Surprises can be fun, but not when they cause damage to your home. Even if severe storms come with the territory in North Carolina, they still always seem to be unexpected and stressful.
If you’ve encountered some surprise damage after a storm, it’s possible that you could get insurance coverage by filing a roof claim. It’s important to act fast after a storm, so follow these eight steps to learn how to file a roof insurance claim.
Step 1: Assess the Damage
First things first— you need to see what you’re dealing with. Some storm damage, like missing shingles or interior water stains, can be seen from the ground.
If you’re comfortable and have someone to help you, you can grab a ladder and get up on your roof. Some storm damage is more obvious than others, so keep your eyes peeled for signs of damage like:
- Visible granule loss
- Missing shingles
- Cracked, dented, or warped shingles
- Debris on your roof
- Broken gutters or downspouts
- Internal water leaks or stains
However, some storm damage can be difficult or impossible to spot with an untrained eye. That’s where Step 5 will come in handy when a professional roofing contractor inspects your roof.
Step 2: Document the Damage
You have to take every avenue possible to prove your case to your insurance company. One of the best ways to do so is by taking plenty of photos of any storm damage you see— both internally and externally. It’s also important to include the date the storm damage took place.
- Homeowner’s pro tip: It’s always a good idea to have “before” pictures of your roof so you can prove the damage is recent. It can be hard to get a claim approved if your homeowners’ insurance company is convinced the problem was due to your negligence rather than the storm.
Step 3: Review Your Insurance Policy
Before you get further along with filing a claim, be sure to review your specific insurance policy. The last thing you want is to go through all the trouble of trying to file a claim, only to find out your policy never covered your damage in the first place.
Typically homeowners insurance will cover roof damage caused by:
- Falling objects/debris
- “Acts of God” (events outside of human control)
Standard homeowners insurance will NOT cover damage caused by:
- Intentional or accidental damage caused by the homeowner
- A lack of proper maintenance
- Earthquakes or floods (you need separate insurance policies for these)
If you’re not sure where to find your insurance policy, check your online account or call an insurance agent who can send you a copy. Be sure to note if your policy requires you to file a claim within a certain timeframe after sustaining roof damage. You may have up to a year to file a claim, but the sooner you act, the better your chance of getting approved.
Step 4: Touch Base With Your Insurance Company
Cover all your bases by getting in touch with your insurance agent. You can explain your situation and ask about their procedures for roof repairs and replacements. Some insurance companies may prefer to only cover repairs, so it’s good to know what your options are.
Step 5: Get a Roofing Inspection
This step is one of the most important ones to follow. The roofing contractor you choose to inspect your damage can make all the difference.
Unfortunately, major storms can attract out-of-state storm chasers who show up at your doorstep and try to scam you with too-good-to-be-true offers. Avoid storm chasers by only working with proven local roofing companies that are fully licensed & insured and have great reviews.
Schedule a free roof inspection and ask for a written cost estimate for replacing your roof. Also, ask your roofing contractor to take any additional photos and write down the specific damage in detail. Your roofer should indicate if you need a full replacement or if you can get by with repairs.
Step 6: File the Claim
Gather all the evidence you found, including the report and estimate from your roofing contractor, and file an insurance claim using a form provided by your insurer. Include every last bit of information and evidence you can.
In extreme cases that cause your family to have to live in a hotel until your roof is fixed, be sure to include receipts for damaged furniture and your hotel stays.
Step 7: Meet With an Insurance Adjuster
After you file a claim, an insurance adjuster will need to come to your home and also assess the damage. While not always ideal, this step validates the process for the insurance company.
If possible, have your preferred roofing contractor present. They can use their professional opinion to advocate for you to the adjuster. The adjuster and contractor can discuss your roofing needs together.
Step 8: Schedule Service if Approved
Finally, your roof damage claim will hopefully get approved. Once the claim is approved, you can use the insurance coverage payment to hire your preferred roofing company. Your insurer may only cover repairs, but you still have the option to get a full roof replacement with some insurance coverage. But ideally, your insurer will cover an entire roof replacement.
Schedule roofing service as quickly as possible so that you don’t risk any further water damage in your home.
Trust Scro’s With All Your Storm Damage Needs
Partnering with a highly-reputable roofing company can make all the difference in your roof insurance claim getting approved or not. Thankfully, Scro’s Roofing Company has been helping homeowners just like you file storm damage insurance claims for decades.
Reach out today to schedule a free roof inspection!