Don’t feel alone if the idea of filing an insurance claim for your roof is daunting.  Most people are not familiar with filing claims, talking to adjusters or getting the right reimbursement for a damaged roof.  Completing the forms, gathering the right documents and information and knowing what to expect causes a great deal of uncertainty among most homeowners.

Home insurance places a great deal of importance on roofing because it can be a gateway to further damage.  High winds and hail storms can lead to payouts that are relative to the roof coverage.  Roofing damage claims are taken very serious by insurance companies and you are expected to present all the necessary information and documentation for the claim to be filed.

Understanding your policy

If you want to know just what your policy covers, then you should reach out to an insurance agent to find out.  Every policy is different.  Some will consider the age of the roof at the time it is damaged.  Roofs less than ten years old may not be fully covered for repair and replacement whereas roofs older than ten years may only be covered for the depreciated value.  Depreciation takes age and wear into consideration and its value will decrease irrelevant to the damage caused.

Every now and then a policy will cover depreciation regardless of the age and some even cover the full costs of repairs and replacement.  Before any reimbursement is discussed, insurance companies send out inspectors to verify your claim.  If they find that the damage is the result of wear and tear or even poor roof condition, then the repairs will not likely be covered.

Getting the documents you need

The claim process can be made easier by having the right documentation ahead of time.  To get the ideal settlement it is advised to have photos.  Take pictures regularly of your roof to represent what it looked like ‘before’ and be sure to take updated pictures any time you do repairs or maintenance.  After any damage, be sure to take ‘after’ pictures and make a note of any estimates provided as well as invoices.

You want a contractor with experience

The insurance company will not approve any repairs until you have had a professional roofer inspect the damage and prepare an estimate.  You can usually pick the roofing company you want to work with and most of them are usually able to help guide you through the insurance claim process.  Getting a contractor with insurance claim experience will help make the process more efficient and many companies work with Certified Public Adjusters who will work with the insurance company on your behalf.

It is best to speak with an experienced roofing company sooner rather than later.  The sooner they can assess the damage to your roof, the quicker the claim process can get started and resolved.  Additionally, by getting the damage looked at right away, no further damage can occur which may not be covered and therefore jeopardize your claim.

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