With today’s technological innovations and the availability of top-quality materials, the average asphalt shingle roof should protect your home for up to 25 years. However, a severe storm or other sudden events can still cause serious damage.
When you’re a victim of roof storm damage, it’s imperative that you file a roof insurance claim immediately to ensure you get the coverage you need to start the roof repair or replacement process.
However, filing a claim can be tricky. If filed improperly, you run the risk of having to wait a long time to get your payout, or worse — you could get denied the funds you need for the repairs.
In this article, we’ll walk you through each step of filing a roof insurance claim, including what to expect throughout the entire process. Read on to learn more.
How to File a Roof Insurance Claim in 5 Simple Steps
The average homeowner isn’t a roofing expert, which is why the roof insurance claim filing process can become complicated. It can be difficult to know what to do or what to look for regarding storm damage to your roof, and roof insurance adjusters often make mistakes.
To ensure your roof insurance claim is filed properly, these are the steps you’ll need to follow:
1) Find Out What Your Insurance Covers 📃
Before you can file a roof insurance claim, you need to be clear about the extent of your coverage. Start by checking your homeowner’s insurance policy to make sure that roof storm damage is included, taking note of any relevant details, and writing down any questions you have.
From there, get in touch with an insurance agent to verify the details and have your questions answered. Be sure to take notes — including who you speak to.
2) Assess the Roof Damage 🤔
After a major storm or other incident occurs, the first thing you’ll want to do is assess the damage yourself.
Look for things like:
- Cracked, broken, or fractured shingles
- Dents and holes
- Missing granules
- Missing shingles
However, we do not recommend that you climb up on your roof yourself — unless you’re comfortable with the height and use the buddy system. So, to inspect the damage, you’ll want to:
- Take a walk around your home and check for signs of damage from the ground up. This includes checking your gutters and siding for impact marks and other signs of damage, as that’s a good indication that there may be more damage up top.
- Get in touch with a local roofing company that offers free inspections. Only a professional roofer can properly assess the damages. They’ll also provide you with the documentation you need for your roof insurance claim.
3) Document the Roof Damage 📸
When filing an insurance claim, you’ll need to provide specific documentation to validate the claim. You’ll need to take as many clear photos of the damage as possible — which your local roofing contractor can help you out with if necessary.
From there, you’ll have to fill out a detailed report of the damage to go along with the photos. You’ll also need to provide documentation of the repairs that need to be done to fix the roof or replace it. Include the date of when the storm took place and when the roofer came to inspect it.
Your roofer will likely provide you with their own detailed report for the inspection, which you’ll need to include along with their information so the insurance company can confer with them. If you have recent photos of your home and roof before the storm damage, it’s a good idea to include those as well.
4) Get a Written Estimate For the Damage ✍️
After your roofing contractor inspects your storm roof damage, not only will they provide you with a thorough report but also an estimate for the repairs needed. This is something you’ll also need to provide in your insurance claim to ensure you get the necessary funds for the work to be done.
5) File the Claim 📁
Your insurance agent should help you file your roof insurance claim by first ensuring you get the proper claims form. Be sure to fill it out in detail according to the documentation you collect in the above steps and as per your agent’s instructions.
Once the claim is filed, an adjuster will visit your home and assess the damages to validate your claim. If possible, have the same roofing contractor that performed the initial inspection to be present when the adjuster arrives to ensure no mistakes are made.
What to Expect When Filing an Insurance Claim
Most homeowners expect their roofs to be repaired or replaced as soon as they send in their claim. Unfortunately, this isn’t usually the case, and it’s important to manage your expectations when it comes to roof storm damage.
Here’s what to keep in mind regarding the insurance claim process:
- The insurance claim process is long. This is because it involves multiple parties to assess the damage, the documentation, and the claim before approval.
- Your insurance policy determines what your insurance company will and won’t pay for. That’s why it’s crucial to ensure you understand what your particular policy covers and how — including whether you either have an Actual Cash Value (ACV) policy or a Replacement Cost Value (RCV) policy.
- The insurance adjuster is the only individual that can approve your roof damage claim. This means your claim won’t automatically be approved just because your contractor provides you with a detailed report.
- Insurance adjusters make mistakes. Mistakes happen, and they can cause you to lose your insurance payout. That’s why it’s recommended to have a trusted roofing contractor present when the adjuster arrives to ensure no mistakes are made.
- There’s a chance your roof insurance claim will be denied. Your claim can be denied for several reasons, including poor installation, inadequate attic ventilation, waiting too long to file the claim, policy exclusions, etc.
- You can appeal a denied claim. If your insurance company denies your claim because they don’t think there’s storm damage, you can always get a second opinion by requesting a different adjuster. If the second adjuster denies your claim, but you and your local roofer are positive there’s storm damage; you’ll likely need to pursue other legal options.
Find a Roofer That Can Support Your Roof Damage Claim
If you have roof storm damage and file your claim properly in the right amount of time, you shouldn’t have too much difficulty getting the payout your policy provides. Of course, having the right roofer on your side can make all the difference.
The professional and experienced roofers at Tidds can provide you with the support you need throughout the insurance process to help you make sure you’ve got all your bases covered. Give us a call today so we can guide you through the process and give your roof a thorough inspection and accurate estimate.