If your roofing system recently suffered unexpected damage, you’re likely in a hurry to get your roof repaired to protect your home from further deterioration.
However, new roofing isn’t cheap, and if you’re smart, you’re probably looking for ways to get some, if not all, of your roof replacement covered by insurance. Since insurance companies can be particular about the terms of coverage, it’s crucial to understand how to file a claim correctly to ensure you can count on an insurance payment.
Consider the following before filing a roofing insurance claim:
What Damage Is Covered by Homeowner’s Insurance?
Before filing your claim, it’s important to note that terms and conditions can vary from one homeowner’s insurance plan to another. For example, some insurance policies don’t cover roofs that are ten years or older. You’ll need to check with your insurance provider to see what’s covered by your policy.
Typically, roofing insurance covers accidental or sudden damage, like damage caused by wind, fire, snow, or hail. If your roof is partially damaged, but the damage was significant enough to shorten the lifespan of your roof, your insurance may cover the cost of a complete replacement.
Additionally, if a portion of your roof needs to be replaced and the roofing material you initially used is no longer available, your insurance company may pay to replace the entire roof to ensure the materials match.
What Damage Isn’t Covered by Homeowner’s Insurance?
If your roof is already old or suffering damage from lack of maintenance, your insurance company likely won’t cover the replacement cost. It’s up to you to keep your roofing system in great shape!
Homeowner’s insurance also won’t cover damage from floods or earthquakes. Although it’s rare for earthquakes to strike Indiana, it may be wise to purchase flood insurance in the rare event of severe water damage.
While homeowner’s insurance does cover wind and hail damage, they usually have different coverage levels than general storm damage. Your insurance reimbursement will often only be worth the depreciated value of the roof when the damage occurred. While it’s unlikely you’ll get your entire roof replacement covered from hail and wind damage, you may be able to get enough covered to make a replacement more affordable.
3 Essential Steps for Filing an Insurance Claim
When filing an insurance claim, time is of the essence! Follow these steps as quickly as possible after your roof is damaged for the best outcome.
1. Document the Damage
Right after the damage to your roof occurs, make sure you take photos and collect notes to provide proof of the damage. Most insurance companies will require you to state the exact cause of the damage and provide pictures of your roofing system before and after the catastrophic event.
If you cannot safely get photos of your damaged roof from your vantage point, wait until a professional contractor comes to perform the inspection—they’ll usually be happy to take pictures for you.
2. Get a Roof Inspection
Next, find a reliable local roofing company that’s willing to evaluate the state of your roof and provide you with a written estimate on how much repairs will cost. Professional contractors will also be able to see underlying damage you or the adjuster may otherwise overlook.
You may be tempted to get multiple estimates, but this is often a mistake. Insurance companies will want to see all the estimates you collect—and will usually accept the lowest one. It’s better to find a licensed contractor with an excellent reputation to provide you with the estimate, so you can use them to complete your replacement once you receive the money from insurance.
3. Contact Your Insurance Company
Immediately after your inspection, contact your insurance company. Many companies require you to contact them as soon as the damage happens, so delaying this step may negatively impact your reimbursement. They may ask you to quote the estimated repair costs at this time, so be sure to have your estimate from the local roofing company handy.
Shortly after the call, you’ll usually have an insurance adjuster visit your property. It’s wise to ask your contractor to meet you for the inspection, so they can point out areas of concern to the adjuster. While the adjuster is at your house, jot down your claim number, their name, and the date of their visit in case you need to reference this information later.
You should also consider asking these questions:
- Does my insurance policy cover the damage?
- How long do I have to file a claim?
- How long will it take to process the claim?
Repair Your Roofing System with an Experienced Local Contractor
If everything goes smoothly, you should receive the money to cover your roof repair in no time. Then, you’ll need to find a reliable local company to complete your replacement, like our team at JD Hostetter & Associates!
We understand how prolonged and frustrating the process from filing an insurance claim to completing your roof replacement can be. We make ourselves available when you need us and how you need us, whether by phone, text, or email, to make your experience as stress-free as possible.
Learn more about how we can help you repair storm damage to your roofing system to protect you and your family with a durable, long-lasting roof for decades to come.