Should You File an Insurance Claim?

filing a roof insurance claim

What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do

As you were walking around your house making sure everything is okay, you noticed a couple of loose shingles on the roof. Do you file a roof insurance claim for this small of an issue? You pay homeowner’s insurance premiums for a reason, but is it a good idea to file a roof insurance claim for that small of an issue? 

There isn’t any signs of leaking in the attic or house, you can get up on the roof yourself and nail those back in place, adding some silicone over the nails. Is there anything special to knowing how to file a roof insurance claim for this small of a job? Read on as we discuss roof insurance claim filing and more. 

Does homeowners insurance go up if you file a claim?

It can be hard to decide when filing roof insurance claim on your homeowner’s insurance is the right thing to do. Maybe it would bel better to simply pay for that small repair out of pocket, or do it yourself? 

It can depend on the claim amount and type that could determine this. First, review the deductible on your policy. This is the amount that will come out of your pocket regardless the amount the insurance company is going to reimburse. 

Insurance companies view certain homeowner claim less favorably because they see them as a possible risk of happening again. Claims for property theft, roof damage, and water damage for example could happen again, causing the need to file another theft, water damage, or roof insurance claim. A tree falling your roof after a windstorm is less likely to happen again. 

 So, while your insurance company may pay for the theft, water damage, or roof insurance claim this time, and they may not raise your rates this time. Subsequent claims for the same thing, could have a different ending. This could make you wonder  why file a roof insurance claim at all, but if the damage is bad enough, more than the deductible, like your roof has been ripped off your house in a windstorm, it is worth filing the claim. Replacing a shingle or two, maybe 3, probably isn’t worthwhile.

someone needing help with a roof insurance claim

How does an insurance claim on roof work?

When you’ve experienced roof damage, you’ll want to have a roofing contractor inspect and evaluate the  roof, most provide a free inspection. Then report the incident and file  roof insurance claim with your insurance provider. 

The insurance company will have a claims adjuster come inspect and evaluate the damage. They will input the data they have determined. They may give you an estimate of what your insurance policy will cover then, or they may tell you’ll be advised by electronic mail with a hardcopy to follow.

It’s is helpful for your benefit to have the roofing contractor present when the insurance claims adjuster is there so they can assess the damage together. A professional roofer can sometimes point out things the adjuster may not see. While insurance adjusters are trained in their field, roofing contractors are sometimes more up-to-date with building codes that your roof insurance claim should cover. 

How do I get my insurance to pay for a new roof?

The purpose of homeowner’s insurance is to avoid paying out-of-pocket for repairs and replacement of things the insurance cover. Like roof damage and  filing a roof insurance claim, but if you’ve never done this, you may not know how to get started. We can tell you that if you don’t do it right, following the required steps, your claim could be denied. So, here are some recommended steps to filing a damaged roof insurance claim:

1. Know Your Insurance Coverage

Whether it is theft, water damage, or roof damage, before you ever need to file a roof insurance claim, or any claim, know what your homeowner’s insurance covers. Yes, it will take some time to do some reading, but it is important information that you need to understand. If reading the ‘hereto and therefore’ is confusing, ask your agent to sit down and go over it line by line. 

2. Document the Damage 

Now that you know what your homeowner’s insurance will cover for your roof insurance claim, and you know you have roof damage, you need to document the damage. Take pictures, take a video if you can, and write down the date you found the damage or if you know when it happened, the date and approximate time. Pictures. Pictures. Pictures. If this is roof damage and you can’t get up on the roof, call a professional roofing contractor. Most will offer a free inspection and ask them to take and provide you pictures of what they see. 

Next, most insurance companies today have claim process on their website where you can do it online and others have a 24/7 phone line with a claims representative. Most insurance policies advise to file any roof insurance claim or other claims within a certain time frame after the incident, so do it the fastest way possible so they don’t have a reason to deny your roof insurance claim for waiting too long. 

3. Search and Interview Roofing Contractors

After you have submitted your roof insurance claim, call several contractors to get bids. Choose one that has insurance claims experience, they can help you through the process, including providing you the level of a roofing inspection report to submit. If you can’t find a roofing contractor, your insurance company will send one, but keep in mind, they will be working for them, not you. 

4. The Next Steps 

Now that you have filed your roof insurance claim and found a roofing contractor to support your claim, you wait for the insurance company’s decision. This can take up to ten to fourteen days. If after day 15 you haven’t heard from them, call the appropriate claims line, and follow the protocol.  If you don’t get an answer, call your agent directly. 

What do insurance adjusters look for on roofs?

In a general, the insurance adjuster will look at the following: 

  • Roof age
  • Previous installation 
  • Broke or missing shingles
  • Sun damage
  • Normal wear &  tear
  • Tree damage from limbs and sap
  • Nails popped out
example of when a roof insurance claim is needed

A Big Question Finale’

Should I show roofer my insurance estimate? Wow – you hear both sides. A roofing contractor that you hire wants your business and should have your best interest. Seeing what the insurance company offers, they may review the offer and find discrepancies that could help you. If the roofing contractor is one the insurance company sent they have that information already. 

The final decision is yours to make. If you feel comfortable and have a trusting relationship with your contractor, by all means share that information. If you don’t have one you trust, you need to shop around for several estimates until you find one that you are comfortable with.