Dealing with roof damage in the event of a major storm is an undoubtedly stressful time in your life. If you’re worried about how much it will cost you to replace your roof, you should file a roof insurance claim. Although the process of filing a claim may seem long and complicated, it doesn’t have to be. In this article, we’ve formulated a guide for property owners to use explaining just how roof insurance claims work.
Document the Damage to Your Roof
Whether it be wind or hail, in the general aftermath of a major storm, your roof may experience significant and unexpected damages. In the event of severe weather, a subsequent roof inspection should be performed. If inspecting the roof yourself, look out for missing, displaced, and cracked shingles. Around the premises of your property, you will also want to check for water spots that may be present on the both the inside and outside of your home.
The first step to filing a roof insurance claim is to document the damages. Using detailed pictures, try to capture the condition of your roof. Video walkthroughs are also an effective tool for documenting obvious damage as well as weak spots. To ensure the validity of your claim with your insurance company, you will also want to make sure that your photos and videos are clearly stamped with the date and time.
After acquiring the necessary documentation, it’s time to research your insurance policy. Check to see what your insurance policy covers and research your deductible and coverage limits. Some insurance policies have limitations on how long you can wait after a storm to have roof repairs covered under the policy, so you may want to check these as soon as possible.
Get an Estimate from a Roofing Contractor
The next step to filing a roof insurance claim is to reach out to a roofing contractor. Picking the right roofing contractor will require some research. Search for professionals who are licensed, insured, and experienced. Reputable companies will have consistently good reviews from past customers and will be in good standing with trade organizations.
High-quality roofing contractors should serve as a reliable source of advice for property owners to lean on during this process. After providing an inspection of your roof, they can help you document the damage as well as take measurements of the roof and damaged areas. A local roofing contractor can likely work out a repair plan for you and provide an estimate as to the potential cost of the repairs. If you’re looking for an experienced roofing company, Jackson Contractors has years of experience helping homeowners reap the full benefit of their claims.
File Your Roof Insurance Claim
After a roofing contractor inspects and evaluates the condition of your roof, report the incident to your insurance provider. According to the Insurance Information Institute, wind and hail accounted for the largest share of insurance claims in America with an average loss of $11,200. Once your insurance receives the claim, they will assign an adjuster to come to your house to see the damage in order to verify what has been reported. Insurance adjusters look for a variety of things such as the age of the roof and whether or not the roof has been properly installed. After confirming the damage, the adjuster will give you an estimate as to what the insurance will cover.
It is highly recommended that you have your roofing contractor present while the claims adjuster is performing the evaluation. A professional roofing contractor will ensure all damage to the property is covered and fairly assessed by the adjuster. The contractor may also correct any errors made on behalf of the adjuster. Once you have everything documented and verified by the insurance company, it’s time to repair or fully restore the condition of your roof.
Frequently Asked Questions about Roofing Claims
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about how roof insurance claims work:
1. Will my premium go up if I file a roof insurance claim?
The answer is most likely not. Homeowner’s insurance does not penalize you for filing a claim. Because severe weather events are not caused by you being negligent, most insurance companies will not raise your premium if you file a claim. However, insurance for roofs varies by your insurer as well as geographical location. If you reside in an area with severe weather, the rates may go up even without filing a claim.
2. What if the contractor’s estimate is higher than the adjuster’s estimate?
When this happens this means that the insurance adjuster missed out on documenting some of the damage to your roof. This can be easily resolved by having your roofing contractor reach out to the adjuster (with the right documentation) and letting them know of discrepancies missing from their original adjustment. The insurance company will then send a check covering the additional repairs.
3. Why do insurance companies withhold depreciation?
Insurance companies often withhold depreciation to prevent fraud. They are trying to ensure that you are going to spend the money on actually repairing or replacing your roof. By withholding funds until receiving the final invoice, the insurance company ensures that they do not overpay the roofing company.
In conclusion, the process of filing a roof insurance claim consists of three steps—documenting the damage, hiring a contractor, and performing an inspection with a claims adjuster. Once you’ve gone through the process of filing a claim, you should expect the money to come in two checks as insurance companies withhold depreciation.