Storm Damaged Roofs: How the Insurance Claims Process Works
Following a weather event, one of the first things you should do is to contact an inspector to check your roof. Not all signs of storm damage are apparent until it has spread around your home, so make sure to have your roof professionally inspected.
If your roof has suffered from damage, the next step is to file an insurance claim. Read on to discover how the claims process works for hail, storm, and wind-damaged residential roofing systems.
How Do Insurance Claims Work?
Contacting a Roofer for Inspection
When a windstorm or hail storm passes by your area, hire a professional to inspect your roof for damage. If there is a hole in your roofing system or an active leak, your contractor should place a tarp over the affected area to prevent further damage or flooding.
Getting in Touch With Your Insurer
You will then need to contact your insurance provider to start the insurance claims process. Do not delay this step because many insurance companies set deadlines for filing claims. Contact your insurer as soon as possible to help ensure they will not refuse your claim.
Adjuster Assess the Damage
Your insurance provider may advise working with a local restoration company if your roof suffered from severe damage. It is to secure the area and prevent more problems. Expect your insurer to send an adjuster to inspect your insurance claim, evaluate the damage, and decide which the company will cover and not for your claim.
Your Insurer Assess Your Claim
Once your insurance company has approved your claim, they will cover the cost of restoring your residential roofing system to its pristine condition. Your insurer may also pay for your roof replacement costs, if necessary, and included in your policy.
What Home Insurance Does Not Cover
Different kinds of roof damage are not covered by home insurance, including natural wear and tear on older roofs. Failure to properly maintain your roof can cause your insurer to reject your claim. For instance, if you’ve ignored damage on your roof and it starts to leak after a few months, your insurer may not cover for repair costs. It’s the same for failing to take necessary measures to protect your roof after a storm, such as placing a tarp over damaged areas of the system.
Helpful Tips on Filing Roof Storm Damage Insurance Claims
Get an Inspection Immediately
When the conditions are safe and the weather is clear, go outside and check your roof from the ground. Keep in mind that it’s not safe for homeowners to climb up their roofs, especially after a storm. For your safety, it’s best to leave the job to skilled roofing contractors. Some insurance companies require you to file a claim as soon as the damage occurred. Just because your roof seems like it’s in good shape after a storm, doesn’t mean it is.
Ask Your Insurer About Your Coverage
Before filing an insurance claim, you must know what your policy includes and what it doesn’t. For example, some providers only cover repairs on roofs that are not older than a decade. Meanwhile, others are specific about the causes of damage they cover, so make sure to review your policy.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions
Asking the right questions can help you navigate your insurance claims process. You can ask your insurer questions about your coverage and whether your claim exceeds your deductible. Inquire how long it will take them to process your claims or if you’ll need to get estimates for repairs.
Document the Damage
When filing an insurance claim, it is essential to submit a detailed explanation of the damage and the work that needs to be completed. You should also provide cost estimates from reputable roofing companies. You should take photos and videos of the affected areas as they will help your insurance claims process. Make sure your pictures are clear and label them with date and time. Most times, these visuals weigh more than written explanations.
Don’t Wait Long Before Contacting Your Insurer
It is always best to contact your insurance provider to notify them about the condition of your roof. Again, it’s your responsibility as a homeowner to make sure necessary steps are taken to prevent further damage and flooding. Moreover, your insurer may also ask you to submit results from professional roof inspections as well as estimates.
Don’t Throw Anything Away Unless You’ve Contacted Your Insurer
Many insurance companies ask homeowners to show storm-damaged items or belongings to the adjuster. However, if your municipality has rules about disposing of materials that they deem are not safe, take photos before throwing them away. These photographs can help with your claims process.
Work With a Roofer With Insurance Claims Experience
No matter which service you need, only work with licensed and insured roofing companies. You’re more likely to maximize your reimbursement by hiring a roofer with experience in the insurance claims process.
As much as possible, hire a local roofer for your project, specifically one with a physical address. Doing so can help you avoid storm chasers or out-of-town contractors who take advantage of homeowners after weather extremes. You can also ask for referrals from your friends, family, neighbors and colleagues. If possible, obtain at least three estimates from different contractors. It will give you an idea about the cost of your roof replacement or repairs and help you avoid being overcharged.
Keep a Record of Your Conversations and Transactions
Keeping a record of everyone to talk to regarding your insurance claim can ease up the process for you. Make a list of the names of people you have contacted. Include their complete names, position and contact information, as well as the date and time you’ve reached them. With an organized claim diary, your claims process will not only be easier but also simpler.
Dry Tech Construction is one of the area’s best roofing contractors. Our team is here to help protect your home, investment and family. We only work with leading manufacturers in the industry to provide you the best products and services. Call us at (707) 328-5216 or fill out our contact form to get a free estimate.