you are concerned about the cost of repairs or replacement, you should review your policy carefully, no matter what type of roofing system you choose.
Many policies will have a cosmetic damage exclusion, meaning you won’t have insurance coverage to fix cosmetic issues (small dents) in your home’s metal roof. By signing this waiver, you’ll likely get a lower annual premium.
It might seem harmless to sign a Hail Damage Waiver, but not having coverage to repair roof damage can be costly in the long-run. For example, if there is damage to the substrate, you’ll want to have this repaired to protect your structure.
Another option is to have a wind and hail deductible. This would also lower your premium but require that you pay a percentage, say 3%, of the cost of repair or replacement due to a wind or hail event.
At Excel Metal Roofing, we have extensive knowledge about the benefits of metal roofs. If you are considering a metal roofing system for your home, we’d be happy to answer your questions and give you an estimate. Since 2000, we’ve installed more residential metal roofs in Missouri than any other company. Contact us today to learn more.