No matter what type of material your roof is made from, all roofs are meant to last at least 20 years before needing to be replaced. However, it’s impossible to account for every issue that could cause damage to the roof of your home.
From hail to heavy winds, there are numerous issues that could result in your roof being damaged.
If you find yourself in this situation, you’re likely thinking about filing an insurance claim and having the repair or replacement costs covered.
The following guide tells you everything you need to know about filing roof damage insurance claims and when you’re allowed to do so.
Does Home Insurance Cover Roof Replacements?
Home insurance policies in the Charlotte area typically cover full roof replacements as long as the cause of the damage is covered by the specific insurance policy. However, coverage usually only applies if the roof was damaged from an act of nature or sudden accident.
If the damage to your roof is simply caused by old age or general wear and tear, your policy almost certainly won’t cover roof repairs or replacements.
Types of Roof Damage Covered by an Insurance Claim
When looking specifically at hail and wind damage, the compensation you obtain from a home insurance claim for roof damage depends on the current depreciated value of your roof when the damage occurs.
As such, your roof’s age is taken into account when calculating how much compensation you will receive.
In the event that your insurance provider offers less money than is needed to complete a full roof replacement, you’ll be tasked with paying the difference.
If the roof is in good condition and is only a few years old, your coverage may be enough to pay for an entire roof replacement.
In many situations, a roof’s lifespan is reduced as a result of the damage that occurs, which can make it difficult to determine how much the roof has depreciated in value over time.
Even if your roof has only been partially damaged, it’s possible that your insurer will cover replacement costs.
Let’s say that your roof was damaged because of heavy hail. The insurance adjuster in charge of your case will take a look at your roof to identify where the damage is located and how many times hail may have struck the surface. Even if only a section of the roof is damaged, the roof’s lifespan could be worsened considerably because of this damage, which would make a replacement necessary.
When a roof’s lifespan is compromised by hail or some form of erosion, this damage indicates that the roof won’t last for as long as it would have without being damaged. At a certain point, repairs won’t suffice.
Fixing or repairing a roof isn’t always as easy as it seems. The most common issue that insurance providers and roofers run into is finding materials that match the damaged materials on your roof. If matching roof materials aren’t available, the entire roof may need to be replaced.
Damage that May Not Be Covered
You’re directly responsible for maintaining your own home, which means that your insurance policy likely doesn’t cover damage that occurs because of a lack of maintenance. Damage caused by age or wear and tear is almost never covered.
If the insurance adjuster in charge of your claim finds that your roof wasn’t well-maintained before the damage occurred, the amount of compensation you receive could be reduced.
Keep in mind that home insurance policies don’t provide coverage for earthquakes or floods, which means that damage to your roof from a flood won’t be covered. In the event that you live in a city or town that regularly experiences such natural disasters, look into earthquake insurance or flood insurance.
How to Make an Insurance Claim for Roof Damage
If you want to file a roof replacement insurance claim following damage to your roof, this process can be completed in eight relatively simple and straightforward steps.
- Have a storm damage expert inspect your property to identify storm damages that would typically be covered by your insurance company
- Determine if the damages warrant a claim on your record. It is not always a good idea to file a claim if the damages are minimal or you have a high deductible. This would be a good conversation to have with your roofer, assuming they have experience with insurance.
- Once the decision has been made, contact your insurance company’s claim department directly to file a claim. A quick internet search should provide your company’s claim’s department phone number.
- Speak with your insurer to begin filing a roof damage claim. Make sure to get the claim number and contact information for the claim adjuster.
- Always have a roofer meet with the adjuster for the inspection. Ideally, the roofer would be a claims specialist and know what should and shouldn’t be covered by your policy.
- Once damages have been accessed, verify all the covered storm damages have been addressed by the insurance company’s estimate.
- Discuss exact repairs and any upgrades or additional work you want your contractor to do. Pick finishes for repairs.
- Hire your roofing company to go forward with the repairs.
Tips for Filing a Roof Replacement Insurance Claim in Charlotte, NC
While the eight-step process mentioned above can be completed without much hassle, the following offers some useful tips and suggestions that should make the process even simpler.
Take Your Time to Find a Roofer
After large storms sweep through an area, it’s common for scammers to offer quick and easy roof repairs to homeowners with damaged roofs. To avoid being scammed in this situation, make sure that you only consider hiring licensed roofers.
Dustin Namirr, President of Vision Roofing, recommends that you “Don’t sign anything upfront with a roofer that says you solely have to work with that roofer. The only contract you should sign is the repair contract once you are ready to proceed. Any relationship that begins with a lack of trust is not a good relationship.”
Don’t Automatically Accept a Denial
Fact: It’s common for insurance companies to initially deny a claim or state that you don’t qualify for coverage because of some technicality. However, the total or partial denial of your claim may not adhere to the facts in your insurance policy. Roof experts are valuable resources when it comes to insurance claims, have your expert present when an insurance adjuster comes to your property and when a reinspection is needed.
According to Namirr, “Even if you’ve been denied or partially denied, you still may have an opportunity to pursue the claim. You should always have your roofer/claim expert review the claim to advise on next steps. You can always provide a supplement report and ask for a second inspection.”
Consider Your Roofing Material Options
Try looking for roofing materials that are more durable than the ones used for your damaged roof. Insurance providers oftentimes provide discounts to homeowners who select impact-resistant roofing.
Filing a roof damage insurance claim in the Charlotte area should only be complicated if something is done incorrectly. As long as you follow the tips above and make sure to hire the right roofer for the job, your damaged roof should be replaced and the costs covered with relative ease. Speak with Vision Roofing today to get a quote.