ROOFS, STORM DAMAGE, AND THE INSURANCE CLAIMS PROCESS
Wild weather ripped more than a few shingles off of your asphalt roof, your metal roof has major dings and dents, or your tile roof has obvious cracks. What should you do now? Take a look at what homeowners need to know about roofing, storm damage, and insurance claims.
WILL YOUR INSURANCE PAY FOR ROOFING DAMAGE?
The answer to this question is yes, insurance typically pays for roofing damage. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), a standard homeowner's insurance policy should cover hail or disaster-related damage to the structure of a home. While individual policies may differ, if hail, strong winds, or other serious storm action damaged your roof, it's likely your homeowner's policy will pay for at least some of the repair and replacement costs.
Before you assume that your policy will pay for a roofer to repair or replace the shingles, roof tiles, or other roofing related materials, make sure that the type of damage is covered — and that the disaster event actually caused the damage.
The average lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof is 15-20 years, according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI). A metal roof can last for 40 to 80 years, slate has a 60- to 150-year lifespan, and clay or concrete tiles may protect your home for a century or more. If your roof is at the upper edge of its expected lifespan, don't expect your homeowner's insurance to pay for a completely new replacement.
An old, worn roof that already has missing shingles may leak during a storm. But this doesn't mean the storm is the cause of the problem. In this type of case, a homeowner's policy won't cover wear and tear-related issues. The same is typically true for damage that results from lack of maintenance (and not a storm).
WILL INSURANCE PAY FOR THE WHOLE ROOFING REPAIR COST?
Whether a flying branch pierced your roof or hail damaged the shingles, you're ready to file an insurance claim and expect that your homeowner's policy will cover the costs. While basic coverage will pay for some of the storm-related damage costs, it may not pay for the entire repair.
Most policies have a deductible. This is the amount you're responsible to pay before the insurance takes over. The specific deductible number depends on your policy. If you have a $500 deductible, you will need to pay $500 towards the cost of roofing repairs. The insurance company will pay the rest of the bill.
A high-deductible policy equals a high out-of-pocket roofing repair price. If you don't know what your deductible amount is, talk to your insurance company before you agree to a roofing estimate.
Along with the deductible, you may have potentially unexpected costs related to the value of your roof. The insurance company will assess the loss at the current fair market value. This number is the amount that the insurance company will pay for your roofing repairs or (if necessary) replacement. Don't expect your insurer to pay for you to upgrade a less expensive asphalt shingle roof to a pricey slate tile option.
WHO SHOULD YOU CONTACT FIRST?
Should you call a roofing contractor and schedule a repair service or should you contact your insurer before you take the next step? Even though the roofer will need to inspect the damage and provide you with options (and estimates for each repair or replacement service), start this process with your insurance provider. The insurer will need to initiate and approve a claim before the contractor starts the work.
An adjuster from the insurance company will review the facts and look at the damage. They will then either approve or deny your claim. A quality roofing contractor should understand this process and help to walk you through the steps. They should work with the insurance company to and provide information on the repairs, damage, or the cost estimates as needed.
WHICH ROOFER SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?
You have options — and you don't have to limit your roofing estimate to one company or contractor. You may want to get two or three estimates. Again, a quality roofing company knows how to work with insurers and can help to make the claims process easier for their customers. Even though price is important, you also need to look beyond just the cost when choosing a roofer to repair or replace storm damaged areas.
You need to choose a company that has experience with insurance claims, knowledge of your type of roof, a proven track record of high-quality repairs, and services that fit within your budget — especially if you have a high deductible. The roofer should also offer a labor or workmanship guarantee.
Do you need an estimate for your storm-damaged roof? Will you need to repair or replace shingles, tiles, or another material? Contact Kerry Roofing, LLC, for more information on the services and the insurance claims process.