Find A Roofing Contractor
Now its time to reach out to at least three roofing contractors. Each will assess the repair or roof replacement cost and offer quotes that youll give to your claims adjuster later on.
Most insurance companies prefer that a homeowner have a roofer look at it first before they file a claim, says Ami Feller Wells, owner of Feller Roofing in New Braunfels, Texas. They dont want to waste the trip if theres no damage.
Find A Reputable Roofing Contractor
If you didnt do this as part of the step above, now is the time.
Your best ally in a fight over roof repair will be a licensed roofing contractor, not an attorney. Make sure they have:
- A stellar reputation
- Experience dealing with insurance claims
A good roofer will help with the next few steps before repairing the roof.
Prevent Further Damage!
Most homeowners policies require you to cover the damaged roof immediately.
Did you know?Claims for secondary damage are usually denied when the necessary steps have not been taken to protect the roof.
Heres a common and unfortunate scenario:
Storm 1 blows a bunch of shingles off a roof.
Storm 2, a week later, brings wind-driven rain that gets into the unprotected home and destroys everything it touches ceilings, walls, flooring, electronics and more. This is why many homes must be gutted or demolished after hurricanes.
Bad storms damage hundreds or thousands of homes in their path. This makes it impossible for roofers to make quick repairs.
Instead, your roofing company will get the damaged areas tarped and secured to protect your home and your wallet. Once this is done, the roof should be OK until repairs can be made.
Roof Replacements That Homeowners Insurance Wont Pay For
When it comes to paying for a roof replacement, homeowners insurance can come in handy. However, the insurance will not cover all types of damage. For example, roof leaks are only covered in certain situations. Usually the insurance will cover leaks if they are caused by a risk that is covered in the policy. Also, if the leak happened suddenly and didnt accumulate over the years. You may or may not get the insurance to cover that.
The age of the roof can also determine if the insurance company will approve your roof replacement claim. Typically the insurance will deny your claim if the roof is 15-20 years old. Unless the roof was well-kept and passed the inspection criterias, other companies will pay you the actual cash value of the roof. Meaning, if your roof only has a few damages and has passed the 20 years mark, you will get what the roof is worth after 20 years of depreciation.
In case of damage caused by pests like squirrels, or damage that may not have a negative impact on your home, the insurance company may deny your claim. Regardless, you should always consult with a professional roofing contractor because there are some exceptions.
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Should Homeowner Use Insurance To Replace Damaged Roof
I was wondering how you feel about using homeowners insurance for getting a roof replaced. I have had insurance with the same company since 1995 and never made a claim. I have hail damage, and my roof is 20 years old. So, should I pay for the roof, or should I file insurance to have it fixed? Any advice would be very helpful.
The reason you have homeowners insurance is specifically for the damage you sustained in the hailstorm. If you have substantial damage, we would urge you to contact your insurance company and have them assess the damage. It could be substantial.
You may find that the cost to replace your roof and the amount your insurance company will cover for the damage may not make the claim with the insurance company worth it, but you should assess all that now.
For example, if the cost to replace your roof is $10,000 and the type of insurance you have will only pay the prorated amount of the roof based on the life remaining on it , you might get only $3,333 on a 30-year roof. We dont know what your insurance policy says, but its worth looking at. Also, if your deductible is $10,000, your claim will be within your deductible limits, and youll end up paying the whole amount.
If we knew that our insurance companys obligation was to replace the roof and have us pay only the deductible, wed have been on the phone the day after the hail damage to make our claim.
Catch up on some of Ilyce and Sams previous columns:
Roofing Insurance Claims: What Does Insurance Cover
Your insurance company may cover roof repairs or roof replacement and you can typically find information on roof insurance coverage in the fine print of your insurance policy. Every carrier is different, but New View Roofing will be happy to assist you in making an insurance claim.
Many insurance companies cover roofing claims related to:
- Acts of God, which are events outside human control
- Falling objects
However, your insurance company may choose not to cover your roofing claim if your roof is old, or if you havent maintained it properly.
Likewise, insurance companies typically dont cover intentional or accidental damage, or if your policy has windstorm or hail exclusions.
You should read your policy thoroughly to see what your insurance company will cover and what it wont.
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Will Homeowners Insurance Cover Your Roof Replacement
Imagine this scenario. A strong storm is blowing through your area. Before you know it, you have to get into your homes safe space because of a tornado warning.
Its so loud you can hear the strong winds and feel the thunder shake your home. But as soon as the storm comes, it starts to die down. You and your family are safe. But what about the damage outside?
You go outside expecting the worst, and you get it with extensive roof damage. There are full sections of shingles missing and a tree limb landed on your roof.
No matter what kind of damage the storm caused, your roof is now compromised. This situation is stressful enough, but youll also have to call your insurance company to figure out the next step. Your stress keeps rising because youre wondering if homeowners insurance will even cover your roof damage.
This situation can happen to anyone. Thats why its crucial to know if homeowners insurance covers a roof replacement.
We understand how stressful storm damage and dealing with insurance can be, thats why were going to break down if you can get a new roof through your insurance.
Since 1990, Bill Ragan Roofing has handled hundreds of roof damage insurance claims for the residents of Nashville. We do everything we can to give you the best experience possible during this stressful time. Thats what makes us the insurance experts in the Nashville area.
If You Believe You Have A Roof Damage Claim What Should You Do
The first thing you should to is inspect it and take pictures. It may or may not be obvious when your roof is damaged. For example, after a large hail or windstorm, it is easy to spot when you see missing or damaged tiles on your roof. Find a way to mitigate the roof damage if you can. When your roof is damaged you need to act immediately because the damage, if not addressed, can lead to additional damage to your home. Contact your insurance company so that they may inspect the damage and the claim process can begin. Find a reliable experienced roofing contractor. As property damage attorneys, we work regularly with reliable, experienced roofers.
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Does The Roofer I Choose Matter
The short answer is yes the roofer you choose has an impact on whether your insurance will cover damages or not.
Outsourcing roof installations or repairs to an unskilled or budget contractor can be catastrophic and lead to more long-term costs. You should also never treat your roof as a DIY project and attempt to replace or repair it yourself unless you are skilled enough to perform the work.
Roofing is a highly specialized field and requires years of experience to develop the right skillset. While any roofer can get the job done, only an experienced one can give you the peace of mind that the work will be done correct and if there is a problem they will be around to honor their workmanship warranty.
Inexperienced roofers might not seal the roof properly that can cause potential leaks. To make things worse, insurance wont pay for damages caused by an improperly installed or repaired roof.
Schedule for maintenance, inspections and repairs that may be needed to prevent the most common roof leaks.
Browse through our services to find the right one for you!
What To Expect From The Insurance Company:
Some facts: homeowners will generally have paid insurance premiums for decades and while insurance companies are more than happy to accept the monthly payments, theyre usually very, very conservative to pay out on a claim.
The typical insurance company will try to make the damage out to be a non-covered occurrence, so that they can deny the claim and force you to come out of pocket.
Heres what theyll do:
Unfortunately, while the independent adjuster that will be sent by the company isnt officially an employee of the insurance provider, you can bet your bottom dollar that they certainly dont hire adjusters with a history of finding damage that insurance will pay out on.
In fact, its in the insurance companys best interest to have an inspector who has sight issues – who cant see the damage on the roof. The more claims that are denied means the more money they keep.
The last thing you want is for the adjustment to come back as a bad roofing installation by the contractor 10 years ago, and not because of the storm that just blew off the roof.
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Tips: What To Do If You Get Roof Damage
Protect the home from further damage. If a tornado rips through your neighborhood and tears part of your roof off, protect your home from further damage. In fact, preventing further damage when possible is often a requirement in homeowners policies, and further damage may not be covered. You may need to put up a tarp while you alert your insurer.
Dont let the insurance company boss you around. Insurance companies are a business and may not have your best interests in mind when it comes to paying out roof damage claims. If youre not doing a good job of explaining what they should be paying you, they have no fiduciary obligation.
Youre entitled to fair trade pricing, so make sure you have a solid repair estimate. If you have a large or complicated claim, consider hiring a public adjuster to work on your behalf.
Dont get multiple estimates. If you get multiple estimates, your insurance company will want to see all of them and may only accept the lowest one. The lowest estimate may not be the best quality.
Consider roof material that can get you an insurance discount. Research materials that will be more durable than your past roof. Your insurance company might be willing to offer a discount for impact-resistant roofing. Check with the insurer on roof material discounts before you make a final pick.
What If Your Insurance Company Partially Denies Your Roof Damage Claim What If Your Insurance Company Issues A Partial Payout For Your Roof Damage
It is very common for an insurance company to deny part of a roof damage claim or to only issue a partial payout. Studies have shown that an insurance company will end up paying 40% to 80% of the true cost of claims. This will result in an enormous savings to them and enormous dent in the homeowner’s pocket. If your insurance company fails to issue proper payment for your roof, you need to call an attorney right away. Under Florida Building Code 708.1.1, roofs that sustain major damage may need to be replaced entirely. The state has a 25% roof replacement rule. If more than 25% of the roof of an existing home must be repaired or replaced, the entire roof must conform to the requirements of the state’s code. So, if your roof sustains that amount of damage, you may be entitled to a full roof replacement under the terms of your policy.
Similarly, it is important to find out the manufacturer of your roofing material. If your roofing tiles are no longer manufactured, then it is not possible to do a partial roof replacement. This is a very common scenario when roofs are a few years older. A qualified roofing expert can look into your material manufacturer and see if replacements can even be obtained.
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How Much Does A New Roof Save You On Homeowners Insurance
When it comes to roof replacement, you have a Catch-22. You cannot afford to replace a roof without insurance, but you cannot claim insurance unless you prove your roof was new when it experienced damage.
You can save 5 % to 35% on homeowners insurance if you already have a new roof. Thats because new roofs have a lower risk of damage from natural and man-made causes. The lower the risk of damage, the more likely an insurance company will cover roof repair or replacement costs.
Considering the above discount, choosing to get homeowners insurance after replacing a roof will save you from paying higher monthly costs.
In addition, it can ensure that you dont have to repair your roof out of pocket later.
How Much Does Insurance Go Up After New Roof
Insurance coverage for roofs will vary by insurer and even by region. Depending on the circumstances, your insurance premium might go up or it might not if you have a new roof installed. How much it might go up will vary by insurer. If youve filed several over the past few years, the premium is likely to go up more than it would if youve only filed one claim. In fact, filing one claim might not cause the premium to go up. For more information on choosing your new roof, take a look at Todays Homeowner.
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Other Things Not Covered
Additionally, since its your responsibility to maintain your home, policies dont cover damage caused by a lack of maintenance. So repairing your roof due to wear and tear, or replacing it because its lifespan is over, wont be paid for by insurance.
Lack of maintenance could also come back to bite you after a storm. If your roof was old or not well-maintained before the storm, you could have trouble getting full reimbursement.
Keeping Your Roof Safe
A roof in good condition can withstand extreme weather and damages better than an older roof. To keep yours in its best condition so it can continue protecting your contents for years to come, consider the following maintenance:
- Schedule a periodic inspection: Hiring a roof inspector to take a look at your roof every few years could help find issues early. Finding a reputable inspector you can trust is essential some roofing companies may claim there are issues simply to encourage you to replace your roof.
- Prune nearby trees: A tree too close to a rooftop can cause damage in a couple of ways. If there is a strong wind or ice storm, a tree branch can break, falling on the roof and causing damage to the structure. A tree branch can also rub against the roof for prolonged periods, deteriorating the surface or dislodging shingles. It is best to keep trees too close to a roof trimmed and clear of the area.
- Keep gutters clean: Gutters are meant to carry water what could be a roofs biggest enemy away from the rooftop. If a gutter is filled with leaves or debris that clogs the gutter, water can overflow onto the rooftop, weakening the structure or causing interior leaks.
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Damage To Personal Property From Ice Dams
Ice dam damage, like icicles and ice accumulation is a common rooftop peril, causing your roof to fall in and forming barriers around your gutter that can cause water overflow and subsequent leaking or a roof collapse.
Your dwelling coverage will typically cover roof damage caused by ice dams and water, but your personal property inside the home typically wonât be covered.
Special Considerations For Roof Coverage
If a dramatic event causes dramatic damagethe roof comes crashing down, has a major hole, or is torn off entirelycoverage is likely. More problematic are instances when the damage is less dramatic, even if an act of nature caused it. Let’s say a violent thunderstorm nicks a bunch of your roof’s shingles. The insurance company may classify that as cosmetic damage, and not cover it. Or let’s say that, after the aforementioned storm, you notice your roof has become leaky. Even though the rains triggered it, the insurance company might claim that’s a general wear-and-tear problemreflecting your roof’s gradual deteriorationwhich is never covered.
Ironically, any water damage caused by the leaking roof to your walls, floors, or furniture probably would be covered under the all-perils section of your policy. However, the roof repair itself would not be.
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