We can take our roof for granted, until a storm, a downed tree, or even those pesky neighborhood squirrels make a mess. If you notice damage to your roof, you’ll want to file a homeowner’s insurance claim to reduce your out-of-pocket costs. however, it may not be clear where to start.
Unfortunately, if you don’t follow the proper steps when filing a roof claim, your insurance company may deny your claim due to a clerical error. That’s why we show you four steps to get homeowners insurance that pays for your roof replacement.
1. know your roofing insurance coverage
When you first notice damage to your roof, check your homeowners policy and the roof coverage it offers. This may require a bit of research if you’ve never paid much attention to your policy, but the information will also help guide your financial decisions about roof repairs. You can also request a copy of your policy from your insurance agent.
Most insurance agencies offer two types of roof insurance: repair coverage and replacement coverage. repair coverage usually reimburses the owner for a certain percentage of repair costs. replacement coverage, on the other hand, provides for the replacement of a roof that cannot be repaired. These policies are more expensive and make it difficult to accept a claim. That’s why it’s so important to document the damage and file a claim as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, not all roof damage will be covered by homeowners insurance. your coverage depends on your specific policy, your location, and the cause of the damage. For example, a hail storm that damages a roof may qualify for coverage because it is an unusual and unavoidable event. However, a hurricane that damages a roof in Florida may not be covered due to the frequency of such events, or because the homeowner does not have hurricane-related coverage or has not taken adequate precautions. If the roof damage was caused by you or by an inexperienced (or unlicensed!) roofer, your roof replacement probably won’t be covered either.
If you have questions about your roof coverage, call your insurance agent for more details.
2. document the damage and contact your insurance company
Once you determine your roof damage is covered by your homeowners insurance (or you think it should be), the next step is to document the damage. Take lots of photos, not only of the exterior damage, but also of the interior of your home. if you have a high enough ladder and feel safe doing so, carefully climb it to take photos, or you can use a drone with a camera, which would be an even safer method. however, if you cannot safely assess all damage, call an experienced roofing company for an inspection; better safe than sorry.
also note the date of the damage. If your roof was damaged in a storm, such as a tornado or hurricane, look for articles online that match the date of these damaging events to support your claim.
After that, check your insurance company’s website for information on how to file a claim. Many policies require the owner to file their claim within a certain period of time after the event. you’ll want to know your insurance company’s protocol, as your claim may be denied if you wait too long.
3. look for roofing companies and hire the most reputable ones
After you submit your roof insurance claim, find a reputable roofing company with insurance claim experience to perform a roofing inspection. they can look for damage and compile a report for your insurance agency. If you don’t hire professionals for the inspection, your insurance company may pay someone to inspect the roof on your behalf. Since this third-party inspector represents the insurance agency, they may try to find a reason to deny your claim. however, by taking charge and hiring your own inspectors, you have the best chance of getting your insurance to pay for your roof repairs.
But how do you choose a roofing company?
First, look for a company that provides roof installation and replacement services for the most common roofing materials in Florida, including tile, shingle, and metal roofs. 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 handling insurance claims, as this will make it easier for them to contact your insurance agency and offer proof that your claim is valid.
A reputable roofing company will replace your roof correctly, without causing further damage or charging you an unreasonable amount. If you choose roofers with a bad (or no) reputation, your future insurance claims could be denied due to previous improper installations.
4. watch out for insurance scams and storm chasers
When it comes to insurance, there’s a chance you’ll be taken advantage of by scammers. after a big storm, scammers will scour neighborhoods with the promise of a free roof; Please note that this is most likely not a legitimate business. door-to-door people are trained salespeople and will go out of their way to convince you to sign on the dotted line. As we mentioned earlier, some causes of damage to your roof are covered by insurance, but not all. an old, worn roof doesn’t warrant an insurance claim, so if the seller says yes, something is wrong. they might also claim that the damage is so severe that you need to take action immediately. Another tactic is to pretend to get a good price because they happen to be in the area, but you have to act immediately. These aggressive closing tactics are warning signs that this is not a legitimate business. There are several things you can do to try to identify scammers. For one, you should ask to see a copy of your liability insurance and any other certificates a reputable roofing company is required to have. it is also better if they have a physical location in the area. ask for an address and a business license. Lastly, you should check online reviews to see if there are any complaints about this business.
5. take the appropriate next steps in your roof replacement claim
After you submit your insurance claim and retain a roofing company to provide supporting evidence, your insurance company has the discretion to make a decision. After your allotted time period (usually around 15 days), the insurance agent will let you know if your claim was approved or denied. If they deny your claim, you can appeal the decision. These procedures differ by insurance company, so be sure to consult your insurance agent for guidance.
If your roofing claim is approved, you will be able to begin working with your chosen contractors to complete the installation of your new roof. once your roof is replaced, we recommend that you have it inspected regularly. Routine maintenance will not only keep your roof in excellent condition, but it will make future roofing claims easier to approve since you will have written reports and photos indicating the previous state of the roof.
contact westfall roofing for your repair and replacement needs
have a damaged roof in the tampa or sarasota area? need to file an insurance claim? westfall roofing is here to help you with all your roof repair and replacement needs. please contact us to learn more!