If your roof has been heavily damaged by high winds, hail, snowstorm, rain or other acts of God, you urgently need to repair or replace it quickly, before further damage is done. To get your homeowner’s insurance to pay for a roof replacement, you’ll need to review your homeowner’s policy, work with a certified roof inspector to identify damage, document the damage, contact your insurer, and file a claim.
Review Your Policy
Carefully review the specifics of your homeowner policy in relationship to roof repair and replacement. Many homeowner policies cover roof replacement in the case of a hurricane, tornado, fire, or vandalism. But if the damage is caused by wind, rain, snow, or ice, coverage may be prorated, based upon the age of your roof. Generally, a newer roof, one that is 10 years or less, is fully covered for repair or replacement on sections of the roof that have been damaged.
When a roof is beyond the 10 year mark, a homeowner will usually only receive reimbursement on the depreciated value of the roof. Instead of fully covering the cost of repair or replacement, a homeowner’s reimbursement is based on the roof’s decreased value because of its age and the wear and tear it has experienced.
Some insurance providers do not check the age of your roof and they offer full coverage and pay for all the damage.
Contact Roofing Contractor with Insurance Expertise
Before you can get work done on your roof that will be covered by insurance, you will need to obtain an estimate. Find a reputable local roofing contractor and arrange for a roof inspection to determine the significance of the damage. Ask for a written estimate of the cost of replacing or repairing your roof. If a new roof is recommended, ask them to indicate on their estimate why a total roof replacement is necessary.
Insurers typically demand that residential roof repair and replacement claims be submitted in a very specific, detailed manner.
Working with a locally known, certified roofing contractor can improve your chances of getting your roof replacement covered. They are experienced in navigating through the roof insurance claim process. Look for contractors with extensive experience in providing roof estimates for insurance claims.
Document Damage and Expenses
Claims need to be filed in a timely manner so it is critical to take note of the time and date of the roof damage. Document the damage by using photographs of the roof, before and after, and include information compiled by a certified roof inspector.
If you were forced to make temporary repairs to your roof to continue living in your home, save the invoices or receipts for the repairs.
If you are unable to continue living in your home because of your roof damage, save the receipts for all costs you incur, including lodging expenses if you need to stay in a hotel until the roof is replaced.
Contact Your Insurer
Contact your insurance agent promptly to find out how to make a claim. You may have a limited time frame to notify them. Payment can be accelerated when a claim is promptly filed. If you have questions regarding your claim, ask your agent. Find out your insurance carrier’s procedures for making temporary repairs, if necessary.
Make a Claim
Most insurance companies dispatch an inspector to examine and confirm a damage claim. To give yourself the best chance of having your insurance provider pay for a replacement roof, gather up as many pertinent documents as you can. Include a copy of your current home insurance policy, any home inspection reports, receipts for any repair work you have done, and before-and-after photos of roof damage. Also include paperwork from the roofing inspector. All of these items will be useful in successfully filing a claim that results in reimbursement for roof repair or replacement.