Are you staring down a roofing problem, worried about how much it’s going to cost to fix it? Minor leaks and missing asphalt shingles are usually no big deal, but what about something like hail damage or a hole in your roof? Who is going to pay for that? If you’re wondering whether your insurance company covers a large repair or how to get insurance to pay for roof replacement, then you’re in the right place! Let’s explore what normally must happen for insurance to cover repairs and what you can do to speed the claims approval process along.
Sure, everyone’s first priority with a damaged roof is safety. You always want to be safe under any roof. It doesn’t matter if it’s the office you work in, a retail store you own, or your house. You want to feel safe.
When a tree falls into your roof or some other major issue comes along, roof replacement is often the best course of action. When that’s the only option, people naturally wonder how much things will cost.
Frequently, emergency roof repairs or roof replacement are unplanned expenses. Especially when a storm causes damage, people don’t have time to plan for what is potentially a project that will cost thousands of dollars.
Thankfully, most people and businesses have homeowner’s insurance that, ideally, comes through when it matters most. What we are here to discuss today is how to get insurance to pay for roof replacement.
Read on to find out how to know when insurance covers your roof repairs and what else you need to know.
Choosing the Right Roofing Company
Working with an experienced roofing company is one of the best ways to move quickly through the insurance process.
Your roof is a critical part of your property. Replacing it or managing repairs often represents a significant investment of time and money. Having the right crew there to manage through your hole patching or a roof replacement is a must.
The most important thing with any roof repair is getting it done right. You want quality over speed and cost. Ideally, you’ll find an experienced roofing company with a good mix of quality, speed, and price to get your roof back online fast at an affordable cost.
Here are some ways to find a good local roofing company near you:
- Read Online Reviews – Online reviews aren’t the only indicator you should use, but they are a good place to start. Pay more attention to a pattern of bad reviews than a long list of good ones. Avoid any company with a string of customers complaining about bad faith pricing or poor overall experiences. Find a handful of companies with good track records and start making calls.
- Get Estimates – Good roofing companies will be happy to give you a pricing range over the phone based on the size of your roof and the damage you describe. They’ll be quick to tell you, however, that it may differ from what they see in person. They will send a roofer to your house or commercial property to take a look and quote you on roof replacement.
- How to Get Insurance to Pay for Roof Replacement – Ask them about whether they can help you with your insurance provider. Some companies may not offer roof insurance claims help. If it’s a priority, then hire a company willing to help with the process.
Talking to Your Insurance Company
A lot of homeowners are surprised when the roofing company brings up the insurance option. We pay for insurance policies year after year. At a certain point, it’s automatic and viewed as simply being part of our mortgage payment.
However, your homeowner’s insurance is there for a reason, and you should call upon your policy when the conditions are right.
Talking to your insurance company after you discover the damage and before repairs begin is the way to go. Here’s what you should discuss:
- The extent and cause of the damage
- How much coverage do you have?
- The claims process
- Documentation you need
- How to manage repairs with a local roofing company
- If the repairs will affect future premiums
The last item is the most important in many cases. Property owners must weigh whether increased premiums are worth using your insurance.
In some instances, there is no other choice. You have to repair your roof. If, however, you have the money on hand to pay out of pocket, then you should take a look at how much using your insurance will increase your premiums, if at all.
How to Get Insurance to Pay for Roof Replacement – The Basics
As we’ve already touched on, once you’ve found out how your roof got damaged, you can start looking at the small print in your insurance policy. Make sure the specific type of damage source is covered, and especially make sure the roof is included as part of your building insurance.
Before you make any calls, it’s probably a good idea to break out your policy documents or find them online. There, you’ll find a list of the things your homeowner’s insurance policy covers and what it doesn’t cover.
Things like regular wear and tear on your roof may not be eligible for coverage. There are generally accepted life expectancies for roofs. If your roof is as old or older than the lifespan range listed, then you may have to pay for roof replacement out of pocket.
However, insurance companies cover roof replacement in many instances, including:
- Storm Damage
- Hail Damage
- Falling Trees
- Lightning Strikes
- & More
Insurance providers won’t cover things like water damage or wind damage. This is usually specific to where you live, and if you want coverage, you’ll typically pay more for it beforehand. It’s not something you can go back and say you want after the fact.
Assessing the Damage
Getting to the root cause of the damage is a must. How do you know how a massive hole appeared in your roof when you couldn’t see it from the street? Unfortunately, these things happen all of the time.
Here are some ways you can assess the damage:
- Talk to a roofing company over the phone about what’s going on
- Schedule a professional roof inspection
- Call your insurance provider and describe what’s happening
- Try to get a visual yourself
A professional inspection is probably the way to go because they can best tell you what caused the damage.
Once you know what caused the damage, then you can go to your insurance provider and let them know what happened. If it’s covered in your policy, then you can get the claims process started.
How to Get Insurance to Cover Roof Replacement – Filing Your Claim
File your claim before paying for any repairs.
If you repair your roof first and then call your insurance provider asking for coverage, there may be a problem.
You need approval from your provider first if you want them to cover roof replacement. They may also have roof companies they partner with that are in the area. Your policy could stipulate that you work with them if you want insurance to cover the repairs.
Here’s how the claims process typically works:
- The Call -Depending on the situation, your first call will be to either your insurance company or local roofing service. If, for example, you discover a massive leak in your roof, your first step should be to schedule emergency repairs. Then you can call your provider.
- The Inspection – After the call, roofers will inspect your roof. They’ll examine the extent of the damage and assess the cause. If your roof is relatively new or damaged by circumstances out of your control, then you’re likely eligible for coverage.
- Filing Your Claim – Your insurance provider will require documentation and a declarations page before paying for repairs. This is sometimes a frustrating process that can take longer than you expect. A good roofing company will know what insurance providers need and how to speed up the process.
- Approval – You may have to go back and forth a few times before approval. Once that happens, repairs can proceed, and your provider will typically work directly with your roofing company on payment.
This is a general overview of the insurance claims process. Your experience may vary based on where you live, your policy, the damage to your roof, and the insurance provider.
The Payment Process
Some insurance companies will give you the freedom to choose who repairs your roof. Others will require you to solicit multiple quotes, and they will then choose which company can handle the roof replacement.
In either case, you should get multiple quotes and communicate closely with your provider to guarantee you’re following the right steps. Whether you end up handing the check from the insurance company to your roofing service or your provider pays them directly, your policy should handle the total cost of the repairs or replacement when eligible.
Preparing for Resistance from Your Insurance Company
Remember, insurance companies exist to make profits. They aren’t here to help you. Yes, they provide a service, but they don’t make money if they pay every claim that comes their way.
Expect to go through what can be a rigorous process. When speaking to adjusters and customer service representatives, expect some pushback. They’ll question you and may even deny your claim the first time you file.
This is normal. Don’t lose heart. Persistence is how to get insurance to pay for roof replacement. You may go through several rounds of documentation before repairs proceed.
Keep at it and demand the service that you deserve.