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How To Get Insurance To Pay for a Roof Replacement

How to get insurance to pay for a roof replacement

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If a storm or fallen tree causes major damage to your roof, you’ll want to submit a homeowner’s insurance claim to minimize your out-of-pocket costs. However dealing with insurance companies can be confusing, and you may not know where to start. Here is what you need to know and the steps to take following serious roof damage to get your claim approved and have your insurance pay for your roof replacement.

Understanding Your Roof Replacement Insurance Coverage

If your roof sustains sudden, serious damage, one of the first things you should do is check your homeowner’s policy and the roof coverage it offers. You can request a copy of your policy from your insurance agent if you don’t have it on hand.

The majority of insurance companies offer two types of roof insurance: repair coverage and replacement coverage. Repair coverage usually reimburses the homeowner for a certain percentage of repair costs. Replacement coverage provides for the replacement of a roof that is beyond repair. Replacement policies are more expensive and make it harder to have a claim accepted. This is why it’s highly important to document the damage and submit a claim as soon as possible.

Not all roof damage will be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. Your coverage depends on your specific policy, your location, and the cause of the damage. For example, hail damage may be covered because it’s an unusual and unpreventable event. However, hurricane damage in Florida may not be covered because of the frequency of hurricanes in the area, because the homeowner doesn’t have hurricane-related coverage, or because the homeowner didn’t take adequate precautions.

If roof damage was caused by you or an inexperienced or unlicensed roofer, your roof replacement will probably not be covered. 

If you have questions about your roof coverage, contact your insurance agent to request more details.

Steps To Take Before Filing a Claim

Document the Damage

Take photos and videos as soon as possible after the damage occurs. Your insurance provider may not need the photos, but they can be helpful if a dispute arises. Additionally, photos and videos can be useful if you need to make temporary roof repairs to prevent further damage. 

Review Your Insurance Policy

Review the perils your policy covers as well as the exceptions. To get your insurance coverage to pay for a roof replacement, you need to have an active homeowner’s policy when the damage occurs, and a peril your policy covers must have caused the damage. 

Most homeowners policies cover many perils that could damage your roof, including:

  • Windstorms (including tornadoes)
  • Hail
  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Weight of ice, sleet, and snow
  • Falling objects
  • Vandalism
  • Aircraft

Homeowner’s insurance won’t pay for or cover a roof replacement and roof damage that results from neglect (lack of maintenance) or intentional damage. 

Here are some examples of roof neglect:

  • Growth of mildew
  • Accumulation of debris
  • Clogged gutters and downspouts
  • Excessive loss of asphalt shingle granules
  • Rusted flashing
  • Cracked caulk
  • Deteriorated vent boots
  • Vine overgrowth
  • Failure to prune overhanging tree branches that scrape the roof

Some of these problems can start as normal wear and tear. But if you don’t address them promptly—something an annual roof inspection can help you do—your insurer might be able to make a neglect case and deny or reduce your claim.

Filing a Roof Insurance Claim

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with your policy and documented the damage, the next step is to file a claim. 

Here are the steps of the claim process: 

Prove Your Roof Is Damaged

Before filing a claim, take pictures of all damage, both interior and exterior. If you can, use a ladder to get a close-up of the roof damage. Consider using a drone camera as well.

A local roofing company can help you document the damage and provide estimates for repairs or replacements. 

In addition to taking photos, record the date and time of the damage. Explain what happened so your insurer knows you aren’t just trying to replace an old roof. If your area was hit by a damaging storm, find news articles that recorded the event.

If your roof damage is from a tree, take multiple photos of the tree from the ground to show where it fell. Show damage to the tree as well as to your roof.

File a Claim

You can file a claim by contacting your insurance agent if you have one or calling your carrier’s claims phone number. Many insurers allow and even encourage policyholders to file a claim through their website or mobile app. 

Get a Roof Inspection

Before your insurance company approves your claim, they will want to see an inspection report and an estimate for your roof replacement. Contact a professional roofing company to inspect your roof and share the findings with your insurer.

Wait for the Adjuster

Once you file a claim, your carrier will assign an insurance adjuster to your claim. This person will be your point of contact for your claim, and they will come to your home to inspect the damage. 

Find a Reputable Roofing Contractor

Once your insurer approves your claim, it is your right and responsibility to choose a reputable roofing contractor. If the contractor charges too much or does poor-quality work, your insurance company might deny your claim. A good choice for a roofing contractor will be licensed, bonded, and insured. It’s also helpful if your contractor can work with your adjuster and provide them with inspection reports and replacement estimates. 

Avoid Scammers & Storm-Chasers

If there’s a major storm in your area, keep an eye out for scammers who provide unsolicited estimates on roof replacements. These people may offer to work with your insurer to negotiate your claim or say they’ll cover your deductible. They may ask for a deposit upfront and then disappear from the area. Before you sign a contract with any roofing contractor, research the company, ask if they’re licensed, and check previous reviews. 

Stay in Contact With Your Insurance Agent

As you move through the process of your claim, send photos, estimates, and any other paperwork to your agent. Your agent should tell you anything else that your insurance company needs to approve the claim. 

Each insurance agency has different steps depending on the location of your home. Once your insurance claim is approved, your agent will help you get your replacement started. Often, the agent works with your roofer to schedule the repairs and release the payment. Your carrier may issue one or a series of payments to replace your roof. If you have a mortgage, expect to funnel these payments through your loan servicer because it has a financial interest in making sure you use it to replace your roof. 

Working With Insurance Adjusters

You should know that only an insurance adjuster can approve your roof damage insurance claim. After you file a claim with your insurer and give them all the relevant information, they will either send out an adjuster or tell you to contact a roofing contractor for an inspection. 

If they instruct you to contact a roofing contractor, the contractor can inspect for storm damage and let you and your insurer know the roof is damaged. You might think your claim will be automatically approved at this point, but that’s not the case. Only your insurance adjuster can approve a roof damage insurance claim.  

Your roofing contractor can help document the damage and advocate for you, but the insurance adjuster has the final say.

Choosing the Right Roofing Contractor

As previously mentioned, you should be on alert for scammers after a major storm in your area. These “storm chasers” are out-of-state roofers that undercut local roofing company prices, take your money, and move on to the next area (but they can also completely scam you by taking your money and not performing any services). These companies don’t make sure they follow local codes or properly install your roof.

This is why you should research a roofing company’s background before hiring them. Check when and where they were founded, whether they are licensed, bonded, and insured and whether they have positive reviews from previous customers. You can also ask what roofing materials they work with and if they have experience dealing with insurance claims. 

Maximizing the Success of Your Claim

Following these steps and making sure to select a trustworthy roofing company will maximize your chances of having your insurance pay for your roof replacement and minimize your out-of-pocket costs. Experienced roof inspectors can help you document the damage and give you an honest, accurate estimate of the replacement cost that has a good chance of being approved by your insurer. 

Dealing With Claim Denials

Once you submit your claim, your insurer will inform you whether it was approved or denied, usually within 15 days. If your claim is denied, you can appeal the decision. The procedure to do so differs by insurance company, so consult your insurance agent for guidance. 

Contact NewRüf for Help With Your Roof Replacement Claim

If your roof has been damaged by a major storm in Central Texas, turn to NewRüf for roof inspections, roof replacements, and assistance with your insurance claim.  

When you choose us for roof insurance claims, we provide your insurer with detailed reports and photos of the damage in addition to an invoice for any work we do. We’ll have all this ready for the insurance adjuster, and we’ll send a roofer out to discuss the damage to your roof and our plan to replace it, including the price estimate, materials needed, project timeline, and more.

You can trust us to get your roof replacement done right—and help get it paid for by insurance. Contact us for roofing services today.


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