The Homeowner’s Guide to Navigating Roofing Claims with Insurance
When your roof is damaged by extreme weather, it can be incredibly stressful. You might be concerned for your family’s safety if your home’s stability is weakened. You may worry about further damage being done to the house because the structure has been compromised. On top of all this, you’ll need to deal with roofing insurance claims.
Filing a roofing damage insurance claim can be a difficult, confusing task. It often involves insurance adjusters, roofing contractors, your insurance provider, and maybe even your mortgage company. With all that, navigating the entire process can be exhausting.
Fortunately, there are some tips and tricks that can help make the process a little bit simpler. Find out everything you need to know about roofing claims with insurance in this handy homeowner’s guide.
Filing a Roofing Insurance Claim
Has a torrential downpour, tropical storm, or heavy snowfall left your roof in shambles? Did you wake up to find the shingles blown away, gutters hanging off the edge, and a gaping hole exposing your home to the elements?
Obviously, you’ve got a serious problem on your hands that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. What do you do first?
Document the Damage
The very first step in the roofing insurance claim process is to document the damage. You’re going to need a lot of solid evidence of the damage that was done to your home so that it can be submitted along with your claim.
Use a digital camera or your smartphone to take high-quality photographs of all of the damage. Make sure that you photograph every hole, scrape, scratch, and more. Try to make these pictures as detailed as possible to show the extent of the damage your roof incurred.
Make sure to take pictures from different angles—from the left, right, and below. Roofing experts recommend taking many photos of your home and the surrounding area to show that the damage was the result of an extreme weather event and not homeowner negligence.
Check What Your Insurance Covers
Most insurance companies will only cover weather-related roofing damage that is caused by certain qualifying events or factors. This typically includes the following:
- Lightning strikes
- Falling objects
Check the details of your specific insurance policy to make sure that the damage your roof has incurred will be covered.
It’s worth noting that extreme weather is not the only event that may damage a roof. Some insurance companies will cover roofing damage if it was the result of vandalism. If your roof has been damaged by vandalism, you are required to file a police report prior to contacting your insurance provider.
Many insurance companies adhere to specific stipulations when it comes to roofing coverage. While your roof may have in fact been damaged by extreme weather or vandalism, it might not be eligible for coverage if it meets any of the following criteria:
It’s An Older Roof
Many insurance companies will not cover roofs that are over a certain age. This often refers to roofs that are more than 20 years old, but some insurance providers will not cover roofs that are more than 10 years old.
The Roof Was Not Well Maintained By the Owner
When your roof shows signs of homeowner negligence, it is more likely to suffer all types of damage. If your roof was not well maintained prior to the severe weather, your insurance company is unlikely to cover the damage, since the roof was already not in good shape.
You Live in a State That’s Prone to Extreme Weather
If you live in a state that is prone to certain extreme weather events, your insurance company may not cover certain damage. For example, hurricanes are very common in Florida and tornadoes are very common in Midwestern states like Kansas. If you live in these areas, you might not have full roofing coverage for these types of weather events.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Once you’ve documented the damage and reviewed your policy, you’ll want to contact your insurance provider to begin the claims process. Call them as soon as possible to notify them of the type and extent of the damage sustained. They will discuss your coverage with you and confirm how long you have to file a claim.
File Your Paperwork
Your insurance company will provide paperwork to file your claim. Once submitted, the claims process is officially initiated.
Have a Roofing Contractor Assess the Damage
After you’ve filed your claim, you’ll want to start searching online for “roofers near me.” That’s right; you need to get a good roofing contractor out to your property so that a professional can assess the damage.
Some insurance companies require that you use an approved roofing contractor within your network to assess the roof and make any necessary repairs.
Many roofing companies offer emergency services when it comes to extreme weather damage. Damage from thunderstorms and other severe weather is usually completely unexpected. Homeowners never know the level of destruction that such a weather event is going to cause. Emergency roofing appointments help homeowners get their residential roof repair underway more quickly.
In some cases, the damage may be so severe that it would be more cost-effective to have a total roof replacement. A professional roofing contractor will work with your insurance provider to determine whether residential roof replacement is the best route.
Ensure the Work Will be Covered
Whether you need a roof repair or replacement, you should wait for your insurance company to approve your claim prior to moving forward. That is the best way to ensure that all of your roof work will be covered.
If you must have any work done beforehand, keep all of the receipts to show your insurance provider. If the damage is so severe that your home is uninhabitable until the repairs are done, you may need to stay in a hotel. If this is the case, your insurance provider may reimburse you for the hotel stay, so save those receipts as well.
Expect a Visit From an Insurance Adjuster
Sometimes, insurance companies send out an insurance adjuster to assess the damage before you have any repair work done. The adjuster will document the damage and work with the roofing contractor to determine what work should be done and how much it will cost.
When you initially speak with your insurance provider about filing your claim, ask whether an adjuster will need to visit your property as part of the process.
Know Your Appeal Rights
In the event that your claim is denied by the insurance company, you have the right to appeal the decision. If your insurance company approves the claim, but will only pay a fraction of what the repair or residential roof replacement will cost, you also have the right to appeal.
If this happens, you should be able to hire a public adjuster to assess the damage and appeal the claim for a full reimbursement of the repair or replacement costs.
Have Any Necessary Repairs Completed
Once the damage has been assessed, the best course of action has been determined, and your claim has been approved, you can move forward with residential roof repair or replacement if you have not already done so.
It is important to note the full roofing insurance claims process can take 30 to 60 days in some cases. In these instances, you may need to hire a company to tarp your roof while you stay in a hotel until the necessary work can be completed.
When this happens, you can provide receipts and documentation to receive reimbursement from your insurance provider.
While sustaining roof damage is never pleasant, we hope these tips will make the process just a bit easier. If your roof was recently damaged by severe weather or you have any other roof repair needs contact the experts at Four Seasons Kanga Roof today!