Filing a home insurance claim for roof damage can seem intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be.
The key to successfully navigating the insurance claim process is being prepared. That means taking detailed photos of the damage, keeping records of correspondence with your agent and insurance adjuster, and getting estimates from roofing contractors.
Read Your Policy
One of the best things you can do to prepare for your roofing insurance claim processes is to read your policy. This will give you a better understanding of what is and isn’t covered by your insurance policy and help you navigate the process more smoothly.
Your roof insurance policy will either have actual cash value (ACV) or replacement cost value (RCV). Whether you have ACV or RCV coverage, your insurer will initially pay you the depreciated value of your damaged property minus your deductible.
A line item for general contractor overhead and profit will follow this. This is the amount your contractor needs to cover costs related to running their business and coordinating your roofing project and their desired profit margin.
Inspect Your Roof
You must have a competent roofing company, such as Peak to Peak Roofing & Exteriors, inspect your roof. Ideally, you want the contractor to have experience working with insurance companies on roof-related matters.
Underlying damage can be hard to spot with an untrained eye. A professional can help you identify damage to your roof and advocate for you during the inspection process.
During the claims review process, your insurance company may request additional information or documentation from you. Be sure to respond promptly, keeping the claims process moving forward.
Be aware that some policies provide coverage based on replacement cost (new at current pricing), while others cover your roof based on actual cash value (older and showing wear). Knowing what kind of policy you have to decide which type of repairs to pursue is essential.
Get an Estimate
After the insurance adjuster inspects your roof and determines your valid damage, they will issue a check to cover repairs or replacements. This is an excellent time to get a quote from a roofing contractor with insurance claims experience. Be wary of door-to-door “storm chasers” who offer too-good-to-be-true prices and may leave your roof vulnerable to additional storm damage as they rush through the work.
It is essential to take multiple pictures of your roof before and after the storm and document any other damage you find on your property (e.g., trees that fell during the shower). This will help you provide your insurance company with a complete and accurate description of your roof damage. You will likely receive checks from the insurance company made out to you and your mortgage company.
Communicate With Your Insurance Company
The insurance company will need to know what happened and the extent of the damage. You will need to document this through photos and a description. You will also need to be able to show that you reported the damage promptly. This is often a requirement of the policy, and failure to do so can lead to a denial of your claim.
As you work through the process, take notes and keep records of all communications. This will help you understand the claims process better and avoid future confusion. This will also help you to communicate more effectively with your adjuster and the insurance company. If you receive a denial letter, gather new evidence, such as updated repair estimates or expert opinions from contractors or engineers, and submit it to the insurance company for review.
Hire a Roofing Contractor
When homeowners discover their roof has storm damage, they often contact a roofing contractor to handle repairs and replacements. However, not all roofing contractors are created equal.
While reputable online platforms connect homeowners with contractors, there are also shady ones that are not worth your time or money. Ensure you vet a contractor by requesting references from previous customers and checking that they are certified to install roofing products (to ensure the warranties will be honored).
Also, beware of roofing contractors who require upfront payment or sign an agreement before your insurance claim has been approved. These contractors are most likely trying to take advantage of you by taking your money without doing any work.