Steps to Filing a Roof Damage Claim
Your home’s roof is your main source of protection from weather, falling tree limbs, pests, and even electrical fires. Damage to your roof will lead to damages to the rest of your home. This is why mortgage companies need homeowners to have their roofs insured through a home insurance policy. It is also why insurance companies are very careful to check the state of your roof before issuing you a policy. Roofs that are more than 15 years old rarely get covered.
For this topic we are working under the assumption that you have coverage. If you have been denied coverage or coverage lapses or you find yourself having to pay out of pocket for any reason, you might have to consider a loan for your new roof.
So, what do you do if you have a current home insurance policy and your roof gets damaged? Well, it’s important to have some insider secrets on how to file a roof damage insurance claim that gets paid. Keep reading for the key steps to filing a roof damage claim.
1. Select the Right Contractor
The first step in the roof damage insurance claim process is choosing the contractor that will fix your roof. The more reputable your contractor, the easier it will be to get your insurance claim approved. You also want a skilled contractor that will permanently end your roofing woes.
Choose a local contractor that is state-licensed as this reduces the possibility of hiring a quack. To make your roof repair an easy process, you should also select a contractor that uses modern roofing software. This will make it easier to create architectural drawings and pictures to back up your insurance claim.
2. Schedule a Roof Inspection
Once you choose your roofing contractor you need to schedule an inspection visit for them to check the extent of your roof’s damage. A good contractor will do a thorough inspection and take lots of pictures to help back your claim. The contractor’s inspection report will be useful in validating the findings of your insurance adjuster
3. Damage Control
The roof claim process will take some time so you will need to make quick fixes to your roof to prevent further damage. Your insurance company does expect you to do what you can to protect your home once you notice roof damage. The last thing you need is additional damage that might force you to move, even temporarily.
Ask your contractor to make some temporary fixes as needed but keep copies of all receipts as you will add them to your reimbursement claim.
4. Schedule the Visit from the Insurance Adjuster and File Your Claim
Once your contractor finishes his inspection, you can contact your insurance company to inform them of your roof damage and file your claim. Some contractors may submit their findings to your insurance company on your behalf.
A few days after contacting your insurance company, an adjuster will come to inspect your property. If possible, ask your contractor to be present for the inspection so that they can be sure that there isn’t any damage missed.
5. Leave Nothing to Chance
One of the most important roofing insurance claim tips is to leave nothing to chance during the insurance adjuster visit. The adjuster is the one that determines how much the insurance will pay, so you want them to be on your side. Make sure that they capture all roof damages no matter how insignificant they may seem.
Take notes during the visit. Make sure you capture the date and time of the visit, the insurance claim number, and the adjuster's full name and contact details. This will make future communications with your insurance company easier. Additionally, ask all the questions you may have about the claim process. For instance, is your damage covered under your specific policy or how long will you have to file a claim, and do you need to provide repair estimates?
6. Get the Scope of Work
Following the adjuster’s inspection, your insurance company will approve your roof repair work. The contractor will have to draft a clear scope of work that all parties understand and agree to.
7. Get The Funds To Start The Repairs
The insurance company will then provide the estimate for your roof repair and release the funds required to complete the job. If your home is mortgaged, the funds are often issued as a joint check to you and your lender.
The contractor usually gets paid once they complete the work. So the mortgage company will likely hold the funds in an escrow account until the contractor completes the repairs. If your contractor incurs extra costs when fixing your roof, they will bill your insurer directly. The insurer will send you the funds to pay the contractor.
8. Contractor Fixes Your Roof
The contractor will now have the go-ahead to start your roof repairs. They will order all the materials required to fix your roof which should be delivered to your home before the repair work starts. The contractor will then be under contractual obligation to start and finish the roof repairs within the stipulated time.
9. Schedule a Lender Inspection
Once the contractor finishes the repairs you will need to inspect and confirm that they did a good job. Your lender may also want to check the repair work as they have financial interests in your home. Don’t sign off on any shoddy repair jobs.
Key Steps to Filing A Roof Damage Claim
So those are the key steps you will need to follow when filing a roof damage claim. In case you don’t have homeowners insurance you may still be able to get government relief by registering for federal disaster relief at DisasterAssistance.gov.