No matter how you spin it, getting a roof replacement is expensive. Fortunately, there are a handful of scenarios in which you can rely on your homeowners insurance company to mitigate the costs.
For example, most homeowners insurance policies include roof repair or replacement coverage in the event of:
- A fire
- Storm damage (high winds, hail, blizzards, lightning, tornados, etc)
- Falling trees and other objects
- Aircraft damage
However, not all insurance policies are created equally, and the entire insurance claim process can be lengthy and complex. That’s why it’s important to ask the right insurance roof replacement questions.
Below are the seven most important insurance roof replacement questions you’ll want to get answers for, so you know exactly how to handle roof damage caused by the events listed above:
1. What Does Your Insurance Adjuster Look for Specifically?
When you file a roof insurance claim for storm damage, the insurance company will send out an insurance adjuster to evaluate the extent of the damage to verify your claim. Generally speaking, the adjuster will look for obvious signs of storm damage, such as:
- Prominent hail damage
- Accelerated shingle and granule loss
- Fractured, cracked, curled, or broken shingles
- Exposed underlayment
- Damaged flashing and ventilation
It’s important to keep in mind that the adjuster can make or break your insurance claim. However, adjusters are not professional roofers — they may make mistakes. Therefore, it’s recommended to have a trusted roofing contractor inspect your roof first, and be present while the adjuster does their own inspection to compare notes and ensure that no mistakes are made.
2. Do I Need to Tarp My Roof?
Most homeowners assume that when it comes to roof damage, what’s done is done and out of their hands. However, most insurance companies require that homeowners take the necessary precautions to prevent further damage to already vulnerable areas.
Failure to tarp your damaged roof can lead to even more damage, especially if heavy rainfall or other weather events are on the horizon. In this scenario, the insurance company won’t be able to differentiate between the damage and will likely deny your claim.
3. Will My Rates Increase By Filing for a Roof Replacement Claim?
Many homeowners are under the impression that their homeowners insurance rates will increase if they file a claim. However, this is far from being true.
Put simply, homeowners insurance does not penalize homeowners for filing claims. There are some instances that can lead to a rate increase, such as a large number of homes in your area sustaining heavy storm damage.
While filing one claim won’t tip the scales, it’s still a good idea to inquire about the amount of roof damage claims throughout your area to better prepare yourself financially for the future.
4. What Is the Standard Payout Process?
Having homeowners insurance doesn’t mean you’ll automatically receive the total funds or reimbursement amount for your roof replacement. This is because there are two primary types of insurance policies and they each work differently:
- Actual cash value (ACV) policy: ACV policies are based on roof value depreciation. Essentially, your roof will depreciate in value each year for a period of ten years. If it sustains damage during this 10-year period, you will receive a payout amounting to its most current depreciated value.
- Replacement cost (RC) policy: With an RC policy, the insurance company will be responsible for covering the total roof replacement cost. However, the homeowner will still be responsible for the deductible, if any.
So, it’s a good idea to double-check the type of policy you have regarding your roofing system and have the insurance agent walk you through the payout process just so there’s no confusion.
5. Can I Appeal My Insurance Claim?
There are a variety of reasons why the insurance company may deny your roof damage claim. In some cases, their reasoning is substantial. In other cases, they’ll deny your claim because::
- The adjuster didn’t do their job properly
- The adjuster rushed through the inspection and missed something
- The adjuster is purposely denying the claim or minimizing the extent of the damage so the insurance company can underpay on the claim (yes, this happens a lot!)
In the event that your insurance claim is denied, you have every right to seek a second opinion. You can arrange for a new adjuster through your insurance company or hire a public adjuster to make a new report.
This is also why it’s important to have your roof inspected by an experienced and trusted roofer.
6. Why Do Insurance Companies Withhold Depreciation?
Withheld depreciation — also known as recoverable depreciation — is when your insurance company holds off on providing you with your payout until you can show proof that your roof replacement is underway.
There are two main reasons why your insurance company is withholding depreciation:
- They want to make sure you’re actually going to follow through with the roof replacement and not spend the money elsewhere
- They prefer to only pay out the specific amount needed to replace your roof, so they’ll wait for the final invoice
Once you can provide proof of the work being done, your insurance company will send you the actual cash value of the work, minus your deductible.
7. Should I Get Multiple Estimates?
While it may seem like a good idea to shop around for the roof replacement deal, it won’t make much of a difference to your insurance company. This is because your payout amount will be stated within your homeowners insurance policy and governed to the last cent by the insurance adjuster.
Ultimately, your insurance company will only pay the “fair market price” based on your location and industry standards — which is also what most reputable roofers will charge. All you have to do is find a reliable roofer who will provide you with an estimate that aligns with your payout.
Has Your Roof Sustained Storm Damage?
As a homeowner, it’s important to understand what your insurance policy covers and how its claims process works. It’s also important to have a roofer you can trust to have your best interest in mind when it comes time for a roof replacement.When it comes to roof storm damage, you can trust Tectum Roofing. Not only do we provide accurate and competitive estimates, but we also offer special financing plans and guidance throughout the insurance claim process. Schedule a free roof inspection with us today and we’ll make sure you get detailed documentation that an insurance adjuster cannot dispute!