Roof Damage and Insurance Coverage

Posted by on July 22, 2013 in Hurricane Awareness, Tips and Tricks | Comments Off on Roof Damage and Insurance Coverage

roof damage, hurricane insurance

Most roof damage is covered by home insurance policies, however policies differ depending on a number of factors including amount of damage, age of the roof, how many times the roof has been damaged previously. In the case of a storm, most wind, rain or hail damage is typically covered by home insurance policies, and the claim will be investigated by an adjustor to verify the damage.

When it comes to the age of your roof, some companies will adjust how much they reimburse you for damage based on roofs older or younger than 10 years. Roofs younger than 10 years can be covered for the full cost of repairing/replacing damaged areas, however roofs older than 10 years may only be covered for the depreciated value (prior to storm damage) of the roof. This 10 year rule can vary based on insurance company and regardless of how old your roof is, some insurance companies will either only reimburse for the depreciated value of the roof, or reimburse you for the full cost of repair.

Roof damage should be reported within a set amount of time after the damage has happened, some insurance companies require that a damage claim be filed within one year after a storm occurred. However, be sure to have a certified inspector see your home first to determine if the damage is large enough to file a claim with an insurance company versus paying out of pocket.

Roof Repair Insurance Process

In the case that you decide to file an insurance claim for roof damage, an insurance company will send out a company inspector to determine the damage and will leave you to work with a selected contractor to repair the damage.

Actual Cash Value

The first check you may receive from your insurance company is an actual cash value check (ACV) and is the value of your roof today and the duration for which the roof will be useful. This check will typically not cover all damages, but is just enough to begin work.

A depreciation check is most of the time the second check you will receive from your insurance company and mostly is the difference between the actual cash value and replacement costs. Depreciation is held back from the initial check due to the fact that this cannot be paid until work on the repair has been completed by a contractor submitting a certificate of completion, ensuring that the money was used for a repair. The money is also held to ensure that the insurance company is only responsible for paying the balance after a homeowner has paid the deductible. The insurance company will keep any depreciation money that wasn’t spent during the roof repair.

Replacement Costs

A Replacement Cost insurance policy will cover the full cost of roof replacement, minus the designated deductable price.

Contrary to popular belief, filing a claim for your roof damage will not cause homeowner’s insurance premiums/rates to increase, as it is considered a loss on your policy. If you find that rates have been increased because of storm damage, you may highly consider disputing the increase in rate. Take note that normal wear and tear damages would not be covered in a case of a natural disaster. Also flooding or water damage as a result of roof damage may also not be covered in homeowner’s insurance policies.

Be sure to take plenty of photos before a storm comes your way and gather all necessary information on your home for the process to be as easy as possible for the insurance company. Document any repairs done on your roof, as well as any statements you receive. Diminish the possibility of accidents happening in the event of a storm by properly and regularly inspecting your roof and repairing your roof when damaged.

All insurance companies differ on what they will cover in terms of roof and any exterior property elements. Coverage limits, exclusions, inspections and deductibles can also vary between companies and states. Talk to your insurance provider to be sure that you are fully covered in the case of a storm.

What do I do if my insurance company denies my roof damage insurance claim?

Damage claims can be denied for any number of reasons including excluded loss damage, maintenance issues, wear and tear damages or confusion as to whether the damage came from a storm. But homeowners should be cautious when dealing with adjusters as most of the time these adjusters are working toward the benefit of the insurance company rather than the policy holder.

First and foremost request another claims adjuster in order to provide a second opinion within the same company, if that fails, recruit a public claims adjuster for help in confronting your insurance company. If your insurance company is still not giving you the help that you deserve, seek legal help.