Whenever there is an event that damages the roof on your property, you may want to immediately get started on the repairs. The thought is very tempting, and yes, you need to take steps to ensure that your belongings inside the building stay safe. At the same time, you also need to ensure that you can effortlessly prove the cause of damage and extent of loss without putting your claim in jeopardy. But that will become impossible if you start the repairs immediately. There is a proper way to go about things. Typically, your insurance company representative would have made you aware of the process. So consider this post as a refresher on how to file a claim for roof damage.
Covered Perils That Cause Roof Damage
The roof is an integral part of your dwelling. Without the roof, you cannot stay in your house. Therefore, most homeowner insurance policies cover any damage to it. What is essential to know are the perils that are covered which can lead to a damaged roof. Most insurance companies will cover these perils:
- Wind and hail.
- Lightning strikes.
- Damage caused by falling objects. This usually happens during windstorm damage.
- Natural disasters.
When Is Roof Damage Not Covered
There are some exceptional circumstances under which the roof damage claims are not honored by the insurance company. These are:
- If the roof is more than 10 to 20 years old. The exact timeframe will be mentioned in your copy of the homeowner’s insurance policy.
- If the property owner has not kept up with the roof’s maintenance and upkeep, this lack of effort and negligence results in damage.
- Accidental or intentional damage caused to the roof by the acts of the homeowner.
- If you live in a hurricane or hailstorm-prone state, there is an exclusion from these calamities in the insurance policy.
The Correct Way To File A Claim For Roof Damage
Right off the bat, you can file your roof damage claim with the insurance company from whom you have purchased the homeowner’s insurance policy. Here’s how you need to proceed:
1. Inform The Company Of The Damage ASAP – You need to inform the insurance company of the damage at the first possible opportunity. In fact, the timeframe within which the insurer needs to be made aware of the incident is mentioned in the policy itself. Crossing the deadline may result in denial of the claim.
2. Document The Damage – Documenting the damage refers to making a record of the loss you have suffered. It includes taking pictures and making video recordings of it. These will later be submitted as Proof of Loss. It would be best to remember that the pics should be taken before starting repairs and that the objects should not be moved from their original location.
3. Gather Quotes – The next step is to collect quotes for repairs from the local licensed contractors. You will have to submit these as well when filing the claim.
4. File The Claim – Next, fill the forms and file them with the Proof of Loss and repair quotes. It is vital to ensure you fill the forms correctly and file them with full and complete documentation.
5. Save All Receipts Pertaining To Securing Roof From More Damage – One step you will be required to take before the claim gets approved is undertaking steps to secure the roof so that no further damage occurs. Save all the receipts relating to securing the roof. Do ask your insurer for an approved list of contractors, as working with someone else might result in the insurer not covering the cost of repairs. If your roof is so damaged that the house becomes inhabitable and you are forced to stay in a hotel, your insurance company may cover the hotel expense.
6. Visit From Insurance Adjuster – The insurance company will send an insurance adjuster to assess the roof damage. The adjuster, too, will take a lot of pictures and will even ask you some questions. His intention is to figure out the roof damage is accidental, and you are not trying to fleece the insurance company by playing up the loss.
7. Claim Approval / Denial – Your claim may be approved or denied based on the insurance adjuster’s report. If the claim is approved well and good. If not, it would help to brush up on your knowledge regarding your appeal rights.
File Claim Before Repairing The Roof
It is best to file the claim and be through with the insurance adjuster’s visit before initiating the roof repairs. The insurer may have a clause in the policy that you only work with contractors approved by them.
How Long Does It Take To Settle A Roof Damage Insurance Claim?
Every roof damage claim is unique. The time it takes to process it depends on the severity of the damage. The more the damage, the longer it may take, and vice-versa. Usually, a claim may take 30 to 60 days to settle.
To Sum Up
The process of filing a roof damage claim is the same as that for any other loss. It is dealt with very carefully because usually, the roof is very expensive to repair — all parties concerned need to ensure that only the due amount is paid. Once the formalities are completed, the settlement moves at a faster pace. As the insured, if you feel incapable of running around and completing the formalities, you can hire a public adjuster to do all your leg work.
Continental Public Adjusters are experts in handling the claim settlement process for homeowners and condo associations. Our company was founded in 1996, and since then, we have successfully settled thousands of claims. Our offices are located throughout Florida, and we feel incredibly proud to serve its residents. If you need an expert to bat for you and ensure that you get a maximum settlement, contact us at (800) 989-4769. You can also contact us to get a free claim review.