Insurance claims for roof repairs are some of the most difficult claims to make because of the “if” factor. If your roof was not properly maintained, some insurance companies can make it very difficult for you to settle your claim satisfactorily. Your best defense against future unpaid roof claims is to follow proper procedures by keeping it well maintained, filing the claim immediately and having the work done quickly before other complications can arise. Remember, most roof claims caused by an exterior flood are not covered under your regular homeowner policy unless the damage is caused by a windstorm.
Take proper measures to cover furniture and belongings if the roof damage has caused a threat to the interior of your home. If the loss occurs during a storm with excessive leakage, unplug electrical devices before they become wet and only if it is safe for you to do so. If the home is dangerous or uninhabitable, immediately vacate the premises.
Call in Claim
Call the claim into your insurance carrier right away. Use a toll-free number that has 24-hour service, rather than attempting to contact your agent directly. The claim will need to be relayed to the claims department and this is the most direct approach. Give the claims person your name, policy number and the address of the damaged property. Be sure to provide them with a detailed description of the damage. If water or wind is further injuring your home, they may direct you to call for immediate emergency repair or send out one of their approved vendors to the site.
Take numerous pictures of the roof damage and any damage to your personal property once it is safe to return to the home. Do not attempt to clean up before getting pictures and never throw away any materials that have been damaged; these will need to be looked at to properly assess your claim.
Estimates And Settlements
Contact roofing experts to get three estimates on the damage. This will help you to negotiate with the claims adjuster and give you a better idea of the amount of damage that was incurred. Present your estimates to the insurance adjuster for evaluation. Once approved, you will need to choose a roofing contractor to repair the damage to your home. It is a good idea for your roofing contractor to meet with the adjuster to ensure the smooth repair and payment for the costs of your new roof. Keep copies of any roofing warranties on the new repair in a safe place. If you have a current warranty on your roof, first contact the manufacturer to ensure you do not void your original warranty before hiring the new contractor.
Consider hiring a U.S. public adjuster to help settle your claim if you do not receive a fair claim settlement you are satisfied with or if your insurance company is delaying on the settlement or payment. These are independent adjusters not affiliated with any insurance company and may be able to help increase the payout on your claim.
Abaigeal Quinn works as an international entertainment broker in the United States. She is a former news editor and insurance agent who began writing for a daily newspaper in 1995.