It’s the day every homeowner dreams of… filing an insurance claim.
Okay, so maybe filing a homeowners insurance claim isn’t what dreams are made of, but for many homeowners, it’s a rite of passage. Your insurance coverage is in place to protect you in times like this when your home sustains unexpected damage from a storm, but that doesn’t make your current circumstance any less stressful or intimidating!
You’re in the right place to learn about what to do when you need a storm damage roof repair. We’ll walk you through how to:
- Document the damage 📸
- Get in touch with a trusted roofer 👷♂️
- File an insurance claim 📝
- Get the repairs you need 🔨
Step 1: Document the Damage
In the world of insurance claims, evidence is everything. It’s a great idea to take “before” pictures when you move into your home to document what your roof, siding, and windows look like before they’re damaged. But if you don’t have “before” pictures and your roof was damaged in a storm, that’s okay.
The most important photos to have are ones of the damage. Take whatever photos you can from a safe distance. You might notice missing shingles, standing water, hail dents, or lifted shingles from strong winds. We recommend staying on the ground unless you feel comfortable standing on a ladder and have at least one friend to hold the ladder for safety reasons.
Ultimately, a roofing contractor will be the most qualified to get up close and personal with your roof damage and document it. Which brings us to our next step…
Step 2: Schedule a Roofing Inspection
It’s important to schedule a professional roof inspection quickly after sustaining hail damage or any other type of storm damage on your roof. Even if there aren’t obvious visible signs of major storm damage, there could be smaller, harder-to-see damage that could wreak havoc on your home. If left ignored, storm-damaged roofs can cause a lot more expensive problems down the line.
Not to mention, the insurance claims process can be slow-moving, so it’s important to get the ball rolling before it’s too late.
We recommend getting an inspection from 2-3 roofing contractors if you don’t already have a trusted contractor you prefer to work with. Many reputable roofing companies offer free storm damage inspections and project estimates.
To find a reputable roofing company, be sure to:
- Ask your friends, neighbors, and colleagues for local recommendations
- Read online reviews
- Make sure the contractor is licensed and insured
- Prioritize working with companies that actually answer the phone (otherwise, you have a frustrating road ahead)
How to Avoid Roofing Scams
Unfortunately, severe storms are a gold mine for roofing scams. Many homeowners become victims of contractor fraud when “storm chasers” (unlicensed contractors or scam artists) show up on their doorstep and claim they can help fix their roofs.
These fraudulent contractors will either offer “too-good-to-be-true” prices, demand cash up front, or create fake damage and demand more money. Or all of the above! To avoid being a victim of a roofing scam, follow these tips:
- Don’t allow a contractor to inspect your roof without you present
- Look up the contractor/company online to confirm their legitimacy
- Call the company to confirm they sent a sales representative to your home
- Confirm their licensure with your state’s contracting board (if you live in a state that requires licensing)
- Read all documents carefully, and don’t sign anything until after you’ve worked with your insurance
- Pay with a credit card or check instead of cash so that you have a paper trail recorded
- Do not pay for the project in full until it has been completed
- Do not hire a contractor that offers to pay your insurance deductible (this is insurance fraud)
Step 3: Check Your Insurance Policy
At any point before or after your roof inspection, be sure to reference your homeowner’s insurance policy. It’s important to familiarise yourself with your deductible and what specific coverage you’ve signed up for. Homes with newer roofs under 15 years of age often come with a Replacement Cost Value (RCV) policy, while homes with roofs over 15 years old typically have an Actual Cash Value (ACV) policy.
- Replacement Cost Value covers the total cost of replacing your roof with a new one (minus your deductible).
- Actual Cash Value only covers the depreciated value of your roof as it currently stands.
Step 4: File an Insurance Claim (If It Makes Sense)
An honest roofing contractor will walk you through all your options. If you only need a minor repair that would cost a couple of hundred dollars, and your insurance deductible is $2,000, they’ll advise you not to file a claim. But if you’ve sustained significant damage and need a total roof replacement, they’ll encourage you to pursue coverage through your insurer.
Use the photos and written report from you and your roofing contractor and contact your insurance agent. Your insurer will help you through the process of filing a claim. It may take a few weeks or even a month or two for your claim to get approved.
Step 5: Schedule Roofing Service
If your insurance claim is approved, you can go ahead and schedule service with your preferred roofing contractor!
If your claim wasn’t approved, you can ask your roofer for advice. You may be able to try again once or twice. Ultimately, it’s vital to get your roof repaired after a storm whether or not you have insurance coverage. A great roofer will work with you to get the coverage you deserve, but ultimately, the decision is only in the hands of your insurance company.
Keep in mind that when you get a new roof that’s covered by insurance, you don’t need to stick with the exact same materials. You can upgrade to more modern asphalt shingles or even just change the color for something new. Just note that you may have to pay the difference if you opt for designer or premium roofing materials.
Your Go-To Storm Damage Roof Repair Partner
If you live in Ohio and are looking for support after your roofing system was damaged by hail or wind storms or falling debris, then your first call should be to Allphase Roofing & Restoration! We offer 24/7 emergency service, and our team is well-versed in the insurance claims process.
Don’t wait for small problems to turn into big problems! Reach out to Allphase Roofing & Restoration now, and we’ll help you get back on your feet before you know it.