How to Make Roof-related Insurance Claims
There are few types of home repair needs that can compare in urgency level to a roofing repair. After a major storm rolls through, you may be left with a roof leak, blown off shingles, hail damage to your roof, or even a hole in the rooftop caused by a fallen tree limb.
This is the time to activate the benefits of your homeowners insurance policy – benefits you pay for every month through your premiums! Storm damage is almost always covered, so it’s more a matter of wading through the claim-filing process than qualifying for the claim.
Here is a quick, easy 7-step response plan to help you restore your roofing in the aftermath of stormy weather – and ensure it is covered by your home insurance policy to the maximum possible amount.
1. Assess the damage done to your roof.
The first step in filing insurance claims is simply to assess the damage done to your roof in the recent storm. Once the storm has passed and it’s safe and practical to do so, take a walk around your building from a sufficient distance to view your roof top.
Use binoculars if that helps. Look for any shingles that are missing, dangling, turned up, or broken off. See if you can spot any hail impact marks. Check the flashing along chimneys, the eaves, and in the roof valleys.
2. “Stop the bleeding!”
If you know you have a roof leak or an area of your roof that has been badly exposed to the weather (or even bashed in), temporary measures must be taken to prevent further damage.
For small leaks, setting down a container to catch the water should it rain again before the repair might be sufficient. Protective tarps may be needed on the rooftop, and you may want to contact a local roofer to do it. Most roofers will honor “emergency calls.”
3. Gather documentation & evidence.
Bring your camera and take pictures of any damaged areas of your roof. Keep a notebook to document and describe the storm damage as well.
If you gave your insurer pictures and information about the condition of your roof pre-storm, you can compare that to the new documentation of your roof’s condition post-storm.
4. Contact your local roofer.
If you haven’t already, contact a reliable, local roofer at this point. Maybe you already have a name and number and can rely on a contractor who does your annual roof inspection – and thus, is already familiar with your roof.
Otherwise, take the time to comparison shop. Don’t go with a fly-by-night company or someone who randomly shows up at your door right after a storm. It’s best if you do the research yourself and then you contact them.
5. Contact your insurance company.
Next, you will want to review your home insurance policy’s stipulations relative to storm damage and roof damage and make “the call.”
Be very specific about the damage you have observed. Mention the differences between your roof as it existed before and after the storm hit. Ask about your insurer’s next step – probably a visit to your home to inspect your roof. Ask how much of the damage will be covered and to what limit. It’s best to know exactly what to expect.
6. Get an accurate estimate.
Your insurer will likely give you an estimate, but you may want an independent opinion too. Consider having the roofing contractor give his estimate or using a public assessor. You want a fair, accurate estimate so you know how much you will pay and how much will be covered by your insurance claim.
7. Finish filing your claim.
Once you’ve chosen your roof repair professional, you can determine if only parts of your roof need new shingles or if a full re-roofing job would be appropriate. Depending on your insurer’s rules, you may get the money to pay for the project upfront, be reimbursed, or simply let the insurance company pay the contractor. You will need to file the paperwork once you know the numbers.
To learn more about filing roof-related insurance claims or for a free roof repair quote, contact us today in Nashville, Brentwood, Green Hills, Franklin, Spring Hill, and adjacent areas.