Many people dread the idea of having to repair or replace their roof. Filing insurance claims and working with adjusters and getting reimbursement is a tedious process. Most people are not sure how to complete insurance forms or which types of documentation they need, let alone what to expect. When it comes to home insurance, the roof is a major player because it is the gateway for more damage. With most high wind or hail damage claims, the payout ends up relative to the roof cover. Insurance companies are thorough with roof claims and expect you to provide all necessary documents and information.
Get to know your policy
Contact your insurance provider to learn exactly what is covered in your policy. Some policies look at the age of your roof when it is damaged. Younger roofs may not be covered for the full cost of repair or replacement. Older roofs may only be covered for the depreciated value which takes into account the aging and wearing of the roof. Its value typically will have decreased before the damage even occurred.
Some policies only cover damage up to the depreciated value regardless of the age of the roof and some cover the full cost of the repairs at the time of the damage. Insurance companies typically send out inspectors to your home to verify your claim. If the inspector finds that the damage is from regular wear and tear, aging or poor roof condition, then repairs will not normally be covered by the policy.
Documents for your claim
To make the claim process as smooth as possible and to get the right settlement, be sure to take regular ‘before’ photos of your roof and property. Any time you get repairs or maintenance be sure to get new pictures and once any damage occurs you need to get the ‘after’ photos. Make a note of the damage and estimates and invoices you get. The more information you have ready, the easier the process will be.
Get the right contractor
Before any work done under an insurance policy can be done, you need to have a professional estimate completed. You can usually choose the roofing contractor to use for the evaluation and they can typically help you with the insurance claims process. Some roofing companies even use Certified Public Adjusters that can deal with the insurance agents on your behalf. You want to get a contractor that has experience with roofing estimates and insurance claims because it will help smooth the claim process for you. It is important to remember that you need to seek help from an experienced roofer as soon as you suspect your roof has been damaged. The quickler the damage is identified and inspected, the quicker and easier the process for filing a claim will be. It also ensures that no further damage can be done which may not fall under your policy.