For many homeowners, finding out that their roofs need significant repairs or require replacement is troubling, especially since it costs a lot of money. And for a significant number of those, an insurance claim is the only way the homeowner can pay for their roof’s replacement or repair. The process will require speaking to adjusters, waiting for the required reimbursement that covers all the damages, and to get the ball rolling for all of that, filing an insurance claim is the first step.
Do you know how to file an insurance claim? If not, don’t feel too badly, because many homeowners don’t, and that’s the reason for this little educational article. Not knowing what documentation is required and what to expect can be a major issue, so we want to help you with that.
Insurance companies, like homeowners, know that the roof just happens to be the most important part of the home. If the roof isn’t fixed on time and as required, it can lead to more considerable damage and, consequently, higher claims.
It is interesting to note that in the majority of high-wind and hail claims the payout is directly relative to the type and condition of the roof, as reported by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. However, insurance companies will carefully scrutinize insurance claims for roof coverages, and make sure that all documentation is in order before processing the claim. So, as a homeowner, you need to be very careful with this part of the process.
First, Start with Finding Out What Your Insurance Policy Covers
The quick and easy way to find out what your insurance covers is to call up your insurance provider. When it comes to roof repair, many insurance companies have different policies. Some may take the age of your roof into account at the time it was damaged. For instance, if your roof is under five years old and was damaged the company may pay the entire cost of repairs or replacement of the roof. If the roof is over five or ten years old, then you’ll be reimbursed at what is called a “depreciated value” amount of the damage. This depreciation by insurance companies takes the age of your existing roof into account because wear and tear decrease the value of your roof. So, the older it is, the more wear your roof is assumed to have undergone.
Now there are also some policies that only cover roof damage, which is near to the depreciated amount regardless of how old the roof is. Then there are other policies that will reimburse you the full cost of repairs or replacement of all damaged sections regardless of how old the roof may be. So as you can see, learning what type of coverage you have and what it all means is extremely important.
Insurance companies will verify your claim by sending over an inspector who will investigate the claim by looking at your roof, and if it is determined that the damage was caused by aging, and not by hail or a storm, then that will typically mean your damage isn’t covered. The insurance company will make clear that the damage occurred because the roof was not receiving its required regular maintenance.
How to File an Insurance Claim – Provide Documentation
To make the claim process easier and to ensure that you get the right settlement for the loss, start by taking photos of the roof from both inside your attic and from up top on the outside. Then update the images any time you have repairs or maintenance done. When damage occurs, update the pictures by adding a fresh batch to them.
You will want to document any estimates or reports you receive from roof repair companies as well, in addition to bills and invoices. When you have a history of all the work done on your roof on file, it makes it easier and smoother to sail through the claims process. You will also have far less back and forth with the insurance company since you’ve answered all their questions with the initial claim. This is also another reason to get free roof inspections done regularly by your favorite local roofing contractor. A reputable roofer will provide free inspections and will write down their findings for you so you have documented records for your insurance company if you need to prove the condition of your roof prior to any storm damage.
Get a Roofing Contractor who has Experience Dealing with Insurance Companies
Now before any work can be done on your roof, it is essential to get an estimate from a seasoned and reputable roofing contractor. Most insurance companies will allow you to use any roofing company. However, we strongly advise that you choose a roofing contractor who can help you navigate the confusing maze of the insurance claims process.
So, in addition to fixing storm damage and a leaking roof, some roofing companies have Haag Certified Inspectors who have completed adequate certification in damage assessment training.
In addition, it’s a good idea to ask whether they also have successful experience in dealing with insurance companies on behalf of their clients. Seasoned, trustworthy contractors often come with extensive experience in providing qualified roofing estimates for insurance claims as well as helping clients with filing an insurance claim for repair or replacement. So it’s definitely worth it to investigate these options when you initiate that search for a “roofer near me”!
The thing to always bear in mind is that if you suspect your roof has been damaged, don’t sit around waiting for a roofer to inspect it. If you can, get up on your roof and survey the extent of the damage yourself. If anything, taking this one crucial step will help with expediting the process of your insurance claim. And, you may also prevent further damage to the roof, which may not be covered under your insurance policy.
Knowing how to file an insurance claim can help make your life a lot easier. Though it does not have to be a difficult task if you are able to hire a good, professional roofing contractor. Also, keep in mind that some insurance companies may not approve a claim if the inspection was not carried out by a certified inspector.
The best thing you can do is to hire a company that will handle the insurance claim for you. That will save you from having to spend a lot of time and effort on trying to find your way around a difficult insurance claim system that is, sadly, often intentionally designed to be that way. Your time can be better spent on making sure that your roof is repaired in a timely manner using high-quality materials by a roofer that backs their work with a valid warranty. And even more so if a roof replacement job is required.
Whether you want to get a new roof installed or have an existing one repaired, it goes without saying that
Do you need professional roof repair or perhaps complete roof replacement? How would you know if the roof needs professional
Generally, we strongly advise all homeowners to invest in regular roof maintenance and the periodic replacement of things like broken
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