What should you do if you need to file a roof claim? It can be a daunting, nerve-wracking, and difficult process. Or does it have to be?
5 Easy Steps on How to file a roof repair insurance claim
- Find Out What’s Covered: Contact your insurance provider in order to find out what’s covered. Different companies take different approaches when handling claims. Ex: Some will take into account the age of your roof, if this is the case most policies will cover the full cost of repair or replacement if your roof is less than 10 years old. However if it is more than ten years old you’ll only be compensated for the depreciated value. Depreciated value is consisted of the wearing and aging that have occurred over time prior to the damage. Some plans on the other hand only offer coverage up to depreciation regardless of the age of the roof. Others will only cover the damaged part of the roof at the time of the claim. The best way to know is to read and have a thorough understanding of you policy/call your agent.
- Inspect the damage: The best move is to hire a roofing contractor to do this for you. They will be able to give you a professional inspection report that you can file alongside the claim. Just because your roof suffers no cosmetic damage externally does not mean that significant damage has not occurred inside. An expert will be able to uncover such damages. Lastly it’s important to keep in mind that some policies have time limits for filing claims, as such once that time frame elapses you will be unable to claim even for damages that you may not have noticed initially.
- Take Pictures: This is the ideal way to document damages as typically pictures supplement the roof inspection report. If you have a contractor inspect the damage they will be able to help you with this and even offer written explanation alongside each picture. This makes it easy to understand repairs and possible costs, and in some cases damage may not warrant filing a claim. In some cases your insurance provider may need to know about the damage even if you work with a preferred contractor, this helps to prevent possible disputes in the future should an issue arise. Even after maintenance has been done take photos and label the roof with date and time.
- Contact Your Insurance Provider: You now have all the details and paperwork necessary to begin the claim process, reach out to your provider and follow the procedure and if you have questions they will walk you through the process. You will be given a claim reference number and an agent that will manage your claim. You will want to make sure that all bills, receipts, estimates, and other paperwork is documented. If a disaster affected your roof and was widespread your insurer will handle claims according to urgency. Those with extensive damage will be given priority and you will be given a possible date for an agent to visit your home. When the agent visits your home they may want to conduct a separate inspection, and will reject the claim if damage is due to normal wear and tear. Submit the inspection report and repair estimates to the claims adjuster, you’ll need to wait until your claim is approved to proceed with repairs or replacement. After review your claim can either be rejected or approved, even if they approve it they may give you an amount that you feel is too low. If this is the case you can appeal the amount in court if you feel it’s necessary.
- Find a Good Roofing Contractor: If you feel your claim amount is satisfactory the next step is to find a roofing contractor. Take the time to review your options and talk to them about the damage and possible repair options they suggest. (Quick Tip, most Building Component Manufacturers and Local Distributors of products often have a list of preferred contractors they are happy to refer to you). Remember to work with licensed and insured roofers only, there are always fly by night stormchaser roofing companies that approach homeowners during disasters with offers “too good to be true”. Ask for estimates from different companies, most reputable roofers offer free estimates.
Final Thoughts: While it may seem impossible and incredibly stressful handling a roof claim doesn’t have to be difficult. The best way to work is with a professional roofing contractor. Just keep in mind some insurers may not approve your claim if a professional roofer did not do the inspection.