Hurricane season is almost upon us, and experts predict that this year’s season could be a busy one. As the season officially starts on June 1st, there’s not much time left to prepare for it. One of the most important things you should check off your list when preparing for hurricane season is getting insurance coverage for your roof. That said, dealing with insurance companies can be unpleasant. Sometimes it can be hard to get a claim paid, even if you’re owed a roof replacement per your coverage.
With this in mind, it’s crucial to know every important aspect of the process, to get the best insurance for your roof, and avoid any problems down the line. This includes preparation, proper documentation, finding the best roofer for the installation, and much more. Here’s everything you need to know to get an insurance company to pay for a new roof on your house.
Know What Your Insurance Covers
Before we get into exact steps on how you can claim insurance for a new roof, we want to stress the importance of knowing what your policy does and doesn’t cover. With this in mind, it’s useful to know the difference between the two main types of roof coverage in the US. They are:
- Repair coverage — takes into consideration the depreciation of your roof. Based on your roof’s age and the type of material, repair coverage can sometimes cover only a small portion of the overall damage done to your roof.
- Replacement coverage — This is a more common type of policy. It provides financial coverage for returning your roof to a brand new state if an event covered by your policy causes the damage. This is a much better option for homeowners, so don’t let your insurance company persuade you to change it.
Understanding every line of your insurance contract is a must. It’s best to speak to a trusted and reputable roofing company before agreeing on an insurance deal. Your roofer can help you understand all of the terminologies and help you evaluate the proposed policy.
Your roofer can be your best ally during this entire process as a valuable source of information on the many steps that come before the roof repair even begins. Now, let’s take a closer look at how to get a new roof on the house with insurance coverage.
1. File a Timely Insurance Claim
In most US states, homeowners are required to file a claim within 30 to 60 days of the damage. Failure to claim within this period will result in a claim denial, meaning that you’ll be left to pay for your roof repair.
Preparation is critical when it comes to filing insurance claims. Prepare to be scrutinized by your insurance company. They’ll try to gather as much documentation and evidence before approving your request. One of the best things you can do is to submit before and after pictures when making insurance claims.
It’s also worth mentioning that in areas that get a high volume of claims, such as Florida during hurricane season, the earlier you submit a claim, the better. By submitting promptly, your claim will get processed sooner than other homeowners’ requests, and you’ll get your roof replaced quicker.
2. Have the Roof Independently Inspected
Being prepared in advance can help you avoid the run-around some insurance companies try to put their customers through. Sometimes, even thorough preparation won’t be enough to guarantee a successful claim. Insurance companies will try to find any reason to deny your claim — from the roof being old and poorly maintained, to writing off the damage as only cosmetic.
If you can, you should also hire an independent inspector to check your roof and document any essential pieces of information. An independent inspection will cost you at least a couple hundred dollars. But it’ll go a long way in helping you get paid. This is especially true if things get ugly and go to arbitration or court.
3. Find a Reputable Contractor
Once your claim has been approved and you receive the payment, it’s time to find a qualified and trustworthy contractor. While it might be tempting to go with the cheapest offers, going with a high-quality contractor will guarantee you the best long-term results. A reliable contractor will ensure your roof gets the best possible treatment and make any future claims processes easier.
If your insurance company doesn’t offer enough money for a roof replacement of the same quality, a professional roof contractor can fight on your behalf. They can persuade them for more money, so the job gets done correctly. Homeowners who use this strategy often get more money than they would otherwise. Every insurance company wants to maintain good standing among customers.
4. Prepare For Future Claims
Filing a claim and endlessly jump through hoops is something no homeowners want to do. Aside from documenting your roof’s condition regularly, make sure to have your contractor routinely inspect the roof. If you can prove that you kept your roof in good condition before a storm, you’ll have a strong case. Your insurance company will have fewer grounds to deny a claim.
Following these steps and using the tips we’ve shared will help you avoid unpleasant experiences with the insurance company. For help with your roof replacement project, call us today at 813-373-9088. Or contact us through our online form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.