Everyone takes their roof for granted until a storm, a fallen tree, or even those pesky neighborhood squirrels cause havoc. If your roof is damaged, you may want to file a homeowners insurance claim to lower your out-of-pocket expenses. However, it may be challenging to know where to begin.
Unfortunately, if you fail to follow the correct procedures while making a roof claim, your insurance carrier may refuse your claim due to an administrative error. This article will outline the four steps to obtaining homeowners insurance to cover the cost of roof replacement.
1. Understand your roofing insurance policy.
Check your homeowners’ policy for roof coverage when you discover damage to your roof. If you do not pay much attention to your policy, this may need some investigation, but the information will also guide your financial considerations about roof repairs. You can also ask your insurance agent for a copy of your policy.
Most insurance companies provide two types of roof insurance: repair coverage and replacement coverage. Repair coverage often reimburses the homeowner for a percentage of the cost of repairs. Replacement coverage, on the other hand, pays for replacing a damaged roof. These plans are more expensive and make filing a claim difficult. That is why it is critical to document the damage and file a claim as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, homeowners insurance will not cover all roof damage. Your insurance, location, and the cause of the damage determine your coverage. A hail storm, for example, that damages a roof may qualify for coverage because it is an exceptional and unpreventable event. However, due to the frequency of such catastrophes, or because the homeowner lacks hurricane-related coverage or did not make appropriate preparations, a hurricane that damages a roof may not be covered. If you or an untrained (or unlicensed!) the roofer caused the damage, your roof replacement will most likely not be compensated.
If you have questions about roof coverage, contact your insurance agent and ask for more information.
2. Photograph the damage and notify your insurance company.
Once you’ve determined that the damage to your roof is covered by your homeowners’ insurance (or it should be), the next step is to document the damage. Take numerous photographs, not only of the exterior damage but also of the interior of your home. If you have a tall enough ladder and feel safe climbing it, you can shoot shots from there or use a drone with a camera, which is an even safer option. If you can’t properly assess all of the damage, call an experienced roofing firm for an inspection—better it’s to be safe than sorry.
Take note of the date of the damage as well. If your roof was destroyed by a storm, such as a tornado or a hurricane, look for articles online that correspond to the dates of these destructive events to support your claim.
Then, go to your insurance company’s website to find out how to file a claim. Many policies demand the homeowner to file their claim within a specific time frame following the occurrence. You should be aware of your insurance company’s protocol, as your claim may be refused if you wait too long.
3. Conduct roofing company research and hire the most reputable.
After submitting your roof insurance claim, contact a reliable roofing firm with insurance claims experience to do a roofing inspection. They can inspect the damage and produce a report for your insurance company. If you do not engage professionals to inspect the roof, your insurance company may pay someone to do it on their behalf. Because this third-party inspector works for the insurance company, they may seek any justification to deny your claim. However, by taking action and hiring your inspectors, you increase your chances of getting your insurance to pay for roof repairs.
But how do you pick a roofing company?
To begin, seek a firm that offers roof replacement and installation for the most typical roofing materials, such as shingles, tile, and metal roofing. A reliable roofing company should also have a website and a Google My Business page with customer reviews.
Make sure the roofers you hire have experience dealing with insurance claims since this will allow them to interact with your insurance company and provide proof that your claim is valid.
A reputable roofing firm will replace your roof effectively without causing more damage or costing you an exorbitant fee. If you choose roofers with a bad (or no) reputation, your insurance claims may be denied in the future due to incorrect previous installations.
4. Watch out for insurance scams and storm chasers.
Scammers have the potential to take advantage of you when insurance is involved. Scammers will find canvas areas after a significant storm with the promise of a free roof; be warned that this is most likely not a reputable enterprise. The people coming door to door are trained salespeople who will do everything they can to persuade you to sign on the dotted line.
Some sources of roof damage are covered by insurance, but not all. A worn-out roof does not warrant an insurance claim, but something is wrong if the salesperson claims it does. They may also argue that the damage is so severe that you must act immediately. Another strategy is to imply that they will give you a good deal because they are in the neighborhood, but you must move quickly. These aggressive sales closing practices are red flags that the company is not authentic.
There are a few precautions you may take to identify fraudsters. For one thing, you should request a copy of their liability insurance and any other credentials that a trustworthy roofing company should have. It’s also preferable if they have a physical presence in the neighborhood. Inquire for an address and a business license. Finally, look for online reviews to determine if there are any concerns about this company.
5. Follow the next steps in your roof replacement claim.
Your insurance company can decide once you submit your claim and hire a roofing business to provide supporting documentation. The insurance agent would notify you if your claim were approved or refused after their allotted time limit (typically about 15 days). If they decline your claim, you can appeal the judgment. These procedures vary depending on the insurance company, so visit your insurance representative for help.
If your roofing claim is approved, you can begin working with the contractors you have chosen to execute your new roof installation. You should have your roof regularly inspected once it has been replaced. Routine maintenance keeps your roof in good condition. It will make future roofing claims easier to process because you will have written reports and images documenting the roof’s previous state.
Having a reliable roofing contractor is essential for getting insurance claims approved and having your roof replaced most cost-effectively. By doing research, checking credentials, and avoiding storm chasers and scam artists, you can ensure that you pick a trustworthy roofing firm and get the best results from your insurance claim.
Contact Us for Your Repair and Replacement Needs
Have a damaged roof in the Dayton, OH, area? Need to file an insurance claim? WIW Roofing is here to assist you with all your roof repair and replacement needs. Just give us a call so we can help!