How do roofing insurance claims work?

roof with  chalk marks indicating damage

Roof insurance and roof repair

Roof insurance, all types of insurance, is confusing and overwhelming for most of us. Whether it is auto, business, health, homeowners, or life insurance, it isn’t always straightforward, giving you a clear understanding. The average citizen depends on others that are “in the know” to help them with insurance claims, like contractors with roofing and insurance claims.

An established roofing contractor will have a person on staff that knows how roof insurance claims work—understanding what roof insurance coverage your homeowner’s insurance provides isn’t always a cut and dry issue. Just ask anyone who has had a roof insurance claim denied. 

It is for these reasons that insurance industry experts recommend reviewing your homeowner’s insurance policy periodically. Schedule an appointment with your insurance agent for a “checkup” is a good idea for your auto, health, home, and clarify your roof insurance coverage. 

Does insurance pay for roof hail damage?

Almost seventy percent of homeowner’s roof insurance claims are from hail damage every year. Fortuitously, for the most part, basic homeowner’s insurance policies provide coverage for structural property damage from natural hazards like hail. That type of coverage is listed under Coverage A or dwelling protection coverage.

Dwelling protection coverage assists the homeowner is paying for the repairs, replacement, rebuild of their home’s physical structure, and any attachment that is named as peril damaged it. Not all homeowner’s policies are the same, but the general insurance is for hazards or perils. Hazards and perils are usually listed as fire, hail, lightening, theft, vandalism, and windstorms vandalism. Coverage of roof insurance is typically within those hazards and perils.

Generally, appliances, deck, garage, porch, roof, and windows are included in covered structures. Detached structures are listed in most policies that have separate coverage like the garage, tool shed, or workshop. The amount the insurance covers for repairs and roof insurance will depend on the deductibles and limits that you chose when you purchased your homeowners’ policy. 

How do you handle a roof insurance claim?

To the average homeowner, the rules to roof insurance claims are confusing. Why are there different rules for roof insurance? Here, we offer a roof insurance claim scenario, breaking down the process, and the possible coverage options.

Over 40% of all homeowner’s insurance claims entail hail damage or wind damage to a home’s exterior. A majority of those homeowner’s claims include the roof. Insurance companies are a business, just like the dress shop you frequent or the restaurant where you dine. Like any business, they need to protect themselves against the stuff that costs them money, i.e., protects that bottom dollar. 

That means they need to limit their risk, and they do that by stating specific coverage options for roofs. Insurance companies have created a separate name for roof damage: Wind/Hail Coverage. Look at it from a business standpoint. They hadn’t done anything that the dress shop had done when they stated no returns on sale items. 

So, who are all involved when you file a roof insurance claim? The first person is the homeowner, a roofing contractor, and the insurance adjuster. The roofing contractor is the company that is going to repair or replace your roof, and the insurance adjuster is the representative your insurance company sends out to assess the damage, make the decision and will either have a check cut or deny the claim. 

The Steps A Roof Insurance Claim Requires: 

  • A roofing contractor provide an estimate 
  • A roof insurance claim is filed
  • An insurance adjuster examines the damage and estimate
  • Insurance adjuster review the homeowner’s policy
  • Insurance adjuster advises what the policy will pay or if the claim is denied
  • If a homeowner’s policy has replacement coverage, a second roof insurance check is issued
  • The homeowner pays the roofing contractor

What do insurance adjusters look for on roofs?

An insurance adjuster looks at general roof inspections differently than they at a damaged roof insurance claim.  A general inspection is what they do when deciding if your home is worthy of an insurance policy or if you’re changing your policy coverage. The things they look at for this are: 

  • The age
  • The installation, 
  • Broken or missing shingles
  • Sun and weather damage and exposure
  • Tree damage
  • Nail pops

When a damaged roof insurance claim comes in, the inspection is more detailed and maybe a little tricky. Here is what an insurance adjuster looks for during a damage claim:

  • Missing Caulk to Sealing Flashing
  • Buckled, Lifted, Shingles
  • Sunken Areas of Roof
  • Corroded or Rusted Flashing or Nail Heads
  • Sagging Ridges
  • Chimney Cracks
  • Missing Screws on Skylights and Vents
  • Rub Hands Over Shingles for Dents

Should roofer meet with adjuster?

An experienced and reputable roofing contractor will meet with the insurance adjuster at the property site and do a walk around with them, which is to your benefit. An insurance adjuster on their own tends to a quick walk around. With the experienced roofing contractor, they will discuss the existing damage over your entire property. The experienced insurance adjuster will ask the contractor for their assistance or opinion of the damage. 

Shingle roofing system

How do I get my insurance to pay for a new roof?

Follow the proper and required processes and steps. One slight miss of anything and your roof insurance claim could be denied due to an administrative error. Here we have the four necessary steps that will get a roof insurance claim paid: 

  1. Know Your Insurance Coverage: Before it happens and again, as soon as it happens, review your homeowner’s insurance policy about roof insurance coverage. 
  2. Document Damage, Contact Insurance Company: As you inspect and assess the damage, make notes, and take pictures or a video of the damage. Take a lot of pictures of the exterior and interior of your home, and if you are able, use a ladder to get roof level and take pictures. This may a good time for your kids to show you how a Drone work. 
  3. Research and Hire Reputable Roofer: If you’re unable to inspect all aspects of possible damage, contact a roofing contractor. Many of them offer free inspections, but for storm damage, there may be a fee due to the required detail of a roof insurance claim.
  4. Take the Next Appropriate Steps: After your roof insurance claim has been filed, the insurance company has the discretion to approving or denying the claim. This process can take up to two weeks, sometimes longer. If your roof insurance claim is denied, you can file an appeal and hire an independent adjuster. Each insurance company has different processes for filing an appeal, review your policy, or call your agent. 

Homeowner’s insurance is essential, it protects the largest financial investment you’ll ever make. However, you need to take the time to review what is covered, and if something isn’t covered or you don’t feel like it has enough coverage, speak up, tell your agent. Shop around for companies before you sign a renewal every year. Need immediate service in Mobile, AL? Call 251-888-0301 today.