A FAQ Guide To Roof Insurance Claims In Mobile, AL

Wednesday, 26 May 2021 11:58

Your homeowner's insurance policy is in place for a reason: to protect your home from disasters. Hopefully you’ll never need to use your policy to repair your property, but you can never predict the future. When your roof suffers damage, you may be able to file a claim with your insurer to cover the costs of the repairs. But what does the insurance claim process look like? Can you file a claim to cover any kind of roof damage? As roofing experts, we wanted to set the record straight about roof insurance claims in Mobile, AL.

At Ethos, homeowner education is one of our top priorities. We understand the ins-and-outs of the insurance claim process and we're here to leverage our experience to provide educational insights for your benefit.

Answers To The Top FAQs About Roof Insurance Claims In Mobile, AL

We asked our veteran roofing contractors to answer the top FAQs about roof insurance claims. If you don't see your question listed here, reach out to us directly and we'll happily share our expert educational advice.

What Type Of Roof Damage Can Be Covered By Insurance?

As briefly mentioned earlier, your homeowner’s insurance policy is there to provide you financial relief for covered perils and various types of property damage (PolicyGenius). Every homeowner’s policy is slightly different depending on the provider, insured property, policy add-ons, and more. Your policy will cover roof damage, but only if it is caused by a recent storm.

In general, homeowners insurance will offer coverage for certain perils, such as fire, wind, and hail damage. However, if your roof has fallen into disrepair due to a lack of maintenance or general wear-n-tear, your homeowner's insurance will not cover your roof damage.

How Does A Roof Insurance Claim Work?

Before you file a claim, you’ll need to verify that the damage was caused by a storm. Only a reputable roofing contractor can make that distinction. If they determine your roof was damaged by a recent storm, then you’ll need to file a claim ASAP.

When filing, you’ll need to supply thorough documentation to support your claim. Things like written descriptions, before and after photos, and even videos can be accepted and will help strengthen your claim. The more documentation and details you can provide, the better. Your roofer can even provide parts of that key documentation.

Once you’ve gathered all the documents, you just need to file your claim!

Within a day or two, your insurance provider will reach out to schedule a time to have one of their insurance adjusters visit your property to verify the accuracy of your claim. It’s a good idea to have your roofing contractor present for that inspection as they will act as your advocate and can voice concerns you may have with the adjuster’s findings. The adjuster will then either approve or deny your claim.

If your claim is approved, your insurer will then issue payments to you to help cover the costs of the restorations. Most insurers will issue at least 2 payments for your claim (one before the repairs and one after).

How Can I Get My Insurance To Pay For A Brand New Roof?

Unfortunately, there is only one answer to this question: submit a thoroughly detailed claim. A highly documented claim complete with photos (and maybe even videos) will have a far better chance of being approved than one with little-to-no documentation.

For that reason, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of taking photos (and even some videos) of your property on a routine basis. Every few months or so, take 10-15 minutes to snap a few photos of your roof and the rest of your property. Timestamped images will help establish the condition of your property before any storms. You’ll thank yourself later if you have to file any roof insurance claims in Mobile, AL.

Who Should I Call First: My Insurance Agent Or My Roofer?

There is no hard-and-fast answer for this question. You can call either professional! However, it may be wiser to contact your roofing contractor first because they are the roofing expert. Your roofer will be able to accurately assess the total extent of your roof's damage during an initial inspection and determine whether it’s worth your time to file a claim at all.

As mentioned earlier, your roofer can also provide supporting documentation of the storm damage to help strengthen your insurance claim.

How Do Insurance Adjusters Evaluate Roof Damage?

Just like roofing contractors, adjusters will closely inspect your property and look for all the common signs of storm damage. These may include:

  • Dented or broken roof shingles
  • Missing or loose roof shingles
  • Visible shingle granule loss
  • Dented, rusted, or loose flashing
  • Interior water damage

Following their inspection, your adjuster will then utilize a pricing software called Xactimate to calculate the estimated costs for the repairs (if they spot storm damage).

Will The Age Of My Roof Influence My Claim?

Unfortunately, yes. The age of your roof has some degree of influence over your coverage, even if your roof has been damaged by a storm. This is mainly because common roofing materials only last roughly 20 years. Other roofing materials have longer lifespans, which may benefit your claim.

Your claim may still be approved if storm damage has been discovered, but we should note that older roofs may only be insured for their actual cash value (not for their current replacement cost). Cash value simply means your insurer will take depreciation into account when calculating your estimate.

Will My Insurance Rates Increase If I File A Claim?

Yes. You should expect your insurance premium to increase slightly after filing a claim. As long as you rarely file claims with your provider, your rates shouldn’t increase dramatically. However, if you file claims frequently and for severe losses, then your premiums will likely see a more significant uptick..

What Should I Do If My Claim Is Denied?

Homeowner’s insurance claims can be denied for a variety of reasons. Your provider will likely let you know the reasons why your claim was denied, but some of the most common reasons include:

  • You were negligent with your roof maintenance
  • The roof damage was caused by a non-covered peril
  • The roof damage was only cosmetic and did not impact the functionality of your roof

If your claim has been denied, don’t get discouraged! There are a few things that you can do to change the decision of your insurer.

Believe it or not, you can appeal the decision with your insurance provider and ask for a resolution date by writing an appeal letter. Just remember to be polite in the letter and to describe why you disagree with the denial.

After receiving your letter, your insurer may then send out a second claims adjuster to assess the damage yet again. Once more, try to schedule that second inspection at a time when your roofing contractor can be present.

If your appeal proves to be unsuccessful, then your next best course of action may be to hire an attorney to help with the claims processing. Be warned: this route can end up being very expensive. However, if you want to get the damage covered by your insurance policy, then this could be your best bet.

You may also consider contacting the Alabama Department of Insurance to file a complaint against your insurer. The Alabama DOI may investigate your claim; however, they’ll likely recommend that you hire an attorney.

Navigate Roof Insurance Claims In Mobile, AL With Ethos

Has your roof recently suffered damage from a storm? If so, you've come to the right place! At Ethos, our roofing contractors have been repairing, replacing, and restoring roofs since 2006. We’ve made it our goal to deliver exceptional craftsmanship and top-tier customer service with every single roofing project. And we'll gladly share educational insights with you as you navigate the insurance claims process.

Contact Ethos Roofing & Restoration today to get the educational support you need for roof insurance claims in Mobile, AL.