When it comes to an insurance claim. How much time do you actually spend looking at your roof, or even thinking about it? If you are like most people, then it is very little. You think about it when there is a major storm, when you notice a leak, or if you find roof damage of some form.
It is when that damage occurs that now you are left trying to figure out what to do next. Who are you going to call to do the repair? Will your insurance cover the damage? How do you even file your insurance claim?
You need not think about your roof any more than you normally do. However, it is important to know what to do when your roof is damaged so you can get it fixed quickly.
Tip 1: Know Your Insurance Policy
Like your roof, you probably do not think about your homeowner’s policy much. In fact, most people have not even read the policy. The thought is that you have it in case you need it, and will figure it out at that point.
Unfortunately, when you experience roof damage, you need to get it fixed quickly to avoid additional damage to your home. That means you do not want to have to figure it out at the point, you want to get it fixed. Just take some time to read your policy in advance.
What you want to look for is what they will cover for damage. Will it only cover a claim that covers the entire roof, or will it cover smaller repairs? What do you need to provide for proof of damage and cause? How many quotes do you need to obtain? All of this will ensure that when you do submit your claim you reduce the time it will take to process.
Tip 2: Document Everything to a Fault
Documentation is going to be your best friend for getting your insurance claim accepted. But not just any documentation, but pictures are going to be the most valuable. Even if you take the pictures with your phone, set it to capture the date and time the pictures were taken.
First, if you anticipate something that may cause some damage, run out and grab some pictures of your home and roof. This will give you a good foundation of the condition of your roof, which negates any claim of prior damage or neglect.
Next, if it is safe to do so, grab pictures of what is causing the roof damage. This is specific to storm damage as you are most likely to be able to capture that.
Finally, get pictures of the damage before you start to clean anything up. This will give a sense of the extent of the damage, and protects you from claims the cleanup caused the damage.
Tip 3: Get Your Quotes
Once you have your documentation is squared away, you want to go through the work of getting quotes. If your damage was caused by a major storm, then your area will be swarming with people offering roof repair services.
Unfortunately, not all of these people will make good on their promises, and that means your insurance may not pay. You want to look for a business that is licensed and insured, and who has been in business for several years at a minimum.
Then you want to get a few written quotes and compare the details. First, consider the work they are recommending. Next, consider what is covered in the quote. Be sure to look for details about who is purchasing the materials, and if they will arrange for waste disposal. These are the details that can break the bank.
You may wish to contact your insurance agent to see if there are particular contractors they prefer working with. This will ensure you get someone reputable, whom the insurance has approved work for previously.
Tip 4: Think About The Ramifications of Filing a Claim
Once all of this work is done, you now have to decide whether you are going to file a claim. You may not want to submit a claim for all damage that occurs. Here is what to consider.
First, think about your insurance history. You should be able to make a claim for any damage that happens to your home that is covered. However, that history goes into a national database. If you file too many claims, then it may raise flags about possible fraud. Additionally, it could cause other insurance companies to refuse to offer you coverage in the future. They may offer coverage but may charge extraordinarily high premiums.
Finally, think about your out of pocket expenses, such as your deductible. Will the claim exceed your deductible to an amount that makes it worth filing? If not, you cause headaches without any benefit. Many experts suggest paying out of pocket until the cost exceeds $5,000.
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