If your roof is damaged, there are a few things you need to know. First, don’t wait for repairs; call a contractor right away. In some cases, they may even be able to provide some tarps or temporary coverage if the damage is causing immediate leaks. Second, you will want to file a claim with your homeowner insurance to get the ball rolling on repair coverage.
During this stressful time, you may be a little flustered and not certain of what to do. But one thing is for sure; you want your damage repaired fast. Plus, the details of your insurance policy can be muddy and hard to understand, so we’re going to walk you through what to look for and how to file a roof damage insurance claim the right way.
What Can Damage My Roof?
Roof damage can occur at any moment, for any number of reasons. More often than not, though, severe weather is what damages roofs and siding. Hail and strong winds can damage your roof by puncturing the shingles, lifting the edges, or blowing large debris onto your roof.
Toppled trees and lightning strikes, tornadoes, and hurricanes can bring much more catastrophic damage that requires more complicated measures for insurance, especially in areas where these events are more frequent.
Damage doesn’t have to be incredibly severe to require filing an insurance claim, however. Even mild hail damage can lessen the integrity of your roof enough to where replacement is necessary. Overall, if you believe you have received damage to your roof, call your local contractor to get a thorough inspection. Roof leaks may not happen right away, but over time can infiltrate your roof due to past damage, which is why it’s vital to repair it sooner than later.
Will Homeowners Insurance Cover My Roof Damage?
Your homeowner’s insurance will cover damage to your roof and other parts of your home, as laid out in the dwelling coverage portion of your plan. However, there are definitely exceptions and limitations to the kind of coverage you’ll receive, or not, based on the type of damage and what type of policy you have.
Types of Roof Damage Covered
Simply put, your insurance is likely going to cover any damage that is sudden and unexpected, that damage that occurs from fire, wind, hail, or heavy snow and ice. More specifically, your insurance’s dwelling portion covers this type of damage to any part of your dwelling, including the roof—other, more detailed aspects of this coverage, such as partial damage and material matching.
Partial damage coverage means the damage you incurred was only on one area of the roof, but insurance will cover the entire roof replacement. For example, if your roof is damaged by hail, but not severely enough to cause an immediate leak, that partial damage still compromised the integrity and lifespan of your roof. Small damages like that overtime can drastically reduce your roof’s lifespan and make it eligible for a full replacement.
Now, say you are not getting a full roof replacement but simply getting a portion of your roof repaired, and your roofing materials are no longer available. That’s where material matching coverage comes in. It’s not uncommon for certain materials or brands to be discontinued after a certain amount of years. When it comes time to repair your roof, and the contractor finds your material is no longer available, it would require a full replacement. That material matching coverage can ensure that happens.
Lastly, fire, wind, and hail damage will always be covered. However, when it comes to wind and hail, depending on where you live, your coverage options may be limited to require add-ons for higher-tiered coverage due to frequent claims for wind and hail in the area. It’s important to check your policy thoroughly and work closely with your insurance provider to know exactly how much coverage you are getting in the event of this kind of storm damage.
Types of Damage Not Covered
You’re probably not going to have any luck getting coverage for a roof that has sustained regular wear and tear or has reached the end of its expected lifespan. These are just things that happen naturally, and if you don’t maintain your roof, know you are not guaranteed any coverage just because it has aged to the point of needing replacement.
In fact, poor maintenance can even come back to bite you if you do end up sustaining wind or hail damage. Despite the storm damage, inspectors may notice that poor maintenance had already limited your roof’s integrity and thus keep you from receiving full replacement coverage on your claim.
But, if you have an aging roof and you get it inspected for prior storm damage, this can help your case get some coverage on your roof replacement because that past damage had weakened your roof previously—lessening its lifespan and ability to protect against inclement weather.
How to File a Roof Damage Insurance Claim.
When the time comes to file your insurance claim, there are some critical steps to ensure you cover all your bases and get the proper coverage.
- Thoroughly look over your insurance policy and note the areas that discuss your coverage for roof damage. You can go into your conversation with the insurance provider to know what coverage you actually have. Don’t let them steer you wrong.
- If you can do so safely, assess any damage you believe has occurred. Look both outside and inside your home. The attic can offer tell-tale signs of any immediate leaks. Take pictures!
- Don’t hesitate, find a reputable contractor, and call them right away. They can come and do an inspection for you and often offer a free estimate, which can then be compared alongside the insurance adjuster’s inspection and estimate.
- Log every conversation and interaction you have with your insurance company as well as any contractors. Keep notes handy and document everything so you know every detail of the estimate and ensure you get the proper coverage in the end.
- File your insurance claim with your homeowner’s insurance provider. Going into it prepared can help the complicated claims process go much more smoothly and work in your favor.
If you experience storm damage to your roof, give First American Roofing a call right away. Our simple three-step process ensures a proper inspection, and we will guide you through the process of filing an insurance claim if that is necessary. We’ve seen it all and can answer any questions you may have about insurance claims, plus get your repairs or replacement done as quickly as possible.