TAKING ACTION: How to report hail damage to your insurance agent

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Beyond straight line winds, intense hail left a trail of dents and dings on cars and homes across the Tennessee Valley.

WHNT News 19 got dozens of pictures and videos from viewers, impacted by the hail storm. That includes the Sanford brothers in Huntsville, who found both of their windshields now have cracks in them.

“Personally that’s probably the biggest hail I’ve seen,” says Brian Sanford, who lives just off of Airport Road.

At first, Brian didn't know what to think.

“It sounded like someone was throwing rocks and pebbles up against my brother’s window," he says.

After the pounding of pellets subsided, Brian came out to his car to confirm what he already suspected.

“I came out here to look and of course my car had a small chip in it, and my brother’s truck had a small chip in his window also," says Sanford.

State Farm Agent Joe Demos says it's usually pretty easy to find, report and claim hail damage on your car, but a little more tricky when it comes to your home.

“Hail is not something that shows up right away, especially if the roof is still wet. Typically it takes getting on the roof, touching the shingle and finding the hail spots," says Demos.

He recommends you don't try climbing a ladder and checking it out for yourself - call a certified roofing company.

“If they have hail damage, typically it won’t leak right away but you want to call a reputable roofer to come take a look at it," says Demos.

The roofer can give you an estimate that you can then give to your agent. Joe Demos says, if you call out a roofer and they find a leak, go ahead and have it repaired immediately.  If homeowners make repairs they can work with the company on the possible reimbursement of expenses on covered losses after any required deductible is satisfied.

For those like Brian, facing windshield damage, Demos has this advice.

"If you rush it to a shop, the shops are typically going to be backed up right away. You can take your time typically your car is going to run just fine, it’s just not going to look real good," he says.

Now Brian is on the fence, whether he'll get his car fixed or not.

He says it may only look like a small crack in his windshield, but all he sees, is a big chunk out of his wallet.

“That’s the last thing I need," says Sanford.