Are You In Need of a Complete Roof Replacement?
Out of all the different problems that can arise with your home, the need for a roof replacement is possibly the most stressful, time-consuming, and costly one. Even an “inexpensive” new roof can run you as much as $15,000 or more, a financial hit that a lot of people can’t easily take on.
Homeowner’s insurance offers you some protections against issues with your roof, but it’s essential that you understand the ins and outs of your own policy before an issue arises so that you know what sorts of risks you might be facing. If your roof has taken damage from powerful winds or water penetration, you’ll want to do everything you can to get your insurance company to pay for your roof replacement.
Your insurance will often cover damage from things like:
- Powerful storms
- Natural disasters
On the other hand, it often won’t cover damage from issues such as:
- Regular wear & tear
Bearing all of this in mind, let’s go over some best practices you should go through if you own a property.
Maintaining and Documenting Your Roof
To ensure the best chance of your roof replacement claim being approved, you’ll want to have photos of your roof ahead of time, and photos showing the condition of the roof after the damage occurs. If you’re reading this right now and don’t already have documentation about the quality of your roof, get some pictures right away!
The next most important step towards winning a roof insurance claim is reporting the issue in a very timely manner. Waiting even just a few days too long can give the insurance company recourse to say that there’s been negligence or some damage that was within the homeowner’s control. Don’t give them that leverage; report your issue immediately after it happens so that your insurer knows you’re doing everything you can to be responsible.
Additionally, many insurance policies require that you perform your own due diligence to ensure the roof is properly cared for and maintained. Your roofing claim is likely to be legitimately declined if the insurance company has reason to believe you haven’t taken care of your home properly. If they send an inspector to your home who finds that your roof is littered with debris or severely weathered from poor long-term maintenance, then they’re not likely to pay you out for damage even if the issue was exacerbated by wind or rain. Also, you may not receive the full amount of your claim if your roof is too old.
Dealing with Insurers
Filing such a large homeowner’s insurance claim can be a stressful time, especially when you’re dealing with something as important and complicated as your roof. Understanding how your insurance company processes your claim and determines an estimate can help you to know whether you’re being treated fairly. After all, insurance companies don’t have the best reputation for being consumer-friendly, so you want to be sure that they’re doing right by you and giving you the service you’ve paid for.
Whenever you call your insurance company about a roof replacement, they’re going to want to check out the damage for themselves. They’ll call up an independent inspector who specializes in insurance appraisals, and that person will come and check out your roof. The potential hazard lies in the blind trust you’re putting in the insurance company to send a reliable, qualified, and honest inspector to assess the damage. Think about it: if an inspector is constantly reporting to the insurance company that there are expensive problems with roofs and validating claims left and right, do you think the insurer is really going to continue to hire that individual?
If your insurance company hires a substandard inspector, you’re likely to get an unfairly low amount of compensation for your claim. And, to make matters worse, you sometimes have to have your replacement done through a contractor approved by the insurer, who can bet is someone who’s willing to work for a lower price because of the guaranteed work they get from the insurance company.
Bearing all of this in mind, the best thing you can do is thoroughly assess the damage yourself, and find a reputable independent inspector of your own to give you an honest quote. If you find that your insurance company won’t play ball, the buck doesn’t stop with them. You can get quotes from independent roofers that you call in order to demonstrate that the price may be much higher than what they’re willing to give you.
If you haven’t yet found yourself in this situation, the best way to protect yourself from an abusive insurance situation is to thoroughly research competing insurance policies, and to find one that is favorable to you as the homeowner. Look for a policy that will allow for you to hire your preferred roofing company, one that has lots of experience in dealing with roof insurance companies like Gotcha Covered Contracting.
If you need an independent roof inspection to get an estimate for your insurance company (or to dispute one that you believe is incorrect), get in touch with your friendly neighborhood roofers at Gotcha Covered Contracting. We’ll make sure your insurance company knows the real cost for your roof replacement so you can have the peace of mind you’re being treated fairly and with respect.