Replacing a roof due to damage can be a frustrating experience, and going back and forth with the insurance company only exacerbates the issue. When dealing with home insurance claims, damage assessments, and the like, knowing your rights when it comes to your insurance coverage can be your best tool to avoid paying money out of pocket and making the experience as easy and smooth as possible.

Tips for Filing Your Insurance Claim

If you have experienced damage to your home due to a weather storm, the number one tip we can give when you initially file your insurance claim is to file a claim due to “storm damage”, rather than “wind damage”, “hail damage”, or other more specific terminology. The main reason for this is that if you file a claim specifically for wind damage, for example, and your contractor finds that damage was done to your roof due to hail or rain, your insurance company may try to deny you coverage for those elements.
You may also find that, when filing your claim, your insurance company will ask for a lot of information that is seemingly unrelated to the damage. Unfortunately, insurance providers sometimes do this to prolong the claim process and avoid payment. Do not let them give you the runaround. By having all of the information you can upfront, you can speed up the process as much as possible.

Some information your insurance company may ask for includes:

  • Your full name and contact information
  • Your policy number
  • Type of loss you called to report
  • Date of the loss

Choose Your Own Contractor

When you file your insurance claim, your provider will more than likely want to select a contractor to assess the damage. We highly recommend that you select your own contractor. There may be pushback when you make this request, but we promise it’s worth the hassle. The reason being that by selecting your own, you can make sure the contractor is in your corner and has your best interest in mind.

What to Look for When Choosing a Contractor

  • Experience working with insurance claims
  • Reputable relationships with manufacturers
  • Provides clear information and communication with customers
  • Offers warranties on product installations

What to Do if the Field Adjuster and Your Contractor Disagree

Don’t be surprised if the field adjuster and the contractor who assesses your property disagree on the cost of repair, or if the insurance company offers a lower amount than you were expecting. This is very common!

If this happens, there are a few things you can do. First, ask the claims department to send another contractor to assess the damage. Expect there to be some pushback on their end, and be prepared to tell them exactly why you are making this request. You will need to provide specific details, such as your adjuster denying coverage for a certain type of damage, but you are certain your insurance policy covers it.

While this step can prolong the process, if your goal is to avoid paying money out of pocket, it is an essential one to make sure your insurance provider is paying what they should.

Opt for Replacement Cost Value Over Actual Cost Value

While most insurance companies should provide replacement cost value policies, there are still some out there that offer actual cost value policies. The main difference is that replacement cost value is the cost of replacing the roof, including the work that goes into it and the cost of the new product. Actual cost value, on the other hand, only matches the cost of your roof’s current value at the time of damage. That means that if you have a roof that is 10 years old, the natural depreciation over time has decreased the actual cost. You can see why a replacement cost value policy is the better option.

If You Have an Actual Cost Value Policy

If you have an actual cost value policy and you experience damage, you do have some options for avoiding paying out of pocket. If you have multiple trades approved on your insurance scope, you are legally able to use the money provided for other trades to pay for your roof. For instance; if you get roof, gutters, and siding approved but only at ACV value, you can use the ACV funds from items such as gutters or paint to make up the difference in the missing depreciation to cover the full RCV of the roof.

Ask About Polymer Modified Shingles

Polymer modified shingles are another type of roofing material you may want to really consider. Although they look exactly like the asphalt shingles, these are made from a rubber compound on the interior of the shingle which makes them more flexible and are typically rated as impact resistant shingles to protect against things such as hail and falling debris.

In addition to simply being higher quality (which allows you to avoid going through this entire roof replacement process all over again), most insurance carriers also offer a discount on your homeowner’s insurance for installing these types of shingles. So although they are more expensive upfront, the cost savings over time may be worth it.

A New Roof Installation Should Qualify You for an Insurance Premium Discount

Again—this may not help with the initial cost of the roof replacement, but it could save you a significant amount of money on your insurance premium, which can help to offset the cost of any out-of-pocket expenses you incur. With most roofs lasting for at least 25 years if not longer, the fact that you just had a roof installed means you probably will not need to make a claim again as long as you own the property.

We recommend taking plenty of photos throughout the entire roof replacement process. At the end, you can use them to request a substantial discount on your homeowner’s insurance premium.

Roof Replacement in Indianapolis

If you have recently experienced storm damage to your home and you’re looking for a contractor to assess the damage and provide roof replacement, Indy Roof & Restoration has extensive experience working directly with insurance companies, and can give you accurate, friendly guidance as you navigate this process.

For more information, call Indy Roof & Restoration today!

Aaron Christy

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