Finding out that your roof needs to be replaced or repaired can be troubling for many homeowners. Dealing with insurance claims, talking to adjusters and making sure you get reimbursed for all covered damages is a daunting process. Many homeowners are simply unsure about how to file a claim, where the process can be problematic, what types of documentation they need, or what to expect.
To a home insurance company, the roof is the most important part of your house. It’s the gateway to far greater damage claims once it’s damaged. In more than 90 percent of hail or high-wind claims, there is a payout relative to the roof cover, according to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. Insurance companies review roofing claims very carefully and they expect you to provide proper documentation and other information in order to process your claim.
Find Out What Your Policy Covers
The easiest way to know what’s covered or what’s not, is to contact your insurance provider.
Some policies take the age of your roof into account at the time it is damaged. For example, if your roof is less than 10 years old, you may be covered for the full cost of repairing or replacing the damaged section of your roof at the time of the claim. If your roof is more than 10 years old, you may only be reimbursed for the depreciated value of the damaged roof. The depreciated value takes the aging and wearing of your roof into account, meaning its value has decreased prior to any damage occurring.
Some policies will only offer roof damage coverage up to the depreciated value, regardless of the age of your roof. Other policies will cover the full cost of repairing or replacing the damaged section of your roof at the time of the claim, regardless of the age of your roof. In most cases, your insurance company will send an inspector to your home to investigate and verify your claim. If the damage is determined to be from aging, wear and tear, or poor condition of your roof, it will typically be considered normal maintenance, and will not be covered under your policy.
Provide Documentation for Your Claim
To ease the experience of the claims process and to help you receive proper settlement for your loss, take a set of “before” photos of your roof and exterior property. Update the photos whenever you have maintenance or repairs done. After damage occurs, take a set of “after” photos. Document and record the damage as well as any estimates, invoices and bills you receive. Having all of this information on file will help ensure a smooth and hassle-free claims process.
Choose a Contractor with Insurance Expertise
Before you can get work done on your roof that will be covered by insurance, you will need to get an estimate from a professional roofing contractor. In most cases, you can use the roofing company of your choice. Your roofing contractor should be able to help you navigate your way through the roof insurance claims process. Some roofing companies employ Certified Public Adjusters who will deal with your insurance company on your behalf. Look for contractors with extensive experience in providing roof estimates for insurance claims and helping clients navigate the process of getting their roof repair or replacement covered by their insurance company.
The most important thing to remember is that, if you suspect your roof has been damaged, you shouldn’t wait to get it inspected by a roofer. Find out the extent of the damage as soon as possible. This will help expedite the process and also help you avoid further damages that might not be covered under your policy.