For homeowners, one of the most important investments you make is in your property. That means that protecting it from unexpected damages is crucial. Roof damage, in particular, can be expensive and stressful. If you find yourself cringing when a storm rolls through town, you are not alone.
Luckily, you have homeowners’s insurance! Your homeowners insurance policy exists to protect you and your roof from unexpected circumstances. However, understanding the homeowner’s insurance claim process is essential when it comes to ensuring a smooth and successful resolution.
In this article, we will guide you through the homeowner’s insurance claim process, focusing on:
- How to file an insurance claim
- What your policy covers
- Signs of storm damage
Keep reading to gain confidence in the insurance claims process!
How to File a Homeowners Insurance Claim in 8 Steps
1) Assessing the Damage
The first step is to assess the roof damage. After a storm or any other incident, carefully inspect your roof for visible signs of damage, including:
- Missing or damaged shingles
- Damaged gutters
- Damage from fallen trees or branches
2) Document the Damage
Once you have found signs of damage, it is important to thoroughly document it. This will help your insurance company accurately file your claim and ensure that you get the coverage you deserve.
We recommend taking photos from multiple angles, as well as video footage. Accurate documentation can help to speed up the homeowners insurance claim filing process!
3) Review Your Insurance Policy
Before filing a claim, it is essential to review your homeowner’s insurance policy thoroughly. Familiarize yourself with the coverage details, exclusions, deductibles, and claim procedures specific to roof damage. Pay attention to any specific timeframes within which you must report the damage to the insurance company to avoid potential claim denial.
4) Contact Your Insurance Company
Once you have assessed the damage and reviewed your policy, the next step is to contact your insurance company to initiate the claim process. Most insurance companies have a dedicated claims department, and you can find their contact information on your policy documents. Provide all the necessary details regarding the damage, including:
- Date 📅
- Time ⏰
- Cause of the incident ⛈️
- Documentation 📷
5) Meeting with an Insurance Adjuster
After filing a claim, your insurance company will assign an insurance adjuster to evaluate the damage. The adjuster will schedule an appointment to visit your property and assess the roof damage in person. During the inspection, it is crucial to be present and provide the adjuster with all relevant information and documentation. The adjuster will prepare a detailed report documenting the extent of the damage, recommended repairs or replacements, and associated costs.
6) Choosing a Contractor
Next, it is time to select a professional roofing contractor to come to assess your property. Selecting a reputable and experienced contractor is crucial to ensure that your roof is returned to a workable state.
Not sure where to start looking? Asking for recommendations from friends, family, or neighbors can help you to feel confident in your choice. We recommend shopping around. Most roofing contractors will be happy to provide you with an estimate for their services. Ensure that the contractor you choose is licensed, and insured, and provides warranties for their work.
7) Negotiating the Settlement
Once the insurance adjuster completes their assessment, you will receive a settlement offer from your insurance company. Review the offer carefully, comparing it with the estimated repair or replacement costs provided by reputable contractors. If the offer seems insufficient or does not cover the necessary repairs, you have the right to negotiate with your insurance company.
Present your case by providing additional evidence, such as contractor estimates or expert opinions, to support your claim for a fair settlement. It is important to maintain open communication with your insurance company throughout the negotiation process.
8) Starting the Repairs/Replacement
Once you have selected a contractor, notify your insurance company of your decision. Some insurance policies may require prior approval before commencing the repairs or replacements. Coordinate with the contractor to schedule the work and ensure they follow all necessary safety protocols and obtain any required permits. During the repairs, maintain open lines of communication with your contractor and insurance company to address any unexpected issues that may arise.
What Does My Insurance Policy Cover?
One of the most confusing parts of being a homeowner is trying to understand what your homeowners insurance policy does and does not cover. In general, when trying to determine whether or not your policy will cover your roof repairs, ask yourself these questions:
- Was the damage caused by a situation out of my control, such as the weather? ✅
- Was the damage caused by neglect or improper maintenance? ❌
- Was the damage cause by my roofing contractor? ❌
- Was the damage caused by someone outside of my home, such as a neighbor’s tree falling onto my property? ✅
In general, your insurance agent should be able to offer you guidance and answer all of your questions regarding what is covered and what is not.
Work With a Reputable Contractor
When it comes to storm damage repairs, you want it done efficiently and with a company that you can trust. That’s exactly what you will get when you hire our team at First American Roofing! As experts in all roofing styles, we can help you navigate the insurance claim process and make your roof repair or replacement go smoothly. Contact us today and receive a free estimate for your roof repairs!