No one enjoys dealing with insurance. Whether it be health insurance, car insurance, or homeowners insurance, filing a claim can be confusing and frustrating.
If you sustained roof damage in a recent storm, you shouldn’t have to pay for the roof repairs or replacement by yourself since you didn’t cause the damage. That’s exactly why homeowners insurance exists!
Thankfully, you can file a roof claim and (hopefully) get some or all of your roof repairs covered by your insurer. Follow these seven steps to successfully file an insurance claim for storm damage.
Step 1: See What’s Covered (And Not Covered) In Your Policy
Before you move forward with filing an insurance claim after sustaining hail or wind damage, it’s vital to assess your insurance policy. The last thing you want is to go through all the trouble of filing a claim, only to find out the damage was never covered in the first place.
Most homeowners insurance policies will cover roof damage caused by:
- Hail 🧊
- Wind 🌬️
- Fire 🔥
- Lightning ⚡
- Falling objects
- “Acts of God”
However, standard insurance policies will not cover damage caused by:
- The roof’s old age
- Lack of maintenance
- Intentional or accidental damage caused by the homeowner
*You’ll need to get separate insurance policies if you live in a region that’s prone to earthquakes or floods. Keep in mind that wind damage from hurricanes can be covered under general homeowners insurance, but any flood damage from a hurricane would need separate flood coverage.
Step 2: Get a Professional Inspection and Estimate
If you think your roof storm damage is covered under insurance, the next step is to call a professional roofing contractor and schedule an inspection. Remember that you can schedule multiple estimates, but your insurance company may require you to go with the cheapest contractor, even if you have a different preference.
A reputable contractor should offer a free inspection and estimate, and they’ll clue you into the extent of your damage. You can use the estimate they provide to move forward.
- Pro Tip: Keep your preferred roofing company close by while going through the claims process. They’ll advocate on your behalf when you need it most.
Step 3: Find Out Your Deductible
The deductible on your insurance policy is the amount of money that you’re required to pay out of pocket for repairs before your insurer will step in to cover the rest of the costs. Browse through your insurance policy or call your insurer to see how much your deductible is.
This is where having a professional estimate comes in handy. If your roofing contractor estimated $1,000 worth of repairs, but your deductible is $3,000, you would be required to pay out of pocket anyway. So, in that case, it may not be worth it to file a claim.
Step 4: Have the Proper Documentation
You’re going to have two best friends through the roof claim process: photographs and your roofing contractor. Before and after photos of your damage are invaluable to prove the extent of your roof damage. Plus, your roofing contractor will have the vocabulary to articulate the damage on your roof, the urgency, and how much the repairs would cost.
You’ll need to have all the proper documentation on hand before filing a claim to ensure the process is smooth.
Step 5: File the Roof Claim
After you’ve met with a professional roofing contractor, have a solid understanding of your damage, and have all the necessary documentation in order, it’s time to go ahead and file your claim.
There should be a designated phone number and/or an online form that you can find on your insurer’s website to file the claim.
Step 6: Meet With an Insurance Adjuster
Unfortunately, your insurance company won’t take you and your roofing contractor’s word for it without checking out the damage themselves. Your insurance company will send out an adjuster to assess your roof after receiving your claim.
If possible, have your preferred roofing contractor present when the adjuster comes so that they can advocate for you and point out any damage that the adjuster may not notice.
Be sure to record the adjuster’s name, date and time of their visit, and your claim number.
Step 7: Schedule Repairs and (Hopefully) Recieve Your Claim Check
Hopefully, all goes well, and your insurance adjuster approves your claim. Either way, you should get roof repairs on the schedule so that you don’t leave your home susceptible to more damage.
If your insurance company denied your claim, don’t give up. Keep working with your preferred roofing company— they may be able to find a public adjuster to come assess your damage and potentially approve a new claim.
But, if your claim is approved after the first try, you should receive a check in the main within 30-60 days. Be sure to invoice your insurer for any additional funds owed for work that was completed on your behalf.
Essentially, you’ll pay your roofing contractor, and your insurance company will pay you.
Storm Damage? Call WISA for a Free Inspection
At WISA, we know how stressful roof claims can be for homeowners. That’s why we’re dedicated to making the insurance claim process as stress-free as possible. Our skilled team will guide you through the claims process to ensure you’re set up for success.
Choosing a top-rated and highly-skilled roofing contractor makes all the difference when filing a roof insurance claim. Don’t make the mistake of hiring anyone but WISA if you live in Northern Virginia.
Reach out today to schedule a free inspection and estimate!