Unfortunately, even the most careful homeowners experience roofing complications. Whether you had a rainstorm cause leaks in your roof or a windstorm rip up your shingles, you need your roof repaired fast. However, you may not have experience filing roof insurance claims. Most homeowners will only file a limited amount of claims in their lifetime.
If this is your first time filing a claim, use this beginner’s guide to help you through the roof insurance claim process.
When You Should File
Depending on your situation, you may underestimate the seriousness of damages to your home’s structure. Even minor leaks could cause severe damages down the road.
Hire a roof contractor to determine if you need to file a roof claim. He or she can assess damages and help explain the potential costs to repair. Don’t file an insurance claim if the damages cost more than your deductible. On the other hand, if roof damages cost more than your deductible, you should consider filing a claim.
How to File
Once you decide to file, here take the following steps..
Documents. Your insurance provider may ask for evidence or proof of damages. Create a file containing documentation of the event. This may include pictures, a written statement from you, and roof inspection results. If the storm caused multiple instances of home damage in your area, try to find news articles reporting on the event.
Double check your insurance policy to make sure it covers the damages. You can also call your provider to answer questions regarding your policy and to file your claim.
Payments. At this point, your insurance provider will either approve or deny your claim. Assuming they approve your claim, you will receive two payments to cover the cost of damages. One covers materials, and the other covers repair costs. Make sure your roof contractor orders materials with your checks so you can use the money from the insurance company.
Repairs. After the materials arrive for your home, your roof contractor can get to work. Make sure they submit changes in costs so you don’t end up footing the bill. Once he or she finishes the repairs, the city will inspect and approve the project.
You can also review the project yourself. If you feel satisfied with the results, have your roof contractor sign a lien waver and pay them using the second payment from your insurance provider.
Common Misconceptions about Filing Claims
You may have heard a few common roof insurance misconceptions from friends or the internet that many have left you confused about insurance claims. Here are a few facts to help you debunk common insurance myths.
You can’t file a claim after a year. This is true. Most insurance providers only allow claims up to a year from when the damage occurred. The timeline may vary by insurance providers, so make sure you call as soon as you can from when damages happened. If roof damage spreads after you’ve filed your claim, they may allow an exception.
Most roof material manufactures won’t cover cost of repairs on their products. Some manufactures offer warranties that cover natural disasters; however, most don’t. Consider talking with your contractor to find out if your materials have a warranty and if they cover natural disasters. Even if they don’t cover the cost, it never hurts to ask.
My Insurance providers will increase my premium if I file a natural disaster claim. Don’t stress about increased premiums if your home was damaged by a natural disaster. By law, most insurance companies cannot raise your insurance rates if damage resulted from these events.
However, if a large amount of people in your area file claims, the insurance company may raise rates for everyone in your area to cover the costs. This means if you don’t file a claim, but others in your area do, your rates may increase anyway. Then you’ll have to pay for their damages and your own. To avoid this, file your claim soon after your home experiences damages.
Now that you know the steps to file your roof insurance claim, browse through our other blogs for more roofing tips.