When your roof has been damaged in a strong storm, the last thing you want to worry about is how to pay for repairs. Dealing with water damage to your home is stressful enough.
Yet, filing an insurance claim is often a necessity and, therefore, it’s critical to educate yourself on common errors homeowners make that can lead to claims being rejected. The unfortunate truth is, the number one cause of insurance companies not paying on a claim is because of mistakes made during the claim process.
Top 3 Roofing Insurance Claim Mistakes to Avoid
Before filing a claim, always contact a roofing inspection contractor to assess the damage.
The #1 mistake homeowners make when their roof is damaged is calling the insurance company first. Homeowners should actually call their roofing contractor first and have them assess the damage, then create a thorough estimate that details every bit of damage and how much it will cost to repair it.
Armed with a professional assessment of the damage, you can then file a claim to get your repairs covered – you will have a complete picture of your property’s condition, and the claim you submit will be accurate.
Most insurance policies have a certain period for filing a claim, so make sure to file it as soon as possible.
Documentation is key when it comes to insurance, and it’s also vital to thoroughly understand your rights as well as your responsibilities when it comes to issues like warranties and policy protections.
Problem #1: Insufficient Documentation
One of the most common and costliest mistakes homeowners make when it comes to filing roofing-related insurance claims is failing to provide adequate documentation. If a roofing problem has led to significant damage that you’re looking to cover under your home insurance policy, it is generally your responsibility to demonstrate beyond a doubt that the issue was not caused by your own negligence.
To this end, home insurance experts recommend that you regularly document the condition of your home. It is a good idea to update this documentation on an annual basis, and to collect evidence that shows you are making a good faith effort to keep your home in good condition. Specific to roofing, it is a good idea to take photographs that show the condition of the roof, as well as the condition of connected and underlying structural elements. If a problem occurs, you should also document the damage in photographs so the claims adjuster has a visual point of comparison that shows the condition of your home both before and after the problem.
It is also important that you take prompt corrective action if you detect a minor roofing problem that could lead to damage down the road. Leaks and cracks should be repaired immediately. If you choose to do DIY repairs, keep receipts that prove you purchased repair products, and take before-and-after photos to show the work. If you hire a contractor, keep a copy of the invoice on hand, and be sure it details all work the professional performed.
Problem #2: Inadequate or Expired Warranty
Another common mistake arises from incomplete understandings of product warranties.
Sometimes, homeowners file insurance claims after learning that a manufacturer’s warranties had expired or did not cover the nature of the problem that arose – truth is, natural events are usually not included in these warranties. Always be sure you completely understand the coverage provided by product warranties, as well as their limitations, exclusions and exceptions.
Your home insurance provider may not cover you if an unexpected warranty coverage shortfall resulted in damage that could have been prevented.
Problem #3: Hiring Shady Contractors
Finally, ask any contractor you hire about their own insurance coverage, and find out whether or not there is any possibility that you might be liable for injuries, accidents or property damage that occurs during the execution of a roofing project. Most contractors carry comprehensive insurance, but some professionals offering unusually low rates are able to offer their rock-bottom prices by going light on things like insurance coverage.
Take your time and find a roofing contractor that has a good reputation within the community, is able to provide references, and has experience working with insurance adjusters on roofing claims.
Be proactive, ask questions, and keep documentation. This will make it far less likely that you will encounter problems when filing a claim.
Let Us Assist You
If your roof has been damaged, contact All Roofing Solutions before calling your insurance company. We are a family owned and operated Delaware roofer with nearly two decades of experience in residential and commercial roofing. We will help you navigate your way through the roof insurance claims process!
We know how to spot minor or even hidden signs of roof damage. We will inspect your roof thoroughly, and prepare a detailed assessment for your insurance company. And we will be on your side through the entire process until your insurance claim is approved.
Call 302-725-ROOF (7663) in Delaware or 610-551-ROOF (7663) in Pennsylvania for a free estimate!