When you home is affected by storm damage, your roof is likely the most expensive item that will need replacement. The insurance claims process for replacing a roof can be a little confusing. Do you call your Agent or do you call a Contractor? How long can you expect the process to take? How do you know if the insurance covered everything? Do you understand how to read the paperwork they send you? These are all valid questions you will want to understand as you begin to deal with the issue.
What is the Insurance Claims Process for Replacing a Roof?
The first thing you want to do in the insurance claims process for replacing a roof is have a qualified Contractor take a look at your property and determine if the damages are sufficient to warrant a claim to be filed. This will help alleviate erroneous claims being filed that waste everyone's time and can actually hurt you with your insurance company. Most contractors will do the inspection for free so you have nothing to lose. You don't have to worry about a contractor just saying their is damage when there isn't, because they gain nothing by doing so. The insurance company will ultimately decide if the replacement happens, so it doesn't make sense for a contractor to fib about that.
If there is enough damage, the next thing that needs to be done is a claim filing. You do not want to call your Agent for this because they may try to discourage you from filing since it may affect their portfolio bonuses. You instead should call the claims number that is direct to the insurance company. You can have the inspecting contractor help you with this as they are often very well versed in helping to file claims. In fact, we even have most of the insurance companies claims numbers with us when we do an inspection. It's perfectly fine to let the contractor help you as you make the call to get the claim filed.
The next step in the insurance claims process for replacing a roof is the adjuster meeting. The insurance company will send out an adjuster to evaluate damages. It is important that you have a contractor represent you during this process. Remember; the adjuster is there to minimize the claim as much as possible so the insurance company can save as much as possible on the claim payout. If no one is there to ensure you get everything covered you are entitled too- you can bet your bottom dollar that some things will be left out. Again, most contractors will represent you at an adjuster meeting at no cost.
If your roof is approved for replacement, then you can expect paperwork from the adjuster that will outline what they paid for along with a first check to use towards the job and hiring a contractor. The balance will be paid when the work is completed. When receiving that paperwork, it is again a good idea to have a contractor go through it with you and explain it. If anything is missing, then the contractor can submit it to the insurance company and they will often add it to the final check. The insurance claims process for replacing a roof is nearly complete at this point. All that is left is to have your contractor do the roof, and then let them submit their final bill to the insurance company for payment.
What Part Does Getting an Estimate Have in the Insurance Claims Process for Replacing a Roof?
Sometimes an insurance company will ask the homeowner to get 3 estimates. This is completely unnecessary and is usually just a stall tactic by the insurance company. The reason you do not need estimates is because the cost is determined BY the insurance company using a pricing software that is shared with contractors so everyone is on the same page. There is no reason to try to find someone who will bid to do the work below that pricing. Doing so only saves the insurance company money, and means you get lower quality materials and workmanship. You do NOT get to keep the difference either. Some people believe that if they are approved for $10,000 but find a contractor to do it for $8,000, that they get to keep the $2,000 difference. This is completely FALSE. The company will instead just keep that difference for themselves. You should demand the right process and be make them pay the full amount due to you so you can hire a fully qualified contractor you trust that will use only quality materials and workmanship.
The insurance claims process for replacing a roof can be daunting. The best thing to do is to have a qualified contractor like us just help you through the process. We are the experts in this and can make the process very simple for you.