In the aftermath of an event that leaves your roof damaged, you would want your family and belongings to stay safe, which is why a roof replacement would be the first thing on your mind. Fortunately, most insurance companies treat a roof replacement as an emergency and depending on the cause of the damage, their policy will cover your roof and the cost of replacing it. However, insurance companies typically covered a roof replacement only if the damage was caused by an act of nature or a sudden accident. If your roof has exceeded its lifespan, or you are dealing with general wear and tear, you may not be eligible for reimbursements.
Dealing with insurance claims can be a daunting process. The process, which often comes down to dealing with adjusters and getting reimbursed for damages covered by your policy, is complicated enough that many homeowners are simply unsure about how it works or what they need to provide in order to file a claim.
By the end of this article, you will learn everything you must know about how insurance companies handle roof replacement claims.
How does roof coverage work?
The roof is arguably one of the most important aspects of a property. The roof is the most exposed part of your home to all sorts of weather elements. This means that it’s at risk of heavy snow and hail in northern climates, and in Midwest areas, cyclones and tornados can be a huge threat to its integrity. Apart from this, a severe windstorm can easily cause a tree to fall onto your roof. These are some of the events that will qualify you for a roof replacement.
To give your roof the best chance of having coverage, it is important to call your insurance company for an inspection as soon as possible. Before they arrive at your home, you should gather up all documents such as copies of the current home insurance policy, receipts of any recent roof repair, etc. Your insurance company will then ask an adjuster to inspect your roof and prepare their own assessment.
A Roof replacement covers all of the costs for a new roof. This includes removing your old roof, installing and shingling a brand-new roof, and finishing it with protective coatings to prevent any leaks or damage from occurring in the future.
Age of the roof
Unlike wine, your roof does not improve with age. This is why insurance companies will definitely consider your roof’s age when providing coverage.
Some insurance companies refuse to renew existing home insurance policies if the roof has exceeded 20 years of age. While other insurance companies will not even consider writing a policy for homes with roofs that are over 20 years old.
Exclusions of roof replacement claim
Although your roof is covered, there might be some exclusions in your insurance contract. Sometimes insurance companies will put a coverage limit on your policy. This means that if your roof replacement project costs more than the coverage limit, then you will be responsible for paying the amount over the coverage limit.
There could be some other exclusions as well. Some insurance policies have exclusions for hail and windstorms. Other possible exclusions include improper maintenance, the use of expensive roofing materials, etc.
Preventing roof replacement
It is the responsibility of homeowners to do everything possible to ensure proper care for their roofs. For this purpose, they may want to hire a professional roofing company for periodic inspection and maintenance. Roofing professionals will tell homeowners about the causes of roof problems and what they can do to avoid them.
In order to maintain the integrity of your roof, it is imperative that you take care. This includes ensuring there are no leaves or debris on top that can collect water.
Does it cover roof leaks?
If your roof starts leaking, it’s crucial to repair the leak as soon as possible. Depending on what caused the problem, you may or may not be covered for a fix by insurance. For example, if hail damage is responsible and this isn’t excluded in your policy-insurance might cover some of the cost.
In simple words, if the leak in your roof is not due to poor maintenance or wear and tear but rather caused by a storm or disaster, then you are most likely covered by insurance. Otherwise, you are out of luck.
Homeowners should be proactive in preventing leaks. In some cases, insurers may cover the costs of a roof leak, but homeowners are accountable for covering any damage caused by negligence or improper maintenance.
By conducting regular roof inspections and maintenance, you can avoid a leaky roof. This way, you are more likely to catch a problem before it becomes a bigger and more expensive solution.
Should you file a roof replacement claim before repairing the roof?
It is best to file a claim before repairing your roof. This is because the insurance company may require you to hire a roofing contractor from their own network. In some cases, your insurance company might decide to replace rather than repair. This is when you are allowed to hire a professional to protect the roof until the full replacement is made.
If you have already hired a contractor for some temporary repairs before filing a claim, then make sure that you don’t throw away the receipts. Your insurance company might ask for the recent repair receipts.
How long does it take to settle a claim?
The claim process can be long and arduous, but there are several ways to help the situation. If you make your claim quickly after an incident occurs, then it will go through more smoothly than a late report which may cause delays in processing or even denial of payment on account of missing information. The worst-case scenario is if other claims arise at the same time as yours. Typically, it takes around 30 to 60 days to receive the reimbursements once the claim has been settled.
The steps to follow when filing a claim
- Document the damage: If you want your insurance companies to pay for your roof, then make sure that you have taken enough pictures of the roof damage. If possible, try and get a picture showing what caused it, such as a fallen tree. Only after you have properly documented the proof of the damage, you can begin performing any temporary repairs to the roof.
- Call your insurance company: The next step is to contact your insurance company and send them the proof of the damage. Communicate all the relevant details of the accident. Eventually, the insurance company will send an adjuster to your home who will document the damage and produce an assessment report.
- File the paperwork: The insurance company should then provide you with the relevant paperwork needed for filing a claim. Submitting this paperwork is what will initiate your process of claiming damages from them.
- Save receipts: It’s important to save all receipts relating to repairing damage from the storm and any repairs that you or a professional have undertaken. Avoid having professionals make these roofing repairs until your insurance company approves it, as they may not cover contractors outside of their network. If your home is uninhabitable because of hurricane-related issues and you have to stay in hotels, be sure to save the hotel receipts as well.
- Wait for their answer: Depending on the assessment report written by the adjuster, your insurance company will decide whether the damage is covered by the policy or not. Once the adjuster has completed the inspection, all you can do is wait for your insurance company’s answer.
The process of filing a claim for a complete roof replacement is not very simple and straightforward. Dealing with adjusters and insurance companies can be quite overwhelming. Make sure that you have documented all the proof of the damage and you have saved all the receipts related to roof repairs.
You should not have any trouble filling a claim, especially if you have read through the guidelines provided in this article. If you are denied a claim, ask for an appeal and don’t give up. Roof replacements can be very expensive, but do the best you can to get your money back from the insurance company.
We hope that this article has provided you with the necessary information on how insurance companies handle roof replacements. We recommend that you keep this article handy for future reference.
Learn more about American Central of Tulsa Roofing
More Roof Repair Locations:
Tulsa | Bartlesville | Owasso | Skiatook | Collinsville | Pawhuska | Dewey | Barnsdall | Sapulpa | Sand Springs | Stillwater | Bristow | Cleveland | Kellyville | Mannford | Hominy | Broken Arrow | Claremore | Catoosa | Wagoner | Coweta | Porter | Inola | Verdigris | Pryor Creek | Jenks | Glenpool | Bixby | Mounds | Beggs | Okmulgee | Muskogee | Henryetta | Haskell