Just about everyone has had some kind of negative experience with insurance, whether it’s for health issues, having vehicles covered, or filing a home insurance claim. And though insurance coverage of all kinds is a necessity nowadays, it never seems like a simple process to make an insurance claim, especially when it comes to homeowners insurance for roof damage.
So, if you’re like millions of other Americans who don’t know how to file a roof insurance claim or even remotely deal with your insurance company when you need roofing services to restore your home, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we provide a step-by-step guide to teach you the best tactics for:
- Assessing and documenting damage to your home;
- Reviewing your homeowners insurance coverage;
- Contacting your insurance company & working with an insurance adjuster;
- Receiving a private inspection and free quote;
- Filing an insurance claim for roof damage;
- Getting approval for a roof replacement from your insurance company;
- And finally, scheduling services with a roofing contractor you can trust.
If wind and hail damage have impacted your home and caused roof damage, don’t wait and let the situation worsen and wind up with even further damage down the line. Instead, take action and follow our 8 simple steps to make a roof damage claim with your insurance company, and keep your fingers crossed 🤞 that they’ll cover the replacement cost.
8 Steps to File a Roof Insurance Claim
These 8 steps will help make the roof insurance claim process a little easier. Not to mention, it could very well increase the chance your insurance provider will cover the cost of repairs or replacement. Let’s dive in!
Step One: Assess the Damage 🏚
To start, you need to know exactly what you’re dealing with in terms of wind and hail damage after a storm. Many culprits could be behind your roof damage, such as:
- High winds
- Hail damage
- Heavy rains
- Blown debris
- A fallen tree branch
- A natural disaster
- Another severe weather event
Some issues are easily seen from the ground or inside your home, such as missing shingles, water stains, or a huge downed tree. However, other types of roof damage might be less obvious and require you to use a ladder in order to get up on your roof and take a look.
If that’s the case, grab a friend who can hold the ladder steady while you assess the damage from up there so you don’t fall and hurt yourself like many other homeowners do every year, landing them in the emergency department. 🤕🏥
Once you’ve safely climbed your way up to the roof’s edge, you can look for common signs of damage and document them for your roof claim. Some examples of roof damage to keep an eye out for include:
- Missing shingles
- Shingle granule loss (in gutters)
- Curled, cracked, or dented shingles
- Fallen debris on your roof
- Damaged gutters and downspouts
- Internal water damage (leaks in attic, stains on walls and ceilings, rotting floorboards, etc.)
While you’ll likely have a hard time missing something like a major water stain or leak inside your home, sometimes it’s hard to tell when or where damage occurs with an untrained eye. That’s why it’s crucial to schedule a professional roof inspection for your home as well, which we’ll discuss further in step five.
Step Two: Document Every Detail 📸
Whether your home is partially damaged by a few balls of hail or wind damage rips your entire roof off its frame, it’s still important to document every aspect of your storm damage. This is so that homeowners have some backup or proof when filing claims.
It’s also crucial to have proper documentation of what your home and roof looked like prior to the damage occurring so your insurance company has a solid frame of reference for the extent of the storm damage. Think of it as a sort of “before and after” comparison that you might see on HGTV, except now you have to file a claim— not find your lottery dream home. 😩
The best way to document your roof damage is simply by shooting some pictures and videos with your smartphone or camera. You can also provide detailed records of all of the regular maintenance you’ve done (or should have done) on your roof in recent years to show that you’re taking good care of your roof, and these roof issues really aren’t your fault.
Step Three: Review Your Homeowners Insurance Policy 🧐
Now that you know exactly where your roof was damaged and have all the issues documented, you can determine whether or not your insurance company covers what you’ve found. The claims process is often lengthy and confusing, so you want to know exactly what your policy covers before you file a claim so you don’t waste any of your valuable time.
✅ Typically, these types of roof damage are covered by most insurers:
- Falling objects/debris
- “Acts of God” (events outside of human control)
❌ While insurance covers a range of damage caused by severe weather, some situations are not covered (or require a separate, specific insurance policy), such as:
- Improper maintenance and upkeep
- Intentional or accidental damage by the homeowner
- Roofing systems over 20 years old
- Floods or earthquakes (separate insurance)
Step Four: Contact Your Insurance Company ☎️
Before making the roof claim, feel free to contact your insurance company to explain your current situation and learn more about their specific procedures or requirements.
This can help you avoid any wasted time when you file a claim as well, especially if you’re only partially covered for roof repairs or if you’re only covered for the actual cash value (ACV) of your roof repair. States primarily offer two types of roofing coverage, so ask your insurance agent for clarification on which type you have:
- Repair coverage has a higher deductible and higher premiums, but they provide the best protection to ensure you’ll receive full reimbursement for a new roof when an eligible event takes place.
- Actual cash value (ACV) coverage will account for your roof’s age and your home’s depreciated value prior to determining just how much of the total cost is paid out.
Step Five: Have Your Roof Inspected & Get an Estimate 🔍
Both you and your insurance provider will want to have your roof inspected prior to installing your new roof. Theirs will be by a public adjuster who assesses the roof damage to determine the final costs, while yours can be through a private roofing company or contractor in your area to find an accurate quote.
It’s valuable to get various estimates from multiple roofing contractors and compare them to decide who’s best suited to take on your project. When picking your roofing contractor, they should possess some very important qualities:
- Experience – Look for a roofing contractor with years of experience under their belt.
- Reputation – Ask around town or among your neighbors and friends to find out who’s currently considered the best local roofing contractor.
- Ratings – You’ll also want to check out reviews online and ratings with places like the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
- Licenses – Ensure your roofing contractor is licensed to work in your state and is insured and bonded, so you have backup if they fail to follow through.
- Transparency – Most contractors will offer a free written estimate, so find someone who provides honest and transparent pricing upfront.
- Punctuality – Playing phone tag back and forth with anyone can be annoying, especially with your roofing contractor. When it comes to home safety, there’s no time to waste, so you want a roofer who’s prompt, punctual, and professional.
- Respect – Many women and first-time home buyers can attest to being treated with little respect by condescending contractors who think they can be pushy or shady. Your roofing specialist should be professional and respectful and provide all the information you need to file a roof claim and fix your roof quickly.
Step Six: File a Roof Claim 📂
With all your evidence gathered and roofing estimate in hand, it’s time to file a roof claim using the form provided by your insurance company. Include every piece of information you possibly can.
And in extreme situations where your family gets stuck in a hotel until help arrives, always remember to submit the receipts for your hotel stays and damaged furniture at home too.
Step Seven: Meet With an Insurance Adjuster 🤝
We know it can be annoying, but now you’ll need to invite an insurance adjuster over to your property. The adjuster inspects your roof to assess the roof damage and verify it for your insurance company. Don’t be afraid to ask your roofer to come by for the inspection too, so they can use their professional opinion to advocate for you during the adjuster’s inspection.
Step Eight: Schedule Your Roofing Services After Claim Approval 🛠
Once your insurance company approves your claim, it’s time to schedule your roof repair. Just be aware that claim processing times can be lengthy as your insurance agent is likely working through several claims at a time, so you might need to tarp over your roof until the work can start.
Expert Roofing Services (And Insurance Claims Assistance) When You Need Them Most
Do you need help filing a homeowners insurance claim after storm damage causes issues with your roof? At Johnson Restoration, we’re here to help walk you through everything from how to file a roof claim to actually getting your roof replaced. You can rely on our dedicated team to ensure you’re informed about and prepared for every aspect of a roof insurance claim.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you file a roof claim and get your home back to perfect working condition quickly.