This article has been updated for 2020.
It can be frustrating to file an insurance claim for your roof replacement after a terrible storm or a natural disaster has occurred. You may have a lot of pieces to pick up and put back together, and the last thing anyone wants to think about is sitting on the phone. But it is crucial that you handle the claim in a timely manner. You want to avoid any damage getting worse. Here are some tips for working through your claim.
Your Warranty VS. Your Insurance
Warranties usually expire after a specified time period, or only apply in certain situations. For example, a materials-only warranty may only cover faulty roofing materials – it will not cover damage caused by a storm or the roof’s age.
Your homeowner’s insurance is different. This coverage is what you will need for damage caused by inclement weather, such as storms with high winds or hail. Many policies can also cover roof replacement costs for roofs over a certain age. Remember to thoroughly check your policy to be familiar with what it covers.
Assess and Document the Damage
The first step is to go outside and record anything that appears to be out of place. You want to make sure to document the damage with photos, in case the claims department requests further proof. Whatever you do, make sure not to get on top of the roof. You may cause further damage, and it may be a safety hazard as well. Call a professional roofing contractor to handle going on top of the house.
Call a Professional Roofer for Inspection
An expert roofing contractor will be able to help you get pictures from the top of the roof, depending on the severity of the aftermath. Your roofing contractor will let you know when it’s best to reach out to your insurance provider. If a claim isn’t necessary, your roofer should be able to provide you with other options for repairing the damage. Make sure you get a reputable roofing contractor. They can give you tips on how to file a proper claim to avoid delay or denial.
A note about avoiding scams…
- The spring of 2020 has seen a lot of hail storms in South and Central Texas. Storm and hail damage are some of the most common reasons that homeowners file roof replacement claims. Because of this, after a storm you may find “storm chasers” coming to your door offering to fix your roof cheaply. Be cautious of these offers as they can leave you in a worse position than you were before. For example, some roofers follow storms around the state soliciting cheap repairs. When you end up having problems with a repair, the roofer you worked with will likely be long gone.
- In addition, roofers that offer to cover your deductible are engaging in insurance fraud. Learn more about how to avoid this “free roof” scam here.
Following Up with the Insurance Company
If your roofing contractor determines that it’s necessary to involve the insurance company, you’ll need to make a claim. If you have an older roof, it is possible they may cover a portion of it if not the entire roof. Make sure you ask your insurance agent the necessary questions in order to get anything and everything done in a timely manner. Timing is important when it comes to filing insurance claims. Certain companies set limitations and restrictions. You want to be fully aware of any restrictions so that the process doesn’t take longer than needed. Here are a few questions you may want to ask your agent:
- How long does it take to process a claim?
- When should I expect the adjuster to come inspect the house?
- What repairs will the insurance cover?
- Are there any special requirements or limitations?
Working with Your Insurance Agent
The insurance agent will then set up an appointment for the adjuster to come by your home and inspect the roof to take note of the damage. The amount of money you will get for the roof will be based on the depreciated value of the roof. The claims process may take a while; make sure to have a contingency plan for any excessive damage to hold you off till the repairs are made. Once the claim is processed and approved, the insurance agent or the adjuster will reach out to you with the resolution.
Getting Your Roof Repaired
Once your claim is in motion you should have your roofing contractor come back for assistance with the repairs. Filing a roof replacement claim can become a long process. Make sure to have some photos, if possible, of the roof prior to the damage. It will give your roofer more information on what steps to take to get your roof repaired exactly how you want it.
Looking for a professional roofing contractor to inspect your roof, or need help with a roof replacement claim? Contact Divided Sky Roofing and Exteriors, a San Marcos roofing company, for more information.