Has your home gotten damaged in a recent storm? Are you unsure of what to expect in the insurance claim process? Any damage caused during a storm can be stressful and overwhelming, but it’s incredibly important for homeowners to be proactive and act quickly to ensure all damage is covered. Becoming familiar with your home insurance policy and market terminology will help you understand each step of the claim, thus allowing for an easy process. Take photos and begin documenting any damage immediately after a storm; with this, you’ll be well on your way to filing an insurance claim.
What Is an Insurance Inspection?
After an insurance claim has been filed for storm damage, your insurance adjuster will require your chosen roofing contractor to visit your property to inspect the roof and exterior portions of your home. The roofing contractor you choose for your storm damage repairs must be trustworthy, reliable, and knowledgeable of the insurance claims process as they represent you in the inspection. If the damage found during the inspection, your roofing contractor and an insurance adjuster will work together to submit claim paperwork and necessary evidence to have the damage repaired. There are many signs your roofing contractor will look for to determine storm damage:
- Missing Shingles
- Displaced Flashing
- Damaged Roof Valleys
- Leaks or Water Damage in Attic
Evaluate and Document Storm Damage
If you suspect your property has experienced storm damage, the first step is assessing your property. This is an incredibly important process, and homeowners must be as thorough as possible. Before contacting a roofing contractor, it’s encouraged to take photos and document any damage that you can see from the ground. The images must be clear and labeled with the date and time so you can easily access them. Additionally, to further document the storm, save news reports, and a log of the storm to include in your insurance claim. Most commonly, insurance companies will ask you to provide proof of your property before the storm. Taking photos of your home once or twice a year is an excellent practice to be fully prepared for the unexpected. After documenting damage on your own, it’s time to contact your homeowner’s insurance company and find a roofing contractor. The roofing contractor you choose will be able to thoroughly inspect your roof and home exterior, determine what needs to be repaired, and provide an estimated cost.
Contact Home Insurance Provider
After evaluating and documenting your storm damage, it’s time to review your homeowner’s insurance policy and contact your insurance provider. Your policy will contain guidelines and details about how long you can wait after the damage has occurred and still get repairs covered, what is covered or not, and much more. The insurance claims process can be exhausting and complicated, so making yourself familiar with common terminology and your policy will set you up for success. Hiring a public adjuster is also something beneficial to consider as this individual will help argue your claim before your insurance company, thus protecting you rather than the insurance company. It’s incredibly essential to refrain from discarding any damaged items as insurance companies usually want to see the damage firsthand. If you are required to discard them, make sure to take photos to further document.
How Are Insurance Claims Paid?
Once the insurance adjuster estimates your property for the cost value, you’ll likely receive a check within the week. The first check is the cost to repair the damage to your home minus the depreciation or the recoverable portion. Later, a second check will be provided for a part of the depreciation minus your deductible. Storm damage insurance claims are completed this way to prevent insurance fraud or you profiting from the insurance claim by repairing the damage at a lower rate and pocketing the remaining funds. Rest assured, your roofing contractor will be by your side every step of the way to help you understand and succeed in the insurance claims process.
Choose a Roofing Expert With Insurance Claim Experience
After determining whether your storm damage is covered under your existing homeowner’s policy, it’s time to start the search for a reputable roofing contractor. It’s incredibly important to choose a company that has experience with storm damage and insurance claims, so they can support you and provide guidance every step of the way. Ask friends and family if they have any suggestions or conduct a simple Google search to find popular roofing contractors in your area. It’s recommended to get multiple estimates, so you can be sure you’re making the right decision. For each roofing contractor, you’re interested in hiring for your repairs, you must ask for references and proof of licensing. You can further check a roofing contractor’s reputation on Angie’s List or the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
What Happens If the Insurance Adjuster and Roofing Contractor Disagree?
If the insurance adjuster and roofing contractor don’t agree about the amount of damage or cost of repairs, you have the right to ask the insurance company for a different adjuster and arrange a re-inspection with the same firm at no charge. The insurance claims process can be time-consuming, so it’s beneficial to have your roofing contractor fully represent you during the adjustment process to expedite settlement and ensure everything is completed correctly. The roofing contractor you choose will work directly with the insurance adjuster assigned to your claim to determine the extent of damage, clarify pricing, and offer a reasonable repair price to the insurance company.
Get Started on Your Storm Damage Insurance Claim
If your home has been damaged during a storm, it’s incredibly important to start the insurance claim process as soon as possible. Document any damage you can see from the ground, save news articles, and any other content that you can provide your insurance company. Along with this information, it’s incredibly important to find a reputable roofing contractor to assist you through the entire claims process. Many roofing contractors offer insurance claim assistance, so if you’re ready to begin your insurance claim start your search for a roofing contractor today.