How to File a Homeowners Insurance Claim on Your Roof
Our home is our protector from the elements; our safe haven. As a homeowner, one of the most anxiety-inducing considerations is if the roof will fail. Will hail damage the roof? Will a tornado tear it off? Will a hurricane cause shingles to fly and water to start pouring in? What should I do in the aftermath and how to file a claim?
Maintain Your Roof
It’s the responsibility of the homeowner to keep their roof maintained. If your roof is showing signs of wear and tear and is over 15 years old, you should consider replacing it without waiting for a weather incident to occur. Many insurance companies have changed their coverage options due to abuse of the system. Homeowners letting their roof deteriorate or partially repairing the roof prior to a major incident may not receive full reimbursement for the cost of replacement. The homeowner’s policy will not cover damage incurred prior to the claim date.
Assess the Damage
Once it is safe to do so, get outside and assess the damage to the roof. You may have already incurred leaking inside the home, and have done your best to protect possessions from water damage. Depending on the type of roof you have, look closely for loose shingles, bent gutters, bent or missing roof vents, holes in metal, etc. Take pictures to document the immediate aftermath.
Visibly missing parts of the roof, loose shingles, etc. should be covered by tarping as soon as possible to prevent additional water damage. Be sure to take necessary precautions to install tarps safely. Don’t be afraid to ask neighbors for help.
Call your insurance carrier, or sign in online, to begin your roof claim. Failure to report a claim in a timely manner can result in your claim being denied. Damage to the roof is covered by the structural portion of your homeowners insurance policy.
What to Expect from the Insurance Company
The insurance carrier will begin processing your claim by acknowledging its receipt and scheduling an adjuster to inspect your roof. The inspector/adjuster will take measurements and pictures, and generate a report to the insurance company.
Here’s where the homeowner has the option to have their contractor of choice meet with the adjuster to inspect the roof. It’s highly recommended to do so for your protection and peace of mind. Many homeowners rely solely on the adjusters’ report, not realizing that the majority of insurance adjusters have been trained by the insurance company and have no roofing experience. This can result in damage being left unnoticed and approval for a partial repair or replacement versus a complete roof replacement.
Remember that you are responsible for any deductible amount on your policy. If your claim is approved, your insurance carrier will pay for replacement with the same roof materials. If you choose to upgrade the materials, you will pay the difference in costs. Most policies provide 365 days to complete the repairs/replacements.
It’s important to make an informed decision when purchasing homeowner’s insurance. Nsure provides easy comparison for consumers to 50 of the top insurance companies in the U.S. Consider all your coverage options, deductible and premium amounts before making up your mind. Make sure with Nsure!