ROOF DAMAGE INSURANCE CLAIM: TIPS TO MAKE THE PROCESS EASIER
If your home recently sustained roof damage, you might wonder what to do next. If you have a home insurance policy, the claim process might seem complicated if you don't know what to expect. But, with these few tips, the process will likely be much smoother and less stressful for you.
FILE A CLAIM AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
You need to file your roof insurance claim as soon as the damage occurs. Most policies have a filing time limit, usually within a year of the incident. If you wait too long, your insurer could deny your claim. The insurance company might assume that you've had time to fix the problem and no longer need their help.
When you file a claim right away, you also prove that the damage is a result of the event you state in your claim. For example, if a severe storm damages your roof and you wait a few months to file a claim, the insurance company might claim that the damage is from something else, like old age or wear and tear.
Moreover, the sooner you file, the sooner the repairs can begin. And the longer you wait, the more your roof's condition worsens. For example, if a tree falls on your roof and creates a hole, that hole is likely to become larger if you don't address the damage. You risk other things like water damage to the rest of your home. In such a case, you might fail to convince your insurance company that the extra damage isn't a result of your own neglect.
Make sure you inform your insurer as soon as you discover serious damage to your roof. If you're not sure whether or not you should file a claim, contact your roofing contractor. They can help you determine whether the damage is worth a claim from your insurer.
DOCUMENT THE DAMAGE
You need to document the damage beforehand to make sure the insurance claim process goes smoothly. You can follow these steps for successful documentation.
Gather Relevant Evidence
The insurance company will likely want to see evidence of the damage before they approve your claim. So make sure you take pictures or videos of the damage from different angles. If possible, take close-up images that show the details of the damage. Take photos of the entire roof so that the insurance company can see the scope of work they need to prepare for.
In addition to pictures or videos, you should also gather any other evidence of the damage. Use things like receipts for repairs, medical bills (if anyone sustained injuries from the damage), or police reports (if the damage was because of a crime). If you have this evidence on hand, your insurer is more likely to approve your claim.
If the roof damage is due to a severe storm, there's a good chance that other homes in your area suffered a similar fate. So take a walk around your neighborhood to see if you can find any evidence of damage to other roofs.
Look out for things like shingles on the ground or debris in the yards. If you can find this evidence, take pictures or videos and include the details in your claim. The insurance company is much more likely to approve your claim if they see that other homes in the area also suffered similar damages from the same event.
MAKE A DETAILED LIST OF ALL THE DAMAGES
After you gather all the evidence you need, make a list of all the damage you notice on your roof. Make sure you include everything — from the smallest detail to the largest repair. For example, if you discover a few missing shingles on your roof, note what you see. If a section of the roof appears too damaged for simple repairs, remember to include that in your list as well.
When you file your insurance claim, you need to provide an estimate of the repairs as well. And if you have a list of all the damages, you won't struggle to get an accurate estimate.
Oftentimes, the insurance company will want to see this list to determine whether your policy covers all the damages. So, take your time and make sure you don't miss anything. You'd be better off if you include too much information than not enough.
You can also ask your roofing contractor for a professional damage report. This report will include things like the cost of repairs and the reason for the damage. If you have this report, your chances of a successful claim are higher since you'll have professional documentation of the damage.
Most experienced roofing contractors know what evidence the insurance company will want to see to approve the claim. So, if you're not sure how to file a claim or gather evidence, a reliable roofing contractor like Kerry Roofing LLC can be a valuable resource. Contact us today so we can help you get started.