Living in Indiana means you’re no stranger to severe weather. Between tornados, hail, snow, and intense winds, a myriad of things can cause damage to your property.
When one night you’re falling asleep to the sound of a thunderstorm and the next day you’re looking at missing shingles on your roof, you might immediately start to panic. When you have homeowners insurance, you shouldn’t have to pay to replace things that weren’t your fault. But, insurance companies can sometimes make it difficult to get coverage.
That is why we are breaking down how to get insurance to pay for your roof replacement in 6 steps.
Step 1: Check for Damage and Take Photos
If you’re a homeowner reading this blog, go take pictures of your roof right now. Ideally, you’ll have “before” pictures of your roof on hand in case you ever sustain storm damage. Insurance companies find picture proof to be very compelling, so if you want a chance at winning insurance coverage, you’ll need to present before and after photos of your roof damage.
There may be some signs of storm damage you can notice with an untrained eye. For example, look out for:
- Missing or cracked shingles
- An internal leak
- Significant shingle granule loss
- Hail dents on shingles
If you notice any of these things, be sure to take photos to document your findings. Even if you don’t notice any damage yourself, it’s still a good idea to move forward with the rest of these steps after a big storm because some damage can be hard to spot unless a professional inspects your property.
Step 2: Reference Your Insurance Policy
Not all insurance policies were created equal. Depending on the policy you pay for each month, you may or may not have coverage for a new roof. The last thing you want to do is go through the entire process of getting roof inspections and filing a claim, only to realize you never had the appropriate coverage in the first place.
You can access your homeowners’ insurance policy in your online account or on a printed-out copy. If you can’t find your policy, contact your insurance agent, and they should be able to send it to you.
You may find clauses and stipulations in your policy that require you to act fast— sometimes within 30 days. If you wait too long, the potential for a roof replacement gets voided. Your policy may cover the entire cost of a new roof or only a portion of it.
It’s also important to note that certain storm events aren’t covered in standard homeowners’ insurance policies. For example, you need separate policies for flood and earthquake damage. They also won’t cover:
- A roof that’s at the end of its lifespan
- Damage caused by a lack of maintenance or neglect
- Damage caused by the homeowner’s actions
Step 3: Call in a Roofing Professional
Before you file an insurance claim, get a professional opinion to back up your case. A highly-qualified roofing contractor can come out to your property and note any areas of damage. Most roofing companies will offer free inspections and estimates, especially after storms.
You’ll want to have thorough documentation of any damage the roofer finds. Have them take photos, write a detailed report, and make an estimate of the damages. Having a roofing professional on your side to advocate for you will help immensely as you work with your insurance company.
When you get a professional roof inspection, be sure to hire a local, qualified roofer. Unfortunately, out-of-state “storm chasers” like to flock to areas hit by storms to try and take advantage of vulnerable homeowners. If someone shows up at your door with an offer that sounds too good to be true or can’t show proof of their insurance and licenses, don’t hire them.
Step 4: File an Insurance Claim
Once you have a trusted local roofer on your side, you can move forward with filing an insurance claim. Your roofing contractor can likely help you through this process as well.
File your paperwork, depict the storm damage on your roof, and send in the claim to your insurance company. The sooner you file a claim, the sooner it gets processed, and the sooner the ball can start rolling towards you getting a new roof.
If you wait more than 30 days to file a claim, your insurance company will likely write off your claim immediately since they can no longer accurately trace the damage back to a recent storm.
Step 5: Schedule an Inspection With an Insurance Adjuster
After you file a claim, your insurance company will send out an adjuster to assess your property. Since insurance companies don’t love spending money on new roofs for homeowners, their adjusters need to feel absolutely certain that your roof damage was caused by a storm.
If you find yourself dealing with inaccurate excuses from the insurance adjuster, that’s when it’s especially important to have had a previous inspection by a professional roofer. A great roofer will advocate on your behalf and press your insurance company for the right amount of money.
Step 6: Schedule a Roof Replacement
With a professional roofing contractor’s opinion backing up your claim, you’ll hopefully get approved for roof repairs or a full replacement. When you get word of an approved claim, you can schedule the authorized work with your preferred roofing contractor, and your insurance company will reimburse you.
Your Partner in Storm Damage Insurance Claims
There’s no hiding that dealing with insurance claims can be stressful and frustrating at times. The best way to have a smooth experience is by hiring a trusted local roofing company to help you through the process.
The Heartland Builders have been serving Indiana homeowners for many years, and we’re here to help you get insurance to pay for your roof replacement. You should never have to pay out-of-pocket for a new roof when the damage wasn’t your fault! As soon as a storm rolls through, contact our experienced team to get a free quote!