Mother Nature can hammer roofs in any region, from heavy snowfall bringing branches down on homes in the winter to hail and high winds in the spring and summer. When the weather damages your house, filing a roof insurance claim might be necessary to pay for the repairs. Missing or damaged roof materials should not be left unrepaired. After a more ferocious storm, the damage may be more serious than what you can see with the naked eye. Fortunately, most homeowner’s policies cover this type of damage, but the process can be stressful. Talking to adjusters and making sure you get reimbursed for all covered damages is a daunting process. Many homeowners are simply unsure about how to file a claim, where the process can be problematic, what types of documentation they need, or what to expect. Here are some tips to help you navigate the process.
Find Out What Your Policy Covers
The easiest way to know what’s covered or what’s not, is to contact your insurance provider. Some policies take the age of your roof into account at the time it is damaged. For example, if your roof is less than 10 years old, you may be covered for the full cost of repairing your roof. If your roof is more than 10 years old, you may only be reimbursed for the depreciated value of the damaged roof. The depreciated value takes the aging and wearing of your roof into account. Meaning its value has decreased prior to any damage occurring. In most cases, an insurance inspector will visit your home verify your claim. If the damage is determined to be from aging, wear and tear, or poor condition of your roof, it can be considered normal maintenance, and will not be covered under your policy.
Provide Documentation for Your Claim
To aid the claims process, it’s a good idea to take a set of ‘before’ photos of your roof and exterior property, now before any damage occurs. Update the photos whenever you have maintenance or repairs done. After damage occurs, take a set of ‘after’ photos. Document and record the damage as well as any estimates, invoices and bills you receive. Having all of this information in one file will help ensure a smooth and hassle-free claims process.
Choose a Contractor with Insurance Experience
Before you the work is done on your roof, you will need to get an estimate from a professional roofing contractor. In most cases, you can use the roofing company of your choice. Your roofing contractor should be able to help you navigate your way through the roof insurance claims process. Look for contractors with experience in roof insurance claims. One very important note, if you suspect your roof has been damaged, you should not wait to get it inspected by a roofer. Find out the extent of the damage right away. This will help expedite the process and help avoid further damages which may not be covered under your policy.