What To Consider When Claiming For A Roof Repair With Your Insurance Company
A roof repair can be stressful because not only can repairs be costly but the overall issue can affect your day to day living. The latter means that the roof damage repair is not something that you can delay. For this reason, insurance companies can help you out with the costs. However, several things need to be considered before your insurance claim is granted.
What Roof Damage Is Not Covered By Insurance
When the cause of roof damage is not a covered peril, then the cost of repairing the damage is not covered by insurance. Perils that are not covered include roof damage from general wear and tear or lack of maintenance.
Mold, pests or birds, wet rot, errors made by a contractor or construction worker as well as improper code materials are examples of perils that arent covered by homeowners insurance. Improper code materials are violations of building or plumbing guidelines established by licensed contractors.
In some cases, a homeowners insurance policy specifically excludes covering the repair of roof damage, more so in HO-8 insurance policies. The significance of HO-8 home insurance is that it is often used to insure older or high-risk homes which are more likely to encounter roof damage from weather like hail and wind or falling objects like trees and power lines.
How Do I Know If Insurance Will Cover My Roof Replacement
Often the quickest way to answer this question is to call your agent directly . Calling an insurance repair contractor, such as Bloomfield Construction, can help you and your agent better understand the necessary repairs, cost to fix them and process the project will follow. This contractor will be involved in the inspection process to help your agent start the claim process.
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Pitfalls To Avoid With Roof Insurance Claims
In order to ensure that your claim is successfully paid, it is important to avoid a couple of common pitfalls:
If the damage to your roof was caused by improper maintenance, or could have been prevented with proper maintenance, your insurance company will reject your claim. Its therefore important to perform routine maintenance such as the following:
- Regular roof inspections by a trained roofing professional
- Keeping your roof clear of debris
- Keeping gutters clean
About the Author:
Since she started practicing law in Texas in 2004, Sharon Fulgham has been named a Rising Star by SuperLawyers and a Top Attorney by Fort Worth Magazine multiple times. Additionally, she has worked with some of the best attorneys in the state, and served as a partner at the biggest law firm in Fort Worth. Sharon has successfully handled cases at both the state and federal level, and always provides her clients with legal services that are personalized to fit their needs. Outside of work, the most important things in Sharons life are her faith, her family , and serving her community.
Are There Insurance Coverage Limitations On My Roof
Home insurance policies can include coverage limitations for roofs.
Scott deLuise, president of Matrix Business Consulting in Broomfield, CO, suggests that homeowners read the existing or proposed policy carefully to look for that information.
“Coverage scope and exclusions are a big deal. Ask another insurance company for a policy bid at renewal if it contains a wood shake endorsement or an exclusion for roofs over 20 years old,” says deLuise.
He also suggests getting a qualify roofer to inspect the roof and provide a written report, so you know the condition before theres damage.
“That way, if wind or hail strike your house, you can show the insurance company that there was no pre-existing damage. You can also request a cost estimate for replacing the roof so that you can decide if the cost of a new roof outweighs the risk of being denied home insurance coverage, deLuise says.
deLuise says many insurers on the West Coast are adding new endorsements at renewal for the area’s popular wooden shingle roofs. A wood shake or shingle endorsement is a written document attached to an insurance policy that excludes or restricts coverage of wooden shingle or shake roofs.
deLuise has also seen many companies limit appraisal for wind and hail roof damage during the claims process.
If the policyholder demands an appraisal, some insurance companies try to limit the appraisals scope to damages that they’ve agreed to instead of all of the damage that the insured might find.
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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Replacement
Fortunately, most homeowners insurance policies do cover the cost of roof replacement if its damaged by covered perils.
However, if the damage from nature only takes a few shingles off your roof, the insurance company may label the damage as cosmetic. This means that it would be your responsibility to cover the cost of repairing the damage.
Your insurer can also claim that the cause of the damage was from lack of maintenance or wear and tear, which would also leave you to foot the bill.
Roof Insurance: Tips For Filing A Claim
To successfully file a roof insurance claim, its important to document the damage and contact your insurance provider as soon as possible. You should also select your contractor carefully.
These helpful tips will make the roof insurance claim process more streamlined increase the likelihood of having your claim approved.
Look for Damage Immediately After a Storm
If you suspect that your roof may have been damaged by hail or high winds in a storm, contact a reputable and licensed roofing contractor to inspect your roof. Importantly, even if your roof appears to be intact, there could be internal damage that only a trained roofing contractor can spot.
Many roofing contractors will provide insurance claim assistance. This will make your insurance claim process much easier. When selecting a contractor to assess your damages, ask if they provide this service.
Some policies have stipulations that limit the amount of time you can wait after incurring damages. Moreover, after a major storm you should expect that reputable roofing contractors will be very busy. Its therefore important to contact a contractor as soon as possible for an inspection.
Take Pictures and Document Any Related Details
Your roofing contractor will know how to find damage and be able to thoroughly document the damage. Ask that they take pictures of the damaged areas and submit a written explanation of what needs to be repaired, as well as the estimated cost. This will make filing a claim easier.
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How To Determine If Your Roof Repair Will Qualify For Tax Deductions
With how nuanced tax deduction rules are, its always recommended to talk to an expert when trying to determine which expenses qualify for deductions and which do not.
When you hire an experienced roofing contractor like AGR, youre getting more than just roofing expertise youre also getting behind-the-scenes knowledge of how things like tax deductions and insurance claims interact with your roof repair expenses.
Estimates can be a big part of the roof repair process. Estimates give you an idea of the cost of the work that needs to be done before you decide on the repairs, and can also help you determine if your roof repairs will be tax deductible. AGR is happy to offer free inspections and estimates all throughout the Nebraska area. Call today to book your free roof repair inspection!
Poor Workmanship & Roof Insurance
If by chance your roof is suffering damage subsequently from previous faulty workmanship or poor installation, the required repairs will not likely be covered by your insurance provider. This includes poor design, rushed or incorrect installation, and bad quality craftsmanship. This is why it is of the utmost importance for you to make sure you always engage with qualified, experienced and professional roofing contractors for all roofing projects.
Here at Vertec Roofing, we provide qualified advice, assessment, and high-quality roof repair services. With over 15 years of experience in the roofing industry, our understanding is that the importance of home insurance with roofing lies in the regular maintenance and inspections of roofs. Most roof repairs that are accidental will be covered by insurance companies, provided the roof has been considerably well looked after.
The very first step when deciding whether to submit an insurance claim is to have your roof appropriately and properly inspected by a roofing professional. Youll need to obtain a basic roof report that will include the following information:
Why your roof is leaking or damaged What has caused the damaged roof How to fix the damage What it costs to fix the damage Relevant supporting evidence i.e. Photos
Every insurance provider will approach claims differently, so the best course of action following roof damage is to start with an inspection and then review your insurance policy fine print.
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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 Is Typically Covered Under My Policy
Roof damage caused by most natural disasters is usually included in your homeowners policy. Covered natural disasters include fallen trees, hurricanes, tornados, lightning, hail and random fallen debris. Some policies do have a higher deductible for certain types of storm or damage, so consult your agent for more information on this.
Also, vandalism and home fire damage to roofing are typically covered.
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How Much Damage Do You Have
Its not always easy to tell how badly a storm has damaged your roof.
Even people who have been super skeptical of getting their roof covered are surprised when their claim is approved.
Thats why its important to have a qualified roof inspector evaluate your roof and give you the information you need to decide if you should file a claim.
A good roof inspection will identify damage you might not be able to see from the ground, such as creased shingles, hail damage, wind damaged or cracked shingles.
Public Adjusters Challenge Insurance Denials Of Roof Claims
If you and your insurance company disagree about the extent of damage and the extent of repairs or roof replacement needed then there are certain steps that will need to be taken. These are often technical and require the services of an experienced public adjuster. First, the insurance company will send out a “third party” engineer. But the engineer is hardly a third party – they are hired by your insurance company. When this happens, many homeowners think that the engineer has the final say. Public adjusters know that if they don’t like the engineer’s determination of damage they can invoke the appraisal clause . When a public adjuster invokes a policyholders right to appraisal, a truly disinterested third party, chosen by your public adjuster, will appraise the roof damage and compare that with your insurance company’s appraisal in order to reach an agreement. We have won many appraisals for our clients, including just this last week for a roof damage claim .
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Just Because You Can File An Insurance Claim For Leaking Roof
Inexperienced homeowners might find it tempting to file a claim whenever their policy will cover the damage. It makes perfect sense and is well within your policy guidelines. The problem is your insurance company might decide youre too big of a risk and will terminate your coverage. You dont have to break any rules to be fired by your insurance company.
In addition, any time you file a claim, the cost of your policy will go up. These increases can be significant. Its not something you can avoid by simply switching companies either. Claims from multiple companies get reported to the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange which insurers check before writing new policies.
Sometimes, whether you should file a claim is much more important than if youre able to collect on the damage.
Most insurance experts recommend foregoing filing a claim if the damage is worth less than $5,000. Instead, you can opt for a policy with a higher deductible. This lowers the price youll pay for coverage. Put the savings in the bank and use them to pay for small issues that come up.
In general, filing more than one weather and one non-weather insurance claim for leaking roof every ten years can put your insurance coverage at risk.
Talk to our experts at Hopewell Roofing & Restoration when deciding whether to file an insurance claim for leaking roof damage. Call us to receive a free quote for repairs today.
How It Works: Ideal Roof Damage Claim Process
As we’ve talked about many times before, insurance companies have a profit-motive to deny roof damage claims. Their top priority, unfortunately, is not always taking care of their policyholders and restoring property damages to their pre-loss condition. The following is how a policyholder should proceed with a roof damage insurance claim, and what could happen in an ideal situation.
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Types Of Roof Damage Your Homeowners Insurance May Cover
Typically, your insurance covers your homes structure, which includes the roof. If your roof damage is weather-related, your coverage will be determined by the age of your roof and the type of policy you hold. So, if your roof needs repairs after a hail storm or a tree that topples onto it during a windstorm, you may find that your dwelling coverage helps cover the cost, minus your deductible. If the contents of your home are ruined as the result of a covered roof claim, personal property coverage may help pay to repair or replace them.
If the roof of your shed or detached garage is damaged by the same storm, it may be covered by the homeowners insurance policy, thats if the damage is caused by a covered peril. A peril, as referred to in an insurance policy, is a cause of loss, such as fire or theft. Coverage can be provided on an all perils basis, or a named perils basis. Named Perils policies list exactly what is covered by the policy, while Open Perils policies will list what is excluded from coverage.
Note that some homeowners insurance policies may have windstorm and hail exclusions, which means damage caused by those perils would not be covered. It is important to read your policy to learn whether yours lists any exclusions.
S For Filing & Getting Approval For Roof Repairs
1. A storm hits your area causing high winds, wind-driven rain, and hail large enough to damage roof shingles and metal roofing, too. Concerned about damage to your roof, you contact a roofing contractor and schedule a free roof inspection. You and your contractor find significant damage to your roof’s shingles and/or metal roofing panels. He/she provides you an estimate for a full roof replacement, because it isn’t efficient to just replace the damaged shingles.
2. You contact your insurance company and begin the roof damage insurance claims process. The paperwork can be complicated, but you carefully report all damage and answer all questions appropriately.
3. Your insurance company sends out their adjuster to inspect your roof and appraise the damage. She agrees that the damage is extensive in several different areas. Furthermore, she agrees with your roofer’s assessment that repairing or replacing only the damaged shingles wouldn’t be effective. She therefore approves payment for a full roof replacement, including underlayment and flashing, etc.
It is rarely the case that roof damage insurance claims go this smoothly. More often than not, your insurance company’s adjuster will do his/her best to approve the cheapest, most bare-minimum roof repairs. In addition to that, there are some types of roof damages that ae not covered by homeowners insurance at all. See below for some reasons claims get denied.
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Insurance Claims & Hail Damage: The Top 10 Misconceptions
If you want to make sure your roof is done as soon as possible, call us today for a free roof quote. Well help you with the roof insurance claims process and install your new roof in a timely manner.
The hailstorm in August 2012 caused about $200 million of damages and you may have been affected, possibly without even realizing it. And you might be making some assumptions about the process that could have serious consequences.
Our goal is to provide you with a better understanding of the issues so you can get the result you deserve: