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When To File An Insurance Claim For Your Roof
Homeowner's insurance. It's likely that you have it, but do you know when to use it? Filing an insurance claim can be a scary prospect if you aren't familiar with the ins and outs of the insurance process.
Here, we will take you through some of the reasons you may find yourself with a viable insurance claim for roof damage.
What Is The Purpose Of Homeowner's Insurance?
If you are a homeowner, you likely have homeowner's insurance. This policy protects you in the event of an unexpected loss, such as damage to your home caused by fire, wind, hail, or other natural disasters. If you experience roof damage, you may be wondering if you should file an insurance claim.
Filing a claim can be a scary prospect, but it is important to know that your policy is there to help you recover from losses. When filing a claim for roof damage, it is important to keep in mind that your insurance company will want to see evidence of the damage. This can include photos of the damage, as well as an estimate for the cost of repairs.
It is also important to remember that there may be a deductible associated with your policy. This means that you will need to pay a certain amount out-of-pocket before your insurance company will reimburse you for damages.
Why Would I File A Homeowner's Insurance Claim?
You may want to file an insurance claim for several reasons. You may be facing large scale damage to your roof that will be very costly to replace. You may have been hit with unexpected and severe weather that damaged your home.
Knowing when to file a claim, and when not to, is the first step in understanding your homeowner's insurance. You will almost always be covered in the event of unavoidable damage. Many times this is referred to in your insurance policy as "acts of God". What this means is that if a hurricane hits, a tornado damages your home, a severe storm causes a tree to fall on your roof, or anything that cannot reasonably be avoided is responsible for the damage - your insurance will cover the cost of repairs.
Of course, your homeowner's insurance may also cover damage caused by leaks and things of that nature, but its worth noting this may raise your rates, because leaks are usually avoidable with proper maintenance. Any time you file a claim however, an insurance adjuster will come out and assess the damage as well as investigate the cause.
When To File A Homeowner's Insurance Claim
The Cost To Repair Exceeds Your Deductible
All Homeowner's insurance plans have a deductible. What your specific deductible is depends on the plan you have, so it's a good idea to check. It's a good rule of thumb though that if the cost to repair the damage exceeds what you'd have to pay in your deductible, it makes sense to file an insurance claim.
You Have Significant Damage Or A Total Loss
If the extent of the damage to your home is significant, or if your home is uninhabitable - this is definitely a case for filing an insurance claim. In fact, these are exactly the kind of situations homeowner's insurance is designed for. In these cases it's not uncommon for insurance to cover the cost of a total roof replacement, especially if you are facing storm damage, like hail or wind.
You Haven't Filed A Claim In The Past 3 Years
It's worth noting that insurance companies take your claims history into account when calculating your premiums. Insurance companies believe that statistically - if you've filed a claim, you're likely to file another one. Sometimes this can come back to bite you when looking for new insurance or renewing your current policy. This isn't to say you shouldn't file a claim when you need to, just be sure it's for damage that is significant, unavoidable, and that wasn't caused by poor maintenance, otherwise it can hurt you more in the long run than eating the cost of a repair bill.
When Not To File A Homeowner's Insurance Claim
It's Normal Wear Or A Maintenance Issue
As we previously mentioned, if there was something you could have done to prevent the damage, it's not likely insurance will want to cover the expense of getting it repaired. It's your responsibility as the homeowner to keep up with normal maintenance, so if the damage is as a result of normal wear and tear it's also unlikely you'll get insurance to pay for the damage. As a side note, it's a good idea to keep records of all the maintenance, cleaning, and repairs you have done on your roof, because in the event you find yourself needing to make an insurance claim for major damage, this will help show you did your part and maintained the roof properly.
The Cost Doesn't Exceed Your Deductible
Another reason you may not want to file a claim is if the repair cost doesn't exceed your out of pocket costs. In this case, you still end up paying out of pocket for the cost of repairing the damage and you have a claim on file. Filing a lot of claims can hurt your premiums in the long run, and can even make insurance companies less likely to cover you, depending on how many you've filed and the frequency of the claims.
Questions About Insurance?
At Colony Roofers, we're always happy to help you answer any questions you may have. We have a dedicated insurance department, with friendly and knowledgeable staff ready to assist you! We also offer a free 30 minute roof inspection to help you assess the damage and figure out what to do next. Call us today!