Filing an Insurance Claim for Roof Damages

Filing an insurance claim for roof damages is a common event for many homeowners. Every season brings conditions that can damage a roof. Spring winds and tornadoes, summer hail storms and lightning strikes, heavy fall rains and the snow and ice of winter may all cause major roof damage.

In this roofing guide, we outline the steps you should take in filing an insurance claim for damage to your roof. Follow them in order to ensure that your claim will be accepted and promptly paid by your insurer.

Step One: Inspect the Roof

If your roof has been hit by strong storms, high winds, or heavy snow and ice, it should be thoroughly inspected. Walk around your home at a distance from which you can see the entire roof. Use binoculars to inspect the roof. If you’re comfortable doing it, set up a ladder and inspect the roof from it. If you are unable to inspect the roof, call a professional roofing contractor to do it.

Step Two: Document the Damage

If you find missing or damaged roofing material, missing flashing, gaps between the roof and an exterior wall or chimney, record the date the damage occurred. If you have digital camera, even a phone camera, take pictures of the damage.

Step Three: Call a Professional Roofer

A roofing contractor can give you an estimate of the damage so that you’ll know whether or not to file a claim. For example, if you have a $250 deductible on your insurance policy and there is less than $500 worth of damage, you may not want to file a claim. The insurance company will pay for repairs beyond the amount of your deductible, but filing a claim may raise your premiums.

Get the estimate or several estimates before you call your insurer as long as the roofing professional can provide it to you within a few days of when the damage occurs. Ask the roofing contractor if he or she is willing to be present when the insurance company sends an adjustor to do their inspection of the roof. The contractor can point out damage that the adjustor may overlook.

Step Four: File an Insurance Claim for Roofing Damage

Contact your insurer, and let them know your roof has been damaged. You may be able to file your claim over the phone or by fax, or may be able to sign the forms when the adjustor comes to inspect the roof.

Step Five: Settle on the Claim Amount with the Insurance Company

Your insurer should let you know in just a few days whether or not it will pay for a claim, and the amount of the repairs it will cover. If you believe the offer is not high enough, get several new estimates for the work and submit them to the insurance company. Insurers are often quite reasonable and will raise the amount of the claim if shown multiple estimates that exceed their estimate.

Once you’ve agreed on the dollar amount of the claim, choose the contractor you’d like to do the work and have it done. The sooner you get storm damage repaired, the sooner your home is protected from the next potential cause of damage

Summary:

The procedure above was designed to help you get a start on filing a claim. Remember that each carrier is different with its own special forms and procedures. Take your time and do it right the first time. Also keep in mind that many insurance carriers have a limit on the number of claims you can have before they will drop you. So don’t file for minor things that you can fix yourself.

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