Getting roof damage is something no one can avoid. Whether it’s an accident or any other factor, you may have to pay for roof repairs sooner or later.
One of the best things you can do for your home is to meet with an insurance adjuster and get the best policy to protect it. Homeowners insurance policies protect your property from any unexpected “peril.”
Unfortunately, a roof repair may not always be a viable option. What if you want to replace your entire roof, but your insurance company doesn’t want to pay for the roof claim?
There are many factors to evaluate regarding roofing insurance coverage, and we’ll talk about them today. Here, we’ll tell you how to get your insurance company to pay and replace your roof. We’ll also teach you the importance of hiring a reputable roofing company.
Why Is It Hard to Get an Insurance Company to Pay?
There’s nothing like the reassurance of being backed up by an insurance company if something damages your roof. Unfortunately, not all companies offer full replacement cost coverage; others may not even accept to cover certain repair costs. Why is that?
Generally speaking, insurance companies will try to save as much money as possible when paying out claims. This is why they have so many policy requirements, exclusions, and other details you must know.
Your insurance agency won’t give you full repair coverage for many reasons. Let’s look at some of them:
- The cause of damage wasn’t an insured peril.
- There’s an exclusion in your policy.
- You failed to disclose a material fact.
- The value of your claim is below your deductible.
- You haven’t paid your premium.
- The claim is fraudulent.
Does this mean that you won’t get paid for your roof replacement? Not necessarily. There are many insurance companies out there that are willing to protect your home as long as you follow the rules.
One of the best things you can do to increase your chances of getting paid is to only work with reputable roofing companies. These experts have the experience necessary to guide you through this overwhelming process. A roofing contractor can also help you evaluate how high your chances of getting paid are based on your insurance policy.
What Factors Affect Your Roof Insurance Claim?
Even though each insurance company has different policies and requirements to process your claim, most evaluate similar factors. Let’s go over some of them to give you an idea:
Past Claims History
You’re more likely to get insurance coverage if you don’t always file claims. Homeowners don’t usually file an insurance claim unless it’s necessary. You can spend the next ten years without filing a single one.
However, people who file an insurance claim every one or two years will get much higher rates to cover their roof damage. Some claims may even get dropped.
Usually, your deductible gets subtracted from the total amount your insurer has to pay for your claim. You may be tempted to file an insurance claim after minor roof damage, but this isn’t always convenient.
Remember that the more claims you have, the higher your rates could be. Sometimes, it’s not worth having an insurance company pay for something you can afford out of pocket. Once the claim gets on your record, you’ll be considered a higher “insurance risk.”
Severity of the Damage
If your roof isn’t too damaged, consider if it’s worth it to file a claim. Keeping a “clean” claim record will ensure better protection once you need an important roof replacement.
Age and Value of the Roof
Insurance companies offer you different rates based on how resistant your roof is. For example, if your roof is 25 years old, you may have to pay a higher insurance premium. In these cases, you should either reinforce your roof or get extra coverage for your policy.
The more coverage you buy, the better. Some policies offer “Replacement Cost Value (RCV),” which may help you get enough money to cover those more significant projects.
If you only have “standard” insurance packages, you may have difficulty getting all the money you need for your roof replacement.
When Should You Replace Your Roof?
Should you replace your roof even if it didn’t get damaged after an accident? Maybe. The answer depends on how old your roof is.
For example, if your roof is rated to last 25 years, you may want to replace it once it turns 20.
There are also other subtle signs of roof damage that you can’t ignore:
- Mold, Algae, or Moss
- Curling Shingles
- Granules in the Gutters
- Cracked or Missing Shingles
If you find any of these in your next roofing inspection, you may want to consider a replacement.
How to Ensure You Get Proper Insurance Payments to Cover Roof Damage
Getting your insurance company to pay for a roof repair or replacement can be challenging, but it’s not impossible.
Here are a few tips you should consider if you want to maximize your chances of getting the money you need:
Review Your Current Homeowners Insurance Policy
Always review your homeowners’ insurance policy before filing a claim. If you have roof coverage, check if it only covers a portion of the costs or the total amount.
People who get replacement coverage are more likely to get enough insurance to pay for a severely damaged roof.
You can also talk to your insurance adjuster and see if you can purchase extra coverage for your roof. It may involve a higher investment initially, but the peace of mind is worth it.
Gather Evidence of Your Roof Damage
Make sure you gather as much evidence of the damage as possible. That can help your claim immensely.
Get as many pictures as possible of the damage, especially exterior damage. You can also take pictures of any roofing problems you may have inside.
You must document the date and time you got the damage. If your roof got damaged by a natural disaster, try to find a newspaper or online article that supports your statement.
When you talk to your insurance agent, make sure you explain what happened with attention to detail. Some insurers think you’re filing a claim because you want to replace an old roof, not because it got damaged.
A reputable roofing company can walk you through this process so that you know which evidence items will help you the most.
Get a Certified Roof Inspection
An insurance company will likely ask for an inspection report and a repair/replacement estimate before paying out your claim.
You’ll have a higher chance of getting paid if you get the inspection and estimate from a professional roofing company. Even if the inspection involves an out-of-pocket expense, think about the money you’ll save in the long run if you get your claim approved.
Hire a Professional Roofing Company
Hiring a professional roofing company doesn’t mean you must go for the most expensive one. Many local contractors do an excellent job for an affordable and considerate price.
Remember that your repair or replacement costs will depend on the severity of the damage, the roofing materials you need, and other factors.
The Austin Roofing & Water Damage team can help you with the process while making the most out of your budget. Consider asking for a quote if you’re interested.
Pay Your Deductible
You must pay your deductible before you receive money for your roof claim, most of the time. Don’t wait too long to pay for it; you’ll have a better chance of getting the money you need later.
Beware of Insurance Scams
Many cities in Texas (including Austin) are prone to experiencing natural disasters, including wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc. The most common disaster in the state is flooding.
Due to the high exposure to disasters, many insurance scammers are making extensive repair or replacement promises. However, once they get your money, they don’t deliver, leaving you with a poorly repaired roof in the “best-case scenario.” In the worst-case scenario, you may not even get a cent to cover your damages.
When looking for an insurance company, look for reviews and see if it’s licensed. If the company’s offer sounds too good to be true, it’s probably because it is.
Getting your roof damaged beyond repair can be devastating for any family. Replacing a roof tends to be too expensive to pay out of pocket, and that’s when your insurance comes in.
Unfortunately, filing a claim and getting your money isn’t always straightforward. If you want to increase your chances of getting paid to cover your damages without too much hassle, follow all the tips we mentioned here.
Remember to always seek your repair or replacement projects from a reputable company. The Austin Roofing & Water Damage team is more than ready to assist and get you a stronger and healthier roof for your family. Get a quote today, and let us know if you have any questions.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Leaks from Rain?
It depends. A homeowners insurance policy may cover leaks from rain if a storm or a fallen tree previously damaged your roof.
If your roof is poorly maintained or old, your insurance policy may not cover that. The insurer will believe that the leak developed because of that.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Shingles Blown Off Roof?
Homeowners’ insurance should cover most damages from wind and other extreme weather conditions. You may have a solid claim to file if extreme wind blows off your shingles.
If you want to be sure, talk to your insurance agent to see if your policy covers that kind of damage.
What Is the New Deductible Law for Roofing in Texas?
The new deductible law in Texas aims to fight roof scams. Many scammers offer clients to waive their insurance deductible when they give them a quote. Unfortunately, this often results in fake contracts, lower-quality materials, and other negative consequences.
This new law makes it illegal for any roofer or contractor to waive an insurance deductible. It took effect on September 1, 2019.
How Can I Avoid Paying My Home Insurance Deductible?
There’s no way to “avoid” paying your deductible. You can still file a claim if you can’t afford your entire deductible, but you must talk to your agent and work out a payment plan.
Remember that it’s illegal for a roofing company to waive your deductibles, so don’t consider this option.