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How to File a Claim with Insurance for Roof Damage

February 3, 2022

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If you’ve experienced severe storm damage to your home or business, one of the first things you should do is contact your insurance provider and file a claim. The process will differ slightly based on the type of insurance you have, but the main idea behind it stays the same—you’re letting the company know what damages you’ve experienced and how they can be resolved. In this guide, we’ll talk about how to file a claim with insurance for roof damage, including how to handle filing an insurance claim in general, as well as some helpful tips to consider before filing your claim.

Contact your insurance company

The best way to start getting your roof replaced is by contacting your insurance company. Your home insurance policy will often have a clause that covers property damage resulting from wind, hail, and other natural disasters. In order to file an insurance claim, you’ll need an appraisal from an expert of how much it will cost to repair or replace your roof.

If you’re not sure whether your insurance covers roof damage, call your agent and ask. If you haven’t done so already, schedule an inspection from an expert in roofing or go out and hire one yourself. After inspecting your roof, they’ll be able to give you an idea of how much it will cost to repair or replace it entirely.

negotiate with insurance adjuster

Check your roof damage

Most insurance companies will cover roof damage caused by severe weather, including hail, rain, and wind. However, in some instances you may need to take additional steps before filing a claim. The first step is determining if your roof is indeed damaged and in need of repair or replacement. In most cases you can simply take an outside glance at your roof. Are there any missing shingles? Are there any cracks? Are there dents in your vents or gutters? If so, chances are you have storm damage.

If you’re having trouble determining whether or not your roof has been damaged, you can always call an insurance professional. They will perform an inspection of your roof, and if necessary provide you with repairs estimates. Before filing a claim, make sure your roof isn’t damaged beyond repair.

Take pictures of the damaged area

When you’re ready to file your claim, take pictures of damaged areas using your phone or another camera. The photos don’t have to be professional quality, just clear enough that your insurance company can see where repairs are needed. It’s always best to document damages in person (rather than relying on estimates from others), as you’ll be able to record things more accurately.

Of course, it’s not always easy or possible to document every roofing problem in person. If that’s your situation, take some time after you report your claim and make visits as needed. You might find damage that you didn’t notice on first pass. Be sure to keep thorough records of when you were at the property and what was happening (such as rain, windy conditions). Other details can help clarify issues later if there are disputes about timelines or other important facts.

adjuster for roof damage insurance claim

Before removing any materials

In order to file an insurance claim, you’ll need documentation proving your roof has been damaged. Before you remove anything, be sure to document it thoroughly by taking plenty of photos and even recording video footage. This is important because some insurance companies will require proof of damage before they’ll issue payment. They also won’t pay if they think you removed materials that had not been damaged—and got banged up while being moved—as part of a bid to get more money from them.

Check your home

If you see any signs of leaking, or if water is pooling on your ceiling, then it’s time to get serious about filing a claim. The first step is making sure you have enough coverage—many insurers require a percent more than your home’s insured value. Once you know your limits, reach out to your agent and file an insurance claim as soon as possible. Your agent will walk you through how much of each expense to cover and how long it should take for repairs.

When you do file a claim, your insurer will either send an inspector or request that you hire one yourself. The inspector will check your home and belongings over thoroughly, checking walls, ceilings, floors, carpeting, and even testing fixtures.

roof after storm damages

Get professional help

It’s important to get professional help. Hiring a roofing contractor to ensure that your claim is filed properly and that you don’t end up paying any more than necessary. The first step in filing an insurance claim is to have an estimate done by your insurance company’s agent. Once they've approved the amount, they may provide you with a list of recommended contractors. Whether you have one in mind or use theirs, it's important to select a professional. Roof repair isn't a DIY project you should take lightly.

Professional roofers will be able to provide you with advice and information that you won't get from a DIY guide or your insurance company. They'll work efficiently and make sure that they use materials that fit within your budget. Their employees are highly trained and certified in their field.

Will they replace my roof?

After your roof sustains damage, you’ll have three options to repair it: You can hire a contractor and pay out of pocket, you can file an insurance claim (and pay additional premium costs) or you can repair it yourself. Whichever option you choose, be sure to document all communication that comes from your insurance company or contractor.

Very few will do it themselves. With the average homeowner spending about $8,585 to install a new roof it doesn't make sense to pay out of pocket for it unless the damage wasn't covered by your insurance policy. Majority of people will fall into the third category of having their insurance company pay for the repairs. 

While your roof is being repaired, ask about accommodations they may offer. Whether they put you up in a hotel or apartment, you may be entitled to some accommodations like these within your policy.

If you need assistance with a property claim, get in touch with us a Melo Property Claims today!

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