Insurance and Roof Replacement Costs

 

Insurance and Roof Replacement Costs

How to handle insurance claims.

Homeowners insurance is useful as there may be unexpected repairs on one’s home. The quality of your roofing is especially important as the roof protects the rest of the house from weather elements like rain, hail, snow, and high winds. As much as the idea of homeowners insurance is comforting for the homeowner, there are several pitfalls when it comes to dealing with insurance claims.

For a homeowner looking to file claim with their insurance, it is best that the homeowner first consult with a qualified roofing contractor before filing insurance claims. Moreover, it is highly important if the homeowner reads his or her homeowners insurance policy. Some common exclusions are that the insurance company would not cover are complete replacement, materials, and older roofs. However, they do this to protect themselves from unnecessary expenses and fraudulent claims.

Regarding complete replacement, insurance companies do not cover damage that stems from improper maintenance or damage, which can be avoided if the homeowner is mindful of the condition of the roof. Regarding materials, using slate shingles or cedar shakes may be reasons why insurance companies do not replace roofing with such materials. Insurance companies may also not cover replacement of older roofing (with a roof life span of 10 – 20 years old) because, like health insurance, older materials are more risky and the company gets the short end of the stick.

By contacting a roofing contractor you will have someone that will guide the homeowner throughout the replacement process. Most of the instances when the homeowner consults with the roofing contractor are whenever the homeowner seeks insurance after the home was damaged by a storm. Homeowners know they need to have the damage repaired so they file an insurance claim. Adjusters often fail to see the existing damage or they even underestimate the damage. The homeowner may even be riddled with a lot of additional expenses not covered by insurance. Contractors help the owner in identifying the problem and they also assess the damage.

With the help of a contractor, one can be assured that the roof life span can be extended by several more years with proper assessment of the damage. The contractor’s help can also provide the homeowner with adequate information to help deal with insurance adjusters. The roof life span is important to all homeowners. A properly maintained roof preserves the home’s beauty as well as provides adequate protection for its occupants for many years to come.

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How Roof Damage Claims Affect Home Owner’s Insurance

How Roof Damage Claims Affect Homeowner’s Insurance

If you have damage to your roof filing a claim may have an impact on your policy.

If you find yourself in the position of having damage to your roof, your first thought might be to file a claim with your insurance company. However, you should not do so right away. Filing a claim may have an impact on your policy, so you should be very sure before you proceed.

Begin by reviewing your policy to understand what is covered and what your responsibility is.  Then, have the roof inspected by an experienced professional. If the estimated repairs aren’t going to cost much more than your deductible, it is probably best to pay out-of-pocket. There is a limit to the number of insurance claims that you can make in a given period of time without affecting your premiums or even voiding your policy. Multiple claims within the same year are a big red flag to an insurance company.

Even talking to the insurance company may result in a report to the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, which maintains an “insurance score” for homeowners. This score affects your ability to be approved for new coverage with the same or a different insurer. This is another reason not to call the insurance company until you are sure you want to make a claim.

If the damage has resulted from wind or hail, this is considered an Act of God and should not affect your insurance rates. Earthquake and flood damage, however, are not usually covered. Other situations which are under your control, such as damage from low-hanging tree branches which could have been trimmed, may affect your policy. Typically, the first claim on a policy does not affect the premiums, either.

Claims may be denied if you are not up to date on your premiums or if you have failed to maintain the home satisfactorily. Termite damage, mold, and faulty plumbing which has been neglected are not covered by most policies.

If you do decide to file a claim, you should have your roofing contractor present when the insurance adjuster inspects your home. The contractor can help to assure that you get the full settlement to which you are entitled. The insurance company will naturally try to get away with paying as little as possible.

It is important to understand your home owner’s insurance policy and what is and is not covered, as well as what your deductibles are. If you have a roofing disaster, consider carefully before making a claim. To be safe, have the damage fully assessed and obtain an estimate on the repair before making any contact with your insurance company.

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