When that heavy tree limb dangerously swaying above your house finally makes contact with your roof thanks to a strong wind, you’ll find yourself stuck with the damage and a roofing insurance claim. Insurance claims are a big part of home ownership. Sometimes they’re frustrating, but when you know the steps that need to be taken, they don’t have to be.
Like any other type of insurance claim, documentation is a critical part of the roofing claim process. As you’d take pictures of your damaged vehicle in a car collision, you’d do the same for your roof after it has suffered damage from a storm or incident. But be advised, don’t go climbing your roof if a storm has wreaked havoc on it the night before. When you take photographic evidence of the damage, do so safely.
Write down details of the conditions in which the damage occurred. You’ll need this information to help construct your roofing claim and while communicating with your insurance case manager. Take note of things like weather conditions (did a vicious thunderstorm break a tree branch that smashed your roof?), date when the damage occurred, and if there’s any damage to other parts of your roof or home, like a gutter system or its siding.
Part of the process of having your roof’s damage properly documented is having a professional come to conduct an inspection your roof. A professional roof inspector acts as a trained and certified third party that can back up your roofing claim when your facing your insurance company. The inspector will assess your roof, looking for structural damage that might not be so obvious to the average homeowner. Bonded, insured, and licensed roofing inspectors can analyze the condition of your roof to ensure that it’s in stable condition, or if not, what damages will affect it.
Even if you don’t notice any leaks or clear signs of damage, you should have your roof professionally inspected. This report will make an easy presentation to your insurance company, who may require an inspection anyway. The last thing an insurance company wants is for your roof to have unseen structural damage that could cost more in claims.
Here’s the catch with roofing claims: some insurance companies won’t cover older roofs if it’s close to the time of replacement. For many homeowners, especially for first-time home buyers, this is the ultimate roadblock as they’re stuck with an older roof that’s suffered damage and their insurance company won’t give in to repair it. This policy exclusion tends to be enforced for roofs that are 20 years or older, as that’s the time for a homeowner to replace it.
Another tricky exclusion tucked away in homeowner’s insurance is the roofing claim won’t go through even if you’ve put new shingles over the old roof, as many insurance companies don’t view this move as a by-the-book replacement. The insurance provider could shoot down your roofing claim for repairs because they still view your roof as an old roof.
Roofing claims can also be rejected by an insurance company if the provider finds that the damage occurred because of improper roof maintenance. Insurance companies will have a contractor and roofing expert conduct an inspection of your roof, and if they do discover the roof was improperly maintained on your part, then you could be faced with paying for the repairs out of pocket.
So, you’ve logged and documented the damage, you had a professional examine your roof, and you’ve reached out to your insurance provider and established a roofing claim—what’s next?
After your insurance adjuster has personally verified the damages, they will proceed to write an estimate for the repairs. Insurance companies differ in their estimate procedures, so it’s important to ask your adjuster any questions that you may have about their process. After the estimate has been approved, you’ll receive your claim check (which is usually about half of the estimated overall cost).
Based on how insurance providers operate, the roofer charged with completing the repairs will have a specific time frame to work with to fix the damages. Upon the roof’s completion, your roofer will send an invoice to your insurer with the final costs. Then, your insurance company will issue you a check that covers the second half of the repairs.
“The squeaky wheel gets the grease” is a perfect motto to encapsulate the trials and tribulations of dealing with a stubborn insurance provider. If you have a roofing claim and seem to be facing obstacle after obstacle with your provider, don’t give up. You have insurance for a reason, and despite being notorious penny-pinchers, it’s the job and purpose of your insurance provider to help you through these repairs.
When it comes to getting your roof replaced, most companies will try to sell you short of promises and expectations. At Feldco, we provide good quality asphalt shingles, local services and professional installation to homeowners across the Midwest. That’s why thousands of homeowners go with Feldco Roofing. Speak to a product specialist about roof replacement and get a free quote online today.