Filing An Insurance Claim For Roof Damages
Filing an insurance claim for roof damages is a common event for many homeowners. Every season brings conditions that can damage a roof. Spring winds and tornadoes, summer hail storms and lightning strikes, heavy fall rains and the snow and ice of winter may all cause major roof damage.
In this roofing guide, we outline the steps you should take in filing an insurance claim for damage to your roof. Follow them in order to ensure that your claim will be accepted and promptly paid by your insurer.
Step One: Inspect the Roof
If your roof has been hit by strong storms, high winds, or heavy snow and ice, it should be thoroughly inspected. Walk around your home at a distance from which you can see the entire roof. Use binoculars to inspect the roof. If youre comfortable doing it, set up a ladder and inspect the roof from it. If you are unable to inspect the roof, call a professional roofing contractor to do it.
Step Two: Document the Damage
If you find missing or damaged roofing material, missing flashing, gaps between the roof and an exterior wall or chimney, record the date the damage occurred. If you have digital camera, even a phone camera, take pictures of the damage.
Step Three: Call a Professional Roofer
Step Four: File an Insurance Claim for Roofing Damage
Contact your insurer, and let them know your roof has been damaged. You may be able to file your claim over the phone or by fax, or may be able to sign the forms when the adjustor comes to inspect the roof.
Are Clients Allowed To Decide How To Utilize Their Payout
In most instances, yes. The payout is a blanket amount for handling the necessary repairs or damaged personal items replacement, allowing you to choose your contractor, the use of cheaper materials, or the option of doing the job yourself. You may even choose not to push through with the repairs and use the money elsewhere. While this might be a common scenario, certain policies might prohibit you from doing so.
There are no issues if you acquired your home in an outright purchase. But if youre still on the mortgage, you are unlikely to enjoy the same luxury. More often than not, the lender would have accredited contractors for handling the repairs. In such cases, the insurance company may not even write the check under your name, but to the lender, instead.
Whether your insurer gives you the prerogative to utilize the payout in a manner that you prefer rests on your thorough understanding of your policy. The case may be different for personal item replacement, where you have the freedom to choose how you want to have your personal belongings replaced. But with respect to repairs, you need to be perfectly sure because there are home insurance companies that require receipts for materials and labor. You can keep the leftover money in some cases, but there will be insurers that will require you to show proof of all expenses and return the remaining amount. It will be best to totally understand and keep away from any unwanted repercussion.
What Is Roof Insurance In Indiana
Roofs are as vital to our homes and businesses as an engine is vital to a car. However, were not always as good to our roofs as we should be, most of this is because we cant usually see whats happening up there but the other reason is that if we do find issues, its not immediately clear how to resolve them, or what to do to start an insurance claim.
Insurance is known for being somewhat of an issue for the general public. Its known for raising rates in automobile accidents, or not being billed correctly in medical, or not covering everything when its needed, or having high deductibles. However, insurance for your roof is unlike those other fields, because its working with the goal of keeping a roof over your head, instead of trying to take money from you directly.
The most important thing you can do in regard to your roof, is get insurance for it. Between your insurance and the contractors that want your business, your roof will get repaired as quickly as it can be. The steps to get to that goal can be confusing and intimidating, but if you work with your insurance contacts and your trusted community contractors, youll be moving in the right direction. Here are some of the most important things to know about the topic, and some encouragement to go to professionals when its needed.
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It Depends On What Caused Your Roof Problems
A typical all-perils homeowners insurance policy does cover your roof and the cost of replacing it if it gets damaged. That’s the good news. But usually, you’re covered only if the damage or destruction results from a sudden accident or act of nature. Problems that ensue from general wear and tear or from a roof that has exceeded its intended life span are not eligible for reimbursement because they fall under the general maintenance responsibility of the homeowner.
Tips For Filing A Roof Claim
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?
Assess the damage. If you suspect there is roof damage from a storm, inspect your entire home, not just the roof. Youll want to know the scope of the damage when you contact your insurer to start a claim.
Getting an estimate. Get an estimate for repair based on what you had, not on how you want to change things. Dont rely on the adjuster to determine the repair cost of the roof. Make sure to get a written estimate on a roofing companys letterhead with the companys contact information.
Be prompt. Time is of the essence when dealing with a roof claim. The longer a roof sits with damage, the more weather and dirt makes it less obvious what the damage is since it looks like wear and tear, says Severaid.
Keep a log of correspondence. What starts out as a seemingly simple claim could blow up into a nightmare. Youll be glad if you kept records from the start, including photos, who you spoke to and when, and what they told you.
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Can You Keep Leftover Money From A Home Insurance Claim
Technically, you are allowed to keep the leftover money after a home insurance claim. Thats assuming there is nothing written in your policy about returning unused claim money. As long as you did not commit insurance fraud or lie to your insurance company to get the money, you should be able to keep any remaining balance.
Generally the claim amount is based on a projected cost for repairs but market prices and fluctuations in wholesale rates means that sometimes repairs are cheaper than initially estimated. Typically any excess of estimated repairs is put towards upgraded materials and minor cosmetic choices that fall within the scope of required repairs.
However, lying to your insurance company about how much the repairs cost just to keep the leftover funds is classified as fraud. In addition to it being illegal, the consequences with your insurer are significant. If you dont make the required repairs and complete them to the insurers satisfaction, any future claims may be denied. Plus, the insurance company has the right to terminate your policy.
Understanding Insurance: When To File A Roof Claim
When should you file a roof claim for roof damage and when should you take care of it yourself? Heres what you need to know about working with insurance.
Homeowners insurance is one of those things you have to have if you own a home. Knowing how and when to use it thats the challenge.
Because its so confusing, you may be afraid to use the services youve been paying for. You may have heard things like, You might lose your discount if you file a claim. Or, You may lose coverage entirely if you file a large claim or file too many claims.
As scary as that may sound, you wont be punished for making an insurance claim for roof damage. Keep reading to learn when its safe to file a roof claim and five factors that affect your claim.
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Get A Detailed Report From An Independent Roofing Contractor
Ask for a written evaluation from the roofing contractor that addresses the issues listed above The extent and cause of the damage and the condition of the rest of the roof.
The inspection and report will cost up to $500, but it is money well spent if it is instrumental in getting your homeowners insurance claim paid.
If it comes to arbitration or court, it will be the word of an inspector against a roofer. If your roofing contractors report is credible, you will be in good shape.
Dont Settle for an Inferior Roof
This takes a little explaining, but it should be clear in the end.
When an insurer accepts a claim, it offers the homeowner a chunk of money.
It should be enough to replace your roof with materials of the same quality as the original roof including professional installation.
Heres the warning: It is the common practice of some insurance adjusters to offer a settlement that will only pay for inferior replacement materials.
Lets say your home has dimensional shingles, which is the most common type of asphalt shingles. Well, dimensional shingles come in basic, better and best quality.
Take CertainTeed or GAF shingles, for example. Both brands are the largest manufacturers of dimensional asphalt roofing shingles.
Here are three lines of shingles from CertainTeed that serve as an example:
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Preparing for Future Claims
Suspected Damage And Rate Concerns
Three common things come to mind when the general person thinks about roof damage:
- How do I know what damage looks like?
- Can I fix it myself, or do I need a contractor?
- What about my insurance rates?
Roof damage can have various looks, from missing shingles to mold, rust to low spots, or impact damage to warpage. A lot of these can be seen from the outside, and so can be easily diagnosed too. That hailstorm from two weeks ago could have left impact damage to the shingles, resulting in some missing or breaking off or warping to create low spots which can collect water.
However, for all the easily identified issues that occur, there are also those issues which can only be found and treated by an experienced contractor. Some shingles can be reattached, but if done incorrectly they can create more issues later on. Duct tape and glue are great for in the home, but the roof is more the place of professionals, with all of their talents and training.
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Research Roofing Companies And Hire The Most Reputable
After you submit your roof insurance claim, seek out a reputable roofing company with insurance claims experience to perform a roofing inspection. They can look for damage and compile a report for your insurance agency. If you dont hire professionals for the inspection, your insurance company may pay someone to inspect the roof on their behalf. Because this third-party inspector represents the insurance agency, they may try to find any reason to deny your claim. However, by taking charge and hiring your own inspectors, you give yourself the best chance to get your insurance to pay for your roof repairs.
But how should you choose a roofing company?
First, look for a company that provides both roof replacement and roof installation services for the most common roofing materials in Florida, including shingle, tile, and metal roofing. A reputable roofing company should also have a website and Google My Business page with reviews from other customers.
Make sure the roofers you choose have experience in dealing with insurance claims, as this will make it easier for them to communicate with your insurance agency and offer proof that your claim is valid.
A reputable roofing company will replace your roof correctlywithout causing more damage or charging you an unreasonable amount. If you choose roofers with a poor reputation, then your future insurance claims could actually be denied due to improper previous installations.
Does Home Insurance Increase After A Claim
It may or may not affect your payments. If you have a clean record and have not filed within the last five years, it should not affect your renewal.
However your ability to be approved can be impacted when :
- You file for a significant dollar value or submit frequently
- You file for damage that is not covered
- It gets denied
These typically stay on your record for 5 to 7 years and may increase your payments during this time. Even if you switch providers, your record will follow you.
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How Can Homeowners Save On Home Insurance In Canada
There are several ways that homeowners can reduce their home insurance costs. Some popular techniques include:
- Increasing your deductible
- Bundling your policies
- Installing a home security system
However, the best and easiest way to save on home insurance in Canada is by partnering up with a reputable insurance brokerage, like Surex.
Our team at Surex can help you save on home insurance by providing you with high-quality, competitive quotes from the country’s most reputable providers, like Intact. We work side by side with Canada’s top insurance companies to provide you with the best discounts and deals in the industry.
Don’t have the time to chat with one of our advisors on the phone? Not a problem! As Canada’s online insurance marketplace, we can provide you with car, renters, and of course, home insurance quotes online.
to learn how we can help you save up to 25% when you bundle your home insurance policy with your car, motorcycle or RV insurance with one of our partners.
A Damage Assessment And Estimate
Once you file a homeowners insurance claim, your insurer may send an adjuster to your home to inspect the damage and make sure everything on your claim is covered by your policy. Once the damage is assessed, the insurance company will send over a damage estimate.
You can either approve of the settlement amount or dispute it if you suspect that they underestimated the damage. If you feel youâre being lowballed by your insurer, having a separate damage estimate from a licensed contractor will improve your chances of increasing your claim payout.
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Underpayment On A Claim
Only contest a claim if it is significantly less than what one or more contractors quote for the necessary repairs, or if something critical is left unaccounted for such as solar panels on a roof claim.
Negotiating for a higher claim payout isnt always in your best interest. It can lengthen the time for the claim to be settled and repairs to actually take place. And if you have an actual cash value policy, and you try to get a payout for your homes replacement cost, you probably wont win that battle.
If youre dealing with a minor claim, its better to take the money and make the repairs. In most cases, contesting a claim wont even need to be a concern unless you are involved in a large-loss claim area and adjusters spend very little time on inspections. This can happen in cases when an entire state is affected by a devastating hurricane and carriers are shorthanded in adjusters to perform thorough inspections.
Prepare To Negotiate With Your Insurance Company
Prepare your documents such as receipts of any previous work or repair done on your roof, home inspection reports, a copy of your current policy, and before and after photos of the roof.
The insurance company will send an adjuster to assess the damage and determine what should be done. Having as much documentation as possible will help you get the best outcome.
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Your Initial Claim Payment Isnt Final
Once youâve agreed to a settlement amount, your insurance company will send the payout to either you, your mortgage company, or your contractor . Thereâs a chance your insurer will only pay out a portion of the claim initially, as an advance against the total settlement. Oftentimes, this amount is made for temporary repairs or cleanup before the larger repairs or rebuild process begins.
When To Call The Roof Professionals
A heavy storm can take a toll on the condition of your roof. Thats why its so important to get a professional inspection to assess any damage. Hiring a professional roofing contractor will simplify and speed up the insurance process while saving your money in the long run. To learn more read our blog: Benefits of Having a Roofing Professional for Insurance Claims.
At Restoration Roofing we have the experience and expertise to help you with a detailed inspection report and filing your insurance claim. To get in touch with one of our project managers, give us a call at 901-854-3402 or click here to set up a free inspection. We offer free inspections that are easy and completed quickly. Make sure to follow us on and for more tips on taking care of your roof.
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