When a big storm or other weather event leaves your roof damaged, it can be tempting to start repairs immediately. While you don’t need to wait until your insurance company pays out, it’s essential to take the proper steps before scheduling a cost estimate or undertaking any repairs. You must make sure you can prove the cause and extent of the damage to get the most out of your claim. Homeowner’s policies generally cover most roof damage, but they will look hard at the cause. It’s essential to check your policy to see how your provider handles roof insurance claims. If you have worked with a reputable roofing company doing regular inspections, those records may be helpful in the claims process. In addition, any service should include a warranty. The cost of replacement for different roofs varies considerably, as do deductibles and the amount of actual cash needed for replacement cost coverage. Using quality materials and regular roof inspections are also necessary. If your roof was in poor condition to begin with, it might be too late for a professional roofing contractor to do simple repairs. You may require a roof replacement after severe storm damage from a wind storm. When buying or selling a home, one of the items on an inspection report that mortgage companies and mortgage lenders pay attention to is the roof’s current condition. They also factor in any anticipated repair costs depending on the type of roof. As a consumer, it helps to have regular conversations with your insurance agent, keep your homeowners’ insurance policy updated, and accessible copies of all your documentation.
Insurers Covers These Types Of Roof Damage
- Hail damage.
- Lightning strikes.
- Falling objects (such as a tree in a windstorm).
- “Acts of God” (generally considered events outside human control, like natural disasters).
Insurers May Not Cover These Types Of Roof Damage
- You have an old roof (10-20 years or older, depending on definitions).
- The roof has not been maintained, which leads to roof damage.
- Intentional or accidental damage on the homeowner’s part.
- You live in a state with windstorm or hail storm exclusions (states where hurricanes and hail storms are common, such as Florida, Texas, and Oklahoma)
Process For Filing A Roof Damage Claim
If you have roof damage that needs repairing, you have to file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance company. Navigating the process of filing a claim can vary slightly by the company but generally, the steps include the following:
Document the damage. Be sure to take as many pictures as you can of the roof damage. If possible, take photos of what caused the damage (such as a fallen tree branch). Take these photos before making any temporary repairs to the roof (such as removing debris and affixing a tarp).
Contact your insurance company. Call your agent as soon as you can to let them know there is damage to your roof, the extent of the damage (from what you can tell), and what caused it. Confirm whether the damage (and cause) is covered by your policy and how long you have to file a claim. If the roof damage is from vandalism, be sure to file a police report before contacting your insurance company. These steps will save time and money.
File the paperwork. The insurance company can provide you with the paperwork you need to file a claim. Submitting this paperwork initiates the claim process, and completing as much of the paperwork as possible before your initial submission will reduce the filing time.
Save receipts for repairs. Save all of the receipts related to securing the roof from further damage and any repairs made by you or a professional. Avoid having a professional roofer make the roof repairs until the insurance company approves the claim. Most insurance companies have a list of approved contractors for repairs, and going outside that network may mean they won’t cover the cost. If your home is uninhabitable and you have to stay in a hotel, your insurance company may reimburse you for your stay.
Expect a visit from an insurance adjuster. The insurance company may send out an insurance adjuster to inspect and assess the damage and condition of your roof. The adjuster will take many pictures of the roof damage, what caused it, and the exterior of your home. The adjuster works with the insurance company and the roof repair company to determine the damage and the cost of repairing or replacing the roof.
Know your appeal rights. Depending on the circumstances, your insurance provider may deny the roof claim or pay less than the repair or replacement cost. You have the right to hire a public adjuster to assess the damage and then provide a copy of the report to the insurance company to appeal the payout amount or denial of the claim.
Do I have to file a claim before repairing my roof?
It is best to file a roof damage claim before repairing the roof. The insurance company may require you to work with an approved roof contractor to make the repairs. In some cases, the insurance company might decide to replace the roof rather than repair it. You can hire a professional to tarp the roof or protect it in some other way until the complete repair or replacement has occurred.
Does Filing Homeowner’s Insurance Claim Raise My Premium?
Several different factors go into deciding on an increase in insurance premiums for a roof damage insurance claim. One factor is the number of insurance claims you have had in the last ten years. If you have several claims in one to three years, then your insurance premiums are more likely to increase than if it’s the only claim you’ve made in the last ten years. Other factors are the cause of the claim, the total cost of the claim, and the state where you live.
How long will it take to settle my claim?
Claim processing times can vary depending on the type and severity of the damage, how many other claims the company is processing (as in the case of a natural disaster), how quickly you make a claim, and when an adjuster is available to assess the damage. Once the claim is settled, it can take 30 to 60 days to receive the claim check. Some states have laws requiring the time for a check to be received within 30 days of settlement.
Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Roof Leaks?
Homeowner’s insurance may or may not cover roof leaks, depending on what caused the roof leak. If a covered peril caused the roof leak, then homeowner’s insurance should cover it. Insurance tends not to cover roof leaks if the leak is due to an older roof, neglected or poorly maintained roof or something the homeowner did to damage the roof.
Will my claim be denied because my roof is old?
An insurance claim for roof damage may be denied because of the age of the roof. If the roof is too old or the damage is caused by normal wear and tear, it is unlikely that your insurance policy will cover the cost to repair the damage or replace the roof. SFGate estimates the average life expectancy of an asphalt shingle roof is 20 to 40 years, while wood shingles should last for 30 years and fiberglass shingles should last 50 years.
Blue Nail Roofing has a Master Elite contractor status awarded by the largest roofing manufacturer in North America, GAF. Only 2% of contractors in the US meet the rigorous standards to achieve this status, which means you can be assured you are making a good choice when you select the professionals at Blue Nail to execute your home and business roofing repairs. Call today to schedule a professional evaluation!
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