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How Do Roofing Insurance Claims Work?
Out of all the things we own, houses are definitely some of the most important, and often most expensive, assets. Thus, when something happens to the roof, there’s no other way to fix it but to either hire someone to repair it or replace it completely.
At Prime Roofing of Jacksonville, we do shingle roof replacements, as well as new constructions, among other things. We strive to provide our clients with the best quality roofs at the most affordable prices. However, before we start, clients need to determine if they can file an insurance claim due to excessive damage done to their roof. In this guide, we’ll describe this process and help everyone understand when they should or shouldn’t file a claim.
How to figure out the extent of the damage
During construction, roofs are made to be as weather-resistant as possible. However, even the best ones sometimes cannot remain damage-free when bad weather comes to town. High winds, extreme weather conditions and especially hail and hurricanes can wear down the roof and lead to all sorts of issues, such as leaks, broken shingles, etc.
Thus, before filing an insurance claim, the homeowner has to determine what the damage is. The best way to do that is to hire experts and get an estimate. Sometimes, a seemingly huge problem might not be that big of a deal at all. Likewise, a few broken parts could look like something we can fix fast. Yet, we might discover the damage is too severe for us to handle.
If it’s determined that there’s a lot to fix, the next logical step is to contact the insurance company and prepare to file a claim.
To claim or not to claim
Now, any homeowner has to take into account the deductible that they’ll have to pay if the claim is accepted. Because of that, before going through the whole process, they need to determine if the repair will cost more or less than that amount.
Since there’s a limit on insurance claims we can file without affecting our premiums, we have to be careful. One claim too many can make the insurance company suspicious. So, if the roof needs only minor repairs that won’t break the bank, filing a claim might not be necessary. However, if the damage is too severe, it’s the only logical next step.
Can the company reject the claim?
If the insurance company determines that the damage could have been prevented, they can reject the claim. Some situations are exempt from this, for example, high winds and hail. However, if we had a low-hanging branch that ruined our roof, they could reject the claim based on the fact that we had a chance to trim the branch beforehand. Basically, anything that we could have prevented from happening would be a fair enough reason not to accept the claim, including termite damage, faulty pipes and even mold.
So what should a homeowner do if they know the damage is severe yet they aren’t knowledgeable enough to prove it? Hiring a roofing contractor is vital then, as they can show the insurance assessors that you deserve a full settlement. And speaking of which…
Who are the assessors?
Once a homeowner files a claim, the insurance company will send someone to inspect the roof. They will essentially try to see if the damage is real or not.
It’s important to note that it’s not usually in the insurance company’s interest to immediately approve the claim. After all, they often want to give as little money as possible. However, that isn’t to say the company will try to trick the homeowner. They’re just cautious, as many people nowadays see insurance claim frauds as a great means to an end.
Types of coverage and deductibles
When it comes to roofing insurance claims, paying the deductible is inevitable. However, there are two types of coverages that will determine how much money we will get to repair the roof.
The standard one is the RCV, or replacement cost value. According to this type of coverage, the company will not take into account depreciation and give enough money to fix the roof, minus the deductible.
The other type, ACV, is the one most homeowners worry about. This one does take into account depreciation. The insurer will calculate the amount of money we get by subtracting both the depreciation value and the deductible from the whole amount. Thus, even if the new roof costs $9000, the owner might get as little as $3000.
Checking the estimate
Now, after the assessment, the insurance company will send a claim estimate. It’s of the essence for the homeowner and the contractor to review this estimate and see if something’s wrong. In general, it’s always better to get the estimate changed before the contractor even touches the roof. That gives the homeowner some peace of mind because they’ll know they’re covered in full.
The estimate is all good, now what?
After the claim is approved, the company will list out all the damages they found and send the first check to the owner. This check usually covers half of the amount needed to get the roof repaired. Once it arrives, the owner has a set period of time to repair the roof.
Usually, the first check goes to the contractors so that they can use it to get the materials. Once they repair the roof and create an invoice, listing out everything they did and how much it all cost, they’ll send it to the insurance company so that the homeowner can get the final check. Then, the homeowner pays the remainder of the total cost to the contractors, and the whole process is complete.
Start off on the right foot with Prime Roofing
Filing an insurance claim is not that complicated if you have the support of a trustworthy contractor. Yes, an insurance company will sometimes try to get out of the claim. However, the contractor could persuade the assessor to look at the facts and take the total damages into account.
At Prime Roofing, we pride ourselves on our expertise and the fact that we have what it takes to handle all sorts of roof damages. In addition, we’ve been in the business long enough to know how to help our clients get the best value for their money. Therefore, if you happen to need a roof replacement or any other service we offer, don’t hesitate to contact us via our contact page or by calling 904-530-1446.