Roof Inspections and Insurance Claims: A Basic Guide for Homeowners

Roof Inspections and Insurance Claims: A Basic Guide for Homeowners
  • Opening Intro -

    Everyone knows that no home can do without a roof.

    That's why keeping your roof in good shape is essential – it needs to be able to protect you and your family in all sorts of weather.

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Conducting regular roof inspections, preferably carried out by experts, should be part of your homeowner’s to-do list. And not only when you need to check if it needs repairs or replacement: Roof inspections, in case you didn’t know, also play a crucial role in the insurance claims process. In this post, I will help you better understand the relationship between roof inspections and your insurance claims.

Inspection and Insurance Estimate: How They Are Done?

Most homeowner insurance policies provide coverage for roof damage caused by unforeseen, often (but not always) natural, disasters. These include hurricanes, tornadoes, fire or, at times, even vandalism. However, there are a lot of factors insurers consider to determine if they ought to cover your roof’s current and existing damage and, if so, how much of the cost will be reimbursed. This is where roof inspection comes in.

The Claims Adjuster’s Inspection

Once you have gathered your facts and records, including your policy number and supporting documentation such as photos, you can now call your insurance company or agent. After providing them with the necessary information, you will be given a claim number and a claims adjuster will be assigned to your case.

A claims adjuster’s job is to investigate property damage to determine the extent of their company’s liability. Typically, they will measure out a test square on your roof and if they find a sufficient amount of bruises, dents, or cracks on it, the insurance company will pay for the estimated cost of repair or replacement, minus your policy’s deductible.

The Insurance Estimate

The judgment of the claims adjuster assigned to your home will have A LOT to do with how much you will be reimbursed. Most discrepancies occur when the adjuster is unable to properly assess the property or roof — the miscalculations may be caused by the adjuster’s failure to notice some of the damages, or just him having a bad day.

The Contractor’s Role

Working with a reliable roofing contractor who can perform a detailed inspection and evaluation is necessary for you to get the reimbursement which is rightfully due to you. Having a contractor inspect your roof before you call your insurance company will also help you reasonably justify an insurance claim.

The contractor can also represent you during the inspection process, saving you from the hassle of having to skip work and deal with the general headache often associated with the claims process. Most certified roofers can work with the adjuster to accurately determine the extent of the damage and clarify the estimated cost of repair or replacement.

Furthermore, involving a reliable roofer as early as you can – preferably while you are still in the process of making your claims — will make it easier and faster for you to move on to the roof repair or replacement itself. The roofer can also offer you a project price equal to — or even less than — what the insurance company will be paying you.

About the Author
Sean Dovey is Marketing Manager of All American Home Services, Inc. Having worked in the industry for decades, he knows just what homeowners need besides reliable contractors and services: information and tips that will help make owning a home easier. Blogging is his way of sharing his home improvement knowledge with others.

Image credit: Roofing Inspection on Flickr

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