What Homeowners Need to Know About Insurance Claims for Roofs

In 2012, hail and wind damage cost State Farm Insurance more than $3.9 billion. Insurance claims for roofs were a part of that exorbitant figure. Homeowners filing claims are often confused by the forms, inspections, and dealing with insurance agents.

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Insurance claims for roofs can be easy or difficult. If you need a new roof or just repairs on the old one, there are important things you need to know before starting. Sometimes this can be a complex process to navigate. However, there are steps you can take to simplify the process and get the best possible results.

If your roof has been damaged in any way and you have homeowner’s insurance, there are a number of factors that will determine what is covered and how much the insurance company will actually pay. Having an experienced roofing contractor on your side who can document everything will be very beneficial.

Insurance Claims for Roofs can be Tricky

Filing insurance claims for roofs can be tricky if you do not follow every step in the process exactly. Insurance companies are not trusting entities, and they will want documentation. They will often send an insurance inspector to your home to examine your roof.  If the damage is caused by a covered event or it is listed as a covered loss in the policy then it is usually simply a matter of the amount they will pay on the claim.

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Common Reasons for Insurance Claims for Roofs

There are a variety of different occurrences that can cause damage to your roof. Hailstorms, high winds, and trees falling on roofs are often reasons to file an insurance claim. Shingles and other roofing products can be blown off and hailstones are known to leave obvious indentations in the roof surface.

Will Your Insurance Company Cover the Entire Cost of a New Roof?

You may be surprised to find out that some policies do not cover the entire cost of a new roof or prorate for the age of the roof. Some insurance claims for roofs are initially denied, and some are paid out on a depreciated value for the roof. You may also have to pay any deductible amount that you chose for your policy before the insurer will pay anything.

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Each Insurance Policy is Different

Insurance claims for roofs vary in results because each policy is different. If you have any questions, you should contact the company that issued your policy. Policies that are more expensive may cover more than a cheaper option, and some policies do not cover certain events or damage types while others do.

What is a Deductible?

Most insurance policies include a deductible. This is the portion of a covered loss that the insured must pay.  Under most circumstances, the insurance company subtracts the deductible before they pay the claim, so the insured is not required to pay anything up front.

Deductible amounts can vary considerably and it affects the insurance premium paid for the policy. The amount is determined when the policy is chosen. According to a USA.gov publication, “The higher your deductible, the more money you can save on your premiums.”

How Does the Claims Process Work?

With insurance claims for roofs, you may have to allow an adjuster to inspect the damage. In other cases, an estimate from at least one roofing contractor will need to be submitted to the insurance adjuster in your case. Once a claim is approved the insurance company will cut a check, usually for the depreciated value minus any deductible.

The initial check may be in both the name of the mortgage holder and your name, and the mortgage holder will have to sign off the check in this situation. Once the roof is repaired then a second check may be cut for any additional amounts involved in the actual repairs.

What if the Insurance Company Denies My Roof Claim?

Insurance claims are not always paid. If you believe that the insurance company is wrong and the damage should be covered by your insurance policy you can appeal the denial. Your policy is your contract with the insurance company. If your appeal is denied you can consult with an attorney to see if you have further recourse.

Having the facts and being an informed policyholder will help you navigate the process of insurance claims for roofs. Have you had insurance claims for roofs denied in the past? What did you do?