Insurance Claims Are Intimidating
Dealing with insurance claims can be intimidating. That's usually because you really are not sure where to start. Do you call your agent first? Do you call a roofing contractor? What can you and can not you sign? So many questions that need answers. Let's dig in and see if we can not clear away some of the clouds.
Do you know where your homeowner's policy is located? If you'll pull that out, we can start by identifying whether or not there's a claim phone number for you to call. After you've identified the claim number, you'll want to look through your policy to find out how much your roof deductible is going to cost you.
Find Out How Much Your Roof Deductible Will Be
Many policies have separate policies for wind and hail damage to your roof. For example, a claim filed because of a hail storm would have a different deductible than a claim filed for a slab leak. You'll have to look through your paperwork to find out. Look for the words "storm" or "hail" or "wind" deductible. These deductibles can be as low as $ 250 and up to several percentage points of your home's value (eg 1%, $ 2, even up to 5%).
Not that your roof deductible should matter, but the truth of the matter is that it does matter. If you're deductible is 5% and your home's value is $ 350,000.00, you'll be stuck with a $ 17,500.00 deductible. While it is possible that your roof could cost more than $ 17,500.00, it is unlikely that you'll realize much benefit from filing the claim unless you have an extremely expensive roofing product like slate, stone-coated steel, aluminum, slate or a heavy shake wood roof.
Call Your Local Insurance Agent
Once you've identified whether or not you want to push forward based on your homeowner's deductible, you'll want to call your local insurance agent and let them know what happened. Did you have a hail storm? Are there shingles that were blown off your roof? Tell your agent exactly what happened and give them the date of loss. That's important because they'll be passing this information along to your insurance adjuster who will come out and inspect the damage before writing up the claim and cutting a check.
Schedule With Your Insurance Adjuster
You'll most likely have to wait 24-48 hours for their insurance adjuster to call you. Most of the major insurance companies will either have local claim adjusters available or they'll bring in catastrophic crews to help out in a major storm event. When the adjuster calls, ask for them to visit on a day and at a time when you'll be home. It is always a good idea to make your own list of damaged property in advance of your adjuster's visit. You may also want to get in touch with a good local roofing company to help represent your best interests with the insurance company. Together, your roofing contractor and your insurance adjuster will develop an estimate of damages.
What Do You Do With The Check?
In our next article, we'll walk through the process for getting repairs made to your roof after you're insurance adjuster has processed the first check. If you would like professional roofing help and you live in North Texas, you may want to reach out to me for some quick, free advice. You can avoid roofing scams by doing your homework first.