Unfortunately, no matter how careful you are about keeping your roof in good condition, sometimes accidents happen. Whether a severe windstorm ripped shingles off of your roof or a heavy rainstorm leaked through your roof, you know you need a roof repairand fast. Most homeowners don’t file many roof insurance claims in their life. You may not have very much experience in this area either.
Here is a guide of everything you need to know about filing an insurance claim.
When to File a Claim
Depending on what happened to your home, you may wonder if the damage is worth the cost of filing a claim. Perhaps you think that minor damages won’t make a difference to the structure of your home down the road. However, even a small leak can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damages in repair.
To help you determine if you need roof repair in Calgary, hire a roofing contractor to perform an inspection. They will assess the damages and help explain the cost of repairs. You shouldn’t file a claim for minor repairs that cost less than your deductible. If repairs exceed your deductible, consider filing a claim.
How to File a Claim
Once you determine that filing a claim is beneficial for your situation, here are the steps you will need to take.
Document damages. Gather recording information related to the storm, such as when the storm occurred, pictures of damages, and a written statement explaining what happened. If the storm damaged multiple homes in your area, look for news articles reporting on the event.
You can also use the inspection report from a roof contractor in your file. These items provide the insurance company with proof of damages. At this point, you should review your insurance policy. Make sure they cover the damages, and then contact your insurance provider.
The official inspection. Most insurance providers have an insurance adjuster inspect your home for damages. Make sure your roof repairman who initially inspected your home is present. The repairman will make sure that the insurance inspector provides an honest assessment. Some adjusters may try to deny your claim on unfair grounds. Your contractor will make sure the adjuster reports to the insurance agency accurately.
If they do deny your claim, you can still meet with two more adjusters to re-inspect your home. Keep in mind that most damages should qualify for approval. Even minor damages could devalue your home or cause further complications down the road.
Paying for repairs. After you have your claim approved, your insurance supplier will provide you with two payments. The first payment will come after you file your claim and will cover the price of materials. Your roof repairman should order materials with your checks under your name. This way you can use the insurance money for repair costs.
Repairing the roof. Once your roofing contractor receives the materials, he can start working. Your contractor should submit in writing any changes to the bid. When he has finished with repairs, you will need to have the city approve the project.
You will also have a chance to review the work yourself and make sure you’re satisfied with the repairs. Have your contractor sign a lien waver, and then you can pay him with the second payment from your insurance provider.
Knowing when and how to file a claim may not prepare you with all the information you need to file a claim. Here are some extra tips to help you debunk common myths about insurance claims.
You have a time limit on when you can file a claim. Most insurance companies give homeowners a year to file a claim after the damages have occurred; although, some insurances have a shorter time frame. Sometimes, if damage spreads, insurances allow exceptions. Try to file your claim as soon as you can after damages occur.
The roof manufacture may not cover damages. Most manufactures don’t cover natural disasters for repairs. However, talk with your Calgary roofer and ask if they cover the roof damages under your warranty. Even if they don’t, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Insurance companies can’t cancel your policy or increase rates after filing a claim. The law protects you from insurance companies cancelling your policy. However, your rates may increase for all homeowners after a severe natural disaster.
Keep in mind, if you don’t file a claim and they raise rates, you’re funding other homeowners who filed a claim. To avoid this, always file a claim quickly after your home experiences damages.
You don’t have to use contractors recommended by your insurance agency. Insurance providers offer recommendations for reliable companies that they have worked with in the past. That being said, you don’t have to use their recommendations. If you have a roofing company that you have worked with in the past, feel free to have them perform the repairs. Talk with neighbours and friends for their recommended companies.
Now that you know how to file an insurance claim, feel free to look at our other roofing blogs for more roofing tips and tricks.