As a homeowner, you may be looking for ways to supplement the cost of a roof placement. One option is to use your homeowner’s insurance, which may cover up to 100 percent of labor and material expenses. Your policy is designed to cover major repairs regardless of the cost. However, you need to review your policy to see what it covers, how much it covers, and under what conditions you can file a claim.
You also need to be aware of the claims process – specifically how an insurance adjuster determines whether your claim will be approved and what coverage you are eligible to receive. Before you speak with the insurance company, you may want to consult a roofing contractor in Florida. A contractor can perform a roof inspection, assess the damages, and guide you through the claims process so that you avoid common mistakes when filing a claim.
How Homeowners Insurance Works
Homeowners insurance is designed to cover the cost of a roof replacement if your roof is damaged. However, the coverage only extends to damage that occurs as a result of an accident. Examples of accidents that may be covered under your policy include:
- Impact from above (debris)
- Falling tree
Keep in mind that coverage kicks in only after you have paid your deductible, which is found in your policy. The deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket before the insurance provider pays the remaining amount. Insurance deductibles vary based on variables such as the amount of coverage and your monthly premiums. So, make sure you understand how much you will have to pay out of pocket before you can use your policy.
What Insurance Companies Consider When Providing Coverage for a Roof Replacement
Homeowners are often shocked when the policy they’ve been paying into for several years does not pay out when they need it most. Insurance companies are notorious for either rejecting claims or not covering the full amount of the damages. However, not all roof damage claims are legitimate. Homeowners are responsible for knowing what factors insurance adjusters consider when determining whether to accept or reject a claim.
Before you file a claim, you need to be aware of the following:
Roof Maintenance History
Insurers may request records of maintenance that you have performed on the roof over the years. If you have not scheduled routine professional roof inspections and maintenance, it may be grounds for the adjuster to reject your claim or offer a low settlement. If you have not taken care of your roof, you may not have the leverage to dispute the insurer’s decision.
The Age of the Roof
As a rule, insurance companies may provide less coverage for roofs over 20 years old. The insurance company may pay out based on the roof’s current market value instead of the replacement cost. The insurer may send out an appraiser to assess the roof’s value to determine how much coverage they provide.
The Extent of the Damage
One of the biggest challenges that homeowners face after a hailstorm is convincing the adjuster that the damage to the roof extends beyond cosmetic issues. If there are a few dents in the metal roof or some shingles are missing, the insurer may not cover your losses. However, if the damage is cosmetic, you may want to bypass an insurance claim altogether and try to pay for a professional roof repair on your own.
If neglected, small roof issues can turn into costly roof repairs in a relatively short period. However, you may not be prepared for the adjuster to deny the claim based on a pre-existing condition. It does not matter if the pre-existing condition was related to the damage. The insurance company can cite the problem as a reason to deny coverage. If you have any current problems with your roof, you need to schedule a roof inspection right away before hurricane season begins.
The Homeowners Insurance Claims Process
Insurance companies will often guide you through the claims process and handle many of the responsibilities of providing coverage on their end. Here are some important items you need to know about homeowners’ insurance claims payments.
- The insurance company will send an adjuster to inspect the roof damage.
- The adjuster will assess the cost of roof repairs and determine the amount of coverage.
- The insurance company may send out multiple checks for different types of coverage.
- The insurance company may pay your roofing contractor directly for all repairs.
- You may receive an additional living expense (ALE) check to cover adjusted living costs.
Should You Contact Your Roofing Contractor First?
Once your roof is damaged, you need to act quickly and decisively. However, before you file a homeowners insurance claim, you may want to contact a local roofing contractor in Florida first. There are several reasons for this.
First, a roofing contractor can inspect your roof before the insurance adjuster arrives. This holds the adjuster accountable for making a proper inspection and verifies that the damage was caused by the disaster and was not a pre-existing condition. Second, a roofing contractor can work directly with the insurance company, relieving you of the hassle of going through the claims process alone.
Third, the contractor can answer any technical questions that the adjuster has. In the roofing industry, this is known as a talking shop. A contractor can describe what happened and precisely how the disaster caused damage to the roof.
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