If your home has suffered roof damage in a recent storm or from some other cause covered by your homeowners insurance, you need to know how to file roof-related insurance claims.
There are many rules and conditions that may apply, but your new roofing may be partly or fully covered by your policy. You could save a lot of money, so it’s best not to neglect going through the claim-filing process.
Below, we will look at the basics of how roof-related insurance claims work. We will look at what is covered and what isn’t and at how to go through the insurance claims process, step by step.
Will My Homeowners Insurance Cover My Damaged Roof?
Almost every home insurance policy is going to cover your roof and roofing – after all, it’s a part of your main dwelling. But whether or not roof damage is covered will depend on exactly how the roof was damaged.
Your policy is going to cover you for damage due to fire, wind, or hail impacts. It will also cover water damage caused by a storm, including interior damage caused by a roof leak that occurred because of storm damage. It will also cover you for falling tree limbs or debris that did damage to your roof in most circumstances.
Now, that covers most insurance claims you are going to want to make in regard to your roof. But, remember that homeowners insurance does NOT cover roof damage due to ordinary wear and tear, caused by neglect of ordinary roof maintenance, or for intentional damage to a roof. Also, some policies have exclusions for some or all wind and hail damage. You just have to talk to your insurer or review your policy’s stipulations to be sure.
Finally, realize that the amount for which roof damage is covered will vary based on several factors. First of all, your policy will have a limit. Second, roofing over 10 years old will likely be covered based on depreciated value, while roofing under 10 years old is usually covered for full replacement value.
Going Through the Insurance Claims Process for Roof Damage
Once you are sure that your roof has been damaged and that your insurance will cover the damage at least in part, you need to start working on getting the repair done and on filing an insurance claim. Here are the steps you need to take:
1. After the storm or other incident, you should waste no time in walking your lot and surveying the damage. You may be able to see a lot of the damage from a distance with the naked eye, but you can also use binoculars.
2. If you are comfortable using a ladder and walking on a rooftop, then you can further and more closely assess the damage. However, a roof inspector will do that anyway, so it’s not completely essential you do it yourself.
3. The next step is to make sure that any holes in your roof or leakage points are covered with a tarp to prevent further damage. You can call your local roofer to do this for you if you wish – it would likely count as a roofing emergency call and get done fast.
4. Make and coordinate two phone calls. Call a reliable, local roofing contractor without delay and tell them what happened. You will want to call your homeowners insurer next and do the same. Make sure your insurer will cover repairs done by the specific contractor you prefer to have handle the job.
5. Expect a claims adjuster to pay you a visit. You should get a claim number and a date for an insurance adjuster to visit the site and survey the damage. This shouldn’t take long since your insurer understands roofing repairs are urgent matters.
6. Get an accurate estimate. Your insurer might want to just name its own estimate, but it may be best to get a public adjuster or a roofing contractor to give an estimate as well. A roof inspection will be done, and a close estimate will be arrived at as to how much it will cost to bring your roof back into good condition.
7. Gather all necessary documentation. You can get pictures, measurements, descriptions, and other evidence regarding your roof’s post-damage condition yourself, have your roofer do it for you, or a combination of the two. Hopefully, enough information and evidence exists as to your roof’s pre-storm condition if your insurer is only covering based on depreciated value.
8. Decide if you need roof replacement or just a repair. If roof damage is extensive enough or if your roofing was already rather old, you might be better off going with full roof replacement. But if your shingles are pretty new and in good shape except in certain areas where they were recently damaged, spot repair is the way to go.
9. You will need to fill out some paperwork to officially file your claim with your insurer. No one can do this for you since it is your roof and your insurance policy, but a good roofer may be able to talk to and coordinate with your insurance company if the insurer is willing to take those steps.
10. Call your insurer to confirm the claim is accepted and for how much. If your insurer will reimburse you rather than pay upfront, you may want to follow up and make sure you get your full reimbursement amount and get it on time.
These are some of the major steps to take in filing an insurance claim for roofing damage. Insurance claims can be unpleasant, but remember, they save you money so it’s worth going through the process!
To learn more about how to get your roofing repaired or replaced and have it covered by your homeowners insurance as much as possible, contact Sheegog Contracting in Central Florida today!