How to Properly Handle a Roofing Insurance Claim
It’s a shame when your roof gets damaged by a strong storm or some other type of accident but it’s not the end of the world. Most every homeowner’s policy does cover storm and other types of accidental roof damage. The biggest mistake you can make when you suffer any type of roof damage is to try to rush through the claims process. There is a certain set of steps you must take in order to make sure your roof is repaired the right way and that repair will remain weathertight for a long period of time.
Important Steps in Handling any Roof Damage Insurance Claim
• Know what your insurance policy covers
It’s very important to know what your homeowner’s insurance covers on your roof before a storm or other event damages it. Why is this important? It’s because there are certain situations you can fall into where even after a strong weather event your insurance company will not honor a claim.
Factors such as having more than two layers of shingle on your roof or having a roof that is over a certain age can leave you paying for severe roof damage out of your own pocket. Knowing what your homeowner’s policy covers as far as your roof is concerned will help you avoid this insurance pitfall.
• Contact your insurance
Contact your homeowner’s insurance provider right away. Time is not your friend when it comes to roof damage. Don’t mistake this for meaning that you need to hire a roofing contractor right away. It just means you need to get the insurance claims process rolling along as soon as possible.
One thing you certainly don’t want to do is let your insurance company steer you to one of their preferred roofing contractors. Often times these roofing contractors become preferred because they favor the insurance company cost wise. This can lead to substandard roofing repairs that lead to future leaking and structural problems.
• Document your claim
A lot can happen between the time your roof is damaged and the time the insurance adjuster gets there to approve your claim. Sometimes communication is not the greatest between claims adjusters and your insurance agent also. That’s why it’s a really great idea to document your claim as much as possible.
What does document your claim mean? It means take lots of photos of your roof damage and such things as the trees on your roof BEFORE you get them removed. Also have a roofing contractor take close up photos for you of your roof while they are up there inspecting it for your insurance estimate.
• Get your roof secured/watertight
Once water gets past your roofing surface it can cause all sorts of damage. That’s why it’s important to get your roof as watertight as possible until it’s fixed. Even if you have to pay one of the companies that’s inspecting your roof to secure it with a tarp it’s well worth it. You will most likely be reimbursed for this by your insurance company anyway.
• Don’t rush to hire a contractor
Once your home’s roof is secure you no longer need to rush to find a roofing contractor to fix it. Get several estimates and by all means take your time finding the best roofing contractor for the job. Hiring the first roofing contractor that shows up to inspect your roof could be more costly than it should and they may not be the best roofing contractor for the job.
• Get more than one thorough roof damage repair estimate
It’s sad to say but there are some roofing contractors out there that will try to take full advantage of the money making opportunities after a large storm passes through an area. Getting more than one estimate insulates you from these types of opportunistic roofing contractors. It is recommended that you get three different estimates and your insurance company will probably make you get at least two estimates done anyway.
Make sure when any roofing contractor inspects your roof damage they also look to see if the underlayment or the roof structure itself needs to be repaired too.
• Find an experienced insurance claim roofing contractor to do the job
A roofing contractor that has experience handling storm damage claims can be a big bonus for you. They will be able to simplify the claims process for you because of their experience. Contractors that are experienced handling roof damage claims will also help you avoid the pitfalls that many run into when dealing with insurance claims.
• Don’t hire your roofing contractor based solely on price
One of the biggest mistakes you can ever make is to hire a roofing contractor to do your repair based solely on their low estimate. They may be cutting corners on the repair or worse yet may simply not be the best company to handle the job.
Finding an Experienced Roofing Contractor to Help You with Your Claim
You really need to have a veteran roofing contractor handle help you handle your roof damage claim and do the work for you. It’s the only way to ensure that you will get the amount of money you need to fix your storm damaged roof and get it fixed the right way. Having your roof repair done without needed repairs to the roof structure and underlayment is not much better than having no roof repair done at all. It’s also a sure-fire recipe for having future leaking problems.
A reputable and experienced roofing contractor will do a thorough roof damage inspection so their estimate is accurate and helps gets you the money you need to cover everything that’s been damaged on your roof. Experienced roofing contractors like Evergreen Roofing & Renovations of the Beaverton/Portland Metro area of Oregon will help you navigate through the sometimes-stressful roofing claims process. Hiring a veteran roofing damage contractor is always your best bet when it comes to having a seamless roof damage experience from the claims phase all the way to the completed roof repair.