You can’t always count on your homeowner’s insurance to necessarily cover roof damage 100 percent, but what you can count on is finding the best roofing contractor in your local area. Below, find out what’s covered, what’s not, and how to file a roof insurance claim.
Insurance Questions and Best Roofing Contractor Services
How do you know when to file a roof claim and start looking for the best roofing contractor in your town? First, you should ascertain the following items when it comes to working with your homeowner’s insurance company.
You usually can’t own a home without homeowner’s insurance, but the trick is knowing when and how to use it. Utilizing the services you’ve been paying for may be intimidating because it can be confusing. Maybe you’ve heard you might lose an insurance discount if you file a claim, or you might lose insurance coverage altogether if you file too many claims.
However, making an insurance claim for roof damage won’t get you in trouble. Here’s when you should file a roof claim and the factors affecting your claim…
File a Roof Claim and Find the Best Roofing Contractor
In case of an unexpected loss, homeowner’s insurance gets you back to normal, just like the best roofing contractor in town. Your insurance provider will usually promise to put you back where you were before the loss in exchange for a monthly or annual premium. But your insurance company is not allowed to make a profit off of the claims-filing process.
When it comes to homeowner’s insurance, you can get “replacement cost” coverage. It basically states that your insurance company must replace your roof at today’s price, not just what it was worth before.
See What’s Covered Beforehand: Best Roofing Contractor
Fire, water, and storm damage are the most common unexpected losses for a homeowner. There are times when fire and water damage can be avoided. A backed-up toilet can flood your home, or a candle left unattended can cause a fire. Risks that can be avoided are minimized by insurance companies.
Because of that, if a homeowner’s behavior creates additional risk, your insurance might not cover the expense. Also, some insurance providers raise their rates if you live in an area that’s prone to certain perils, or they will exclude certain coverages.
What’s important in the case of most roof issues is: storm damage cannot be avoided, so it’s not measured the same way. That’s usually good news for homeowners with insurance, as well as finding the best roofing contractor your insurance will approve.
However, your insurance company might drop you or raise your rate if you file too many water claims, because good homeowner maintenance can prevent many of those claims from ever happening. But an insurance claim for unavoidable sudden damage doesn’t count against you, such as hail or wind damage.
Your Roof Claim is Affected by These Factors
How an insurance company handles your claim depends on a lot of things:
- Your track record for getting claims approved.
- The type of damage your roof sustained.
- Whether you have a deductible, and what its dollar value is.
- How much your roof is worth today, and whether you have “replacement cost” coverage.
- The period between today and the last time you filed any home insurance claim.
You’ll need to educate yourself regarding the following: types of roof damage covered by insurance, the specifics surrounding wind and hail damage versus other damage, items not covered, other roof issues, deductible specifics, great tips for filing the insurance claim, and guidance for finding the best roofing contractor.
‘Too Many’ Claims and Your Deductible Amount
Every 10 years or so, a homeowner might file a claim. You’ll get slammed with higher rates if you file every year or two, and it’s even possible your insurance can drop you after a while. Make sure you don’t file claims for issues that aren’t covered, or claims for problems that you can handle yourself.
Be sure your roof claim is covered before you file it. Weigh the risks versus rewards before you add another claim to your homeowner record.
For instance, your claim won’t be covered if your deductible is $2,500 and your repair only costs $1,000 to $1,500. However, this claim stays on your record for three years. Still, it might not make sense to claim even if the repair is $2,500 to $3,000 (with that same deductible).
The bottom line is: your insurance risk goes up the more claims you make. If you want to keep your rates low, don’t be seen as a high risk. Also, make sure you search for the best roofing contractor you can find.
Actual Damage Versus the Value of Your Roof
Think about the risk versus reward of making a claim. Depending on how bad the damage is, you might be able to fix it for less than your deductible. By not submitting the claim, you keep your risk profile low.
Roofs depreciate just like cars. The value of a 15 to 20-year-old roof (that was originally rated for 20 to 25 years) isn’t what it was years ago. Make sure you’re covered for the “actual cash value” or “replacement cost value” when reviewing your policy.
It’s cheaper to get the actual cash value coverage because premiums are usually lower. However, this option only covers what the roof is worth when it’s lost. When a bad storm leaves you needing a new roof, the savings might not be worth it.
Your Level of Competence
A good expert can make all the difference. It’s a lot easier to deal with an insurance company when you hire a licensed roof inspector who has experience working for the best roofing contractor company in your area. When you have questions, the inspector or contractor can help you with the right information that insurance companies are looking for.
Your Discount and Whether You Lose It
It’s not always a bad thing to lose a discount or coverage. You can figure out what works for you with some simple math.
For example, can you lose your $150 – $200 annual discount if your insurance covers $20,000 – $25,000 toward your new roof? For that discount to outweigh the benefits of the new roof, how long would you have to stay in your home with your old or current roof? Most likely more than 100 years. There’s no point in arguing over that.
If you don’t retain that discount, your rates will probably only increase about $200. The math shows that you’re still ahead. You can always find another insurance company that will insure you for a reasonable price if your current insurance provider drops you. You’ll probably receive a better rate since your roof is less likely to need work in the near future — so your new rate won’t go up as much. The best roofing contractor in your vicinity can help with these questions and so much more.
Don’t Feel Powerless in This Process
Roof claims can be expensive. It’s hard to deal with insurance companies. You don’t have to feel powerless. You’ll get the help you need if you find a roofer you can trust.
Additionally, most homeowners know that choosing a roofer involves reviewing the contractor’s qualifications, services offered, and asking detailed questions about why the company’s services should be hired over others in the marketplace. However, despite the fact most roofers are hard workers, there are still roofing scams to watch out for.
With the following scams in mind — and with your questions answered by the best roofing contractor in town — you can make sure your home roofing project is a success.
Keystone Roofing and Siding
Keystone Roofing and Siding is here to educate consumers and homeowners about licensed roof inspector benefits and so much more. Please contact us with your questions or to set up an appointment.