Document All Damages And File Your Claim
Pictures with timestamps are one of the most secure ways you can document damages, making this step a crucial part in how to get homeowners insurance to pay for a new roof.
Having before-damage and after-damage photos with timestamps are ideal, so you can clearly show when the damages occurred. Once you have enough evidence and documentation, file your claim with your insurance company.
Review Your Insurance Policy
The first good step in making a roof claim is to try to understand your policy. Theres no point going to battle for coverage that you never had. For example, is the roof damage actually covered, or did you choose to exclude wind and hail damage? Is your coverage for replacement cost or actual cash value?
How Your Home Insurance Company Can Help
Several home insurance companies offer policyholders access to a network of approved and qualified contractors, and working with them could save you money. The contractors typically don’t charge for an estimate, and insurers usually provide a warranty for work completed by an approved contractor.
Below, we list some home insurance companies that offer policyholders special access to contractors.
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Deductibles And Dollar Limits
If you have a claim, you must meet a deductible.
A deductible is the amount of a claim that you must pay yourself. For instance, if you have a $1,000 claim and your policy has a $300 deductible, the insurance company will deduct $300 from your claim amount and pay you $700. You might have different deductibles for each type of coverage.
Learn more: What to know about deductibles
Policies pay only up to their dollar limits.
Each type of coverage has a dollar limit. Make sure you have enough coverage to replace your home and property if you have a total loss. If you dont have enough coverage, youll have to pay the difference yourself. Most companies require you to insure your house for at least 80% of its replacement cost. Some companies require you to insure your house for 100% of its replacement cost.
The first page of your policy is the declarations page. It has a summary of your policy, including your coverages, dollar limits, and deductibles.
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File A Claim With Your Homeowners Insurance Within 30 Days
Most states require a homeowner to make a claim within 30-60 days. Failure to make a timely claim is reason for claim denial.
When there is a high volume of claims, the earlier you file the paperwork, the sooner you will get your claim processed.
Step 3. Have the Roof Independently Inspected & Document the Damage
Were going to sound a little cynical, but we prefer to think of it as being a wise homeowner.
According to one experienced roofing contractor, Insurance companies heavily scrutinize claims for roof repair and replacement. They will want absolute proof that storm damage is the cause of the roof leak.
To determine this, insurance company will send out its own adjuster someone that works for the insurance company. If the storm damage is widespread, independent inspectors are brought in to handle the load of claims.
However, theyre hired and paid by the insurance company, too. Thats a strong motivation to find results favorable to the insurance company reasons why your claim isnt legitimate and shouldnt be paid.
What reasons might they find? Common reasons for denying a roofing insurance claim are:
In all of these scenarios, the result is the same: Claim denied!
This is where an inspection from a roofing contractor that you are paying is essential.
What a roofer should document for you:
What To Do If Your Insurance Is Canceled Because Of Your Roof
If you receive a policy cancellation notice, youll have around 60 days to replace your roof or find a new home insurance policy.
Provided that your roof isnt badly damaged, youll likely be able find a company to insure your home. But ultimately, youll have to weigh the costs and benefits of keeping the roof as is and paying higher rates versus investing in a new roof and paying lower rates.
But if you dont get a new roof, you face having to pay significantly higher rates with a company that is willing to take on that risk. Roof replacement also lessens the chance of further damage to your home down the road.
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After I File My Claim What Can I Expect
Texas law sets deadlines for insurance companies to act after youve filed a claim. Your company must:
- Tell you that it got your claim within 15 days. The company may ask you for a signed, notarized proof of loss form. Youll need to list your damaged or lost items. Dont forget to include small items like kitchen utensils and bathroom accessories. The company may ask you for other information. To help the claim process go smoothly, provide all the information as soon as you can.
- Send an adjuster to look at your damage. The adjuster will decide how much damage you have and estimate the cost to repair or replace your property. The insurance company will base its payment on the adjusters estimate. After the company assigns an adjuster to your claim, the adjuster will probably be your main contact with the company. If the damage turns out to be worse than the adjuster originally thought, you or your contractor can talk to the adjuster about raising the estimate.
- Accept or deny your claim within 15 business days of getting all the information it needs from you. If the company denies your claim, it must tell you why in writing. The deadline may be longer after major disasters.
- Send you a check within five business days after it agrees to pay your claim. If the insurance company doesnt meet the payment deadline, you can sue the company for the amount of the claim, plus interest and attorney fees.
There are some exceptions to the deadlines:
Is Homeowners Insurance Required
The law doesnt require you to have homeowners insurance. But if you still owe money on your home, your lender will require you to have it. Even though its not legally required, homeowners insurance is a good idea because it helps protect your home and other assets.
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Understanding Rates And Premiums
Texas law requires insurance companies to charge rates that are fair, reasonable, and adequate for the risks they cover. We dont approve rates in advance, but if we find that an insurance companys rates are too high, we can require it to pay refunds to the people it overcharged. Insurance companies may appeal our decisions.
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Does Home Insurance Cover Roof Replacement
How does homeowners insurance cover roof replacement? Since your roof is a key piece of your home and is directly exposed to the elements, the forces of nature can bear down on it across the seasons. From ice and snow in the winter to potentially tropical storm-force winds in the summer, the roof can take a beating all year long.
Your home insurance policy is designed to help cover the cost of the repairs, partial or complete replacement of your roof if its damaged by a covered event. But the amount you will receive for your covered damages depends on a few variables:
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What If I Cant Get Homeowners Insurance Because Of Claims
Too many claims can make you a high-risk homeowner. To the insurance company, this means you’re more likely to file future claims. This could result in the insurance company dropping you and may result in difficulty getting another policy. You may have to consider a high-risk insurance company or state-assigned company until the claims fall off your record. These companies are chosen by the state to insure high-risk homes.
How To Get Homeowners Insurance After Being Dropped
As soon as you know your insurance company is dropping you, start talking to other insurance companies. An independent agent or broker can be helpful since they know multiple insurance providers and which accept houses that have been previously dropped.
You may need to look for non-standard coverage if the property needs repairs that you cant afford to complete right now.
“Most insurance companies underwrite or review the eligibility of a property upfront. Existing damage, depending on how bad and what kind, could make a property ineligible for coverage with the ‘normal’ home insurance companies,” says Keith Balsiger, president of Balsiger Insurance in Nevada. Balsiger suggests looking for state assistance.
If you have difficulty getting insurance, call your state’s department of insurance and ask for information for assigned risk carriers in your area. The downside is that you’ll probably pay higher premiums, but that’s better than being uninsured.
FAIR Plans, or Fair Access to Insurance Requirements Plans, are also an option for high-risk homeowners. A FAIR plan allows high-risk homeowners to get coverage, but they often come with higher premiums and inflexible terms and conditions. More than 30 states offer this coverage. Find the list of states here.
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How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Roof
The average cost of roof replacement is around $8,500, with a range of anywhere from $5,500 to $11,664, according to Home Advisor. But costs will vary widely depending on the cost of materials and labor in your area.
For example, basic builders-grade asphalt shingles may only cost around $3 per square foot, whereas higher-quality composite shingles are known to cost as much as $15 per square foot installed.
There are a number of other factors that impact roof installation costs, including:
How easy it is to access to your roof
Your homes condition
Cost of permits and licenses
Whether youre replacing or re-roofing, or placing new shingles over old ones. Re-roofing is generally the cheaper option.
Take Care Of Repairs Immediately
Repairs do not go away they only get worse. The longer you take to address your damaged roof, the more likely you are to spend more on the repair. Additionally, the damage may lead to other problems, which will also have to be addressed. If you notice an issue, contact your roofing contractor to schedule an inspection.
Common roof repairs include leaks, lifted shingles, missing tiles, standing water, holes, poor ventilation or damaged gutters. You may also notice damage from small animals or tree branches. Whatever the case, do not allow your roof damage to linger. This can raise a red flag with an insurance company which could cause problems if you are trying to obtain or maintain your insurance coverage.
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Hire A Roofing Contractor That Handles Insurance Claims
As soon as your insurance claim is approved, youre ready to start the replacement process.
If youre replacing your roof through homeowners insurance, its crucial to hire a roofing contractor that has experience handling insurance claims. Theyll know the insurance claim process, how to read your claim correctly, fight to make sure everything is correct, and how to do the work in compliance with your insurance company.
Hiring someone that has experience working with insurance claims is just one thing you need to look for in a roofing contractor. To help you find a great roofer for your replacement, check out this article on the top 8 questions to ask a roofing contractor.
Can My Home Be Insured With An Older Roof
There have been incidents where a few insurance companies refused to renew existing homeowners insurance policies on houses with roofs older than 20 years of age. In such cases, insurance companies did an inspection and the house didnt pass. The insurance companies required the owner to replace the roof before renewing the homeowners insurance.
Other insurers have a policy to not write new policies for homes with roofs over 20 years old. These insurance companies may only pay actual cash value for roof replacements on older roofs when theyre damaged. This means they dont pay to fully replace the roof, but only reimburse for what an old roof is worth after 20 years of life.
What this means, is if you have a roof that has lasted 20 years, then you are not able to renew your homeowners insurance. Insurance companies tend to believe that at that point, there are issues within your roofing system that cannot be seen, which could potentially deteriorate the deck and expose them to higher risks for additional claims. In that case, it would be worth your money to replace the roof.
Replacing an asphalt shingle roof system is not as expensive as most people are led to believe. However, if your roof is 20 years old or older, you may have no choice but to replace your roof in order to keep your homeowners insurance policy in affect. The trend in the insurance industry is to require an older roof, 15 to 20 years plus, to have an inspection to get a renewal.
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Tips For Protecting Your Older Roof
Regardless of your roofs age, regular maintenance will help to ensure it stays in excellent shape. The following are a few things you can do to protect it and ensure its longevity:
Get regular inspections. Hiring a professional to inspect your roof regularly will help you stay on top of potential issues and address them before they become serious. If the inspector notices a problem , get it fixed right away.
Keep current photos. While insurance companies want pictures of the damage after an event, submitting pictures of the roofs condition before the event occurred will show them that it was in decent shape before you filed your claim.
Cut back trees. Tree limbs that hang over your roof present potential hazards. A strong wind could knock a limb down. Animals could use the limbs to get onto your roof and cause damage. Cutting them back reduces your risk of roof problems.
Maintain records. Keep track of all of your repairs and inspections. Should you need to file a claim, they can be helpful for demonstrating the condition of your roof before the event.
Understand Your Insurance Policy
Understanding how to get a new roof from insurance starts with first understanding your existing insurance policy and its details. Not all roofing problems are covered by all insurance plans, so investigate the terms of your insurance policy before you can expect your insurance company to help with your roof replacement.
If your policy clearly states that your roofing scenario isnt covered, theres no benefit in continuing with conversations further. If your situation appears to be covered, or if its unclear, then move forward to the next steps.
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