At Haag engineering in Dallas extensive research has been done that shows how hail can damage certain roof coverings. For example, your typical asphalt composite shingle which is used in 85% of the homes in North America will damage very easily. On the topside of the shingle there will be no damage, but if you look under the shingle you might see a crack. The crack will eventually get worse with age. Composite shingles tend to get brittle over time.
There are many different types of roofing materials to chose from.
* Composite shingles
* Modified bitumen shingles (look-a-like to composite but better)
* Wood shake
* Metal shake (very good)
* Screw down panel (good)
* Ceramic tile
* Rubberized (very good)