Should I File an Insurance Claim to Replace My Roof?

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Replacing your roof may be too expensive for you to afford on your own. In some cases, your homeowner's insurance company can help cover its replacement cost. However, there are many situations where filing a claim could have adverse effects on your financial situation. Be aware of how homeowner's insurance claims work before deciding whether or not you should file a claim for roof replacement.

Claims Process

  • Every insurance claim unfolds differently because of the circumstances that are unique to each loss. However, they all follow a general pattern. You call your insurance company after you notice or suspect damage on your roof. The insurer sends an adjuster to your home to inspect the damage and determine whether you have a valid claim. If your claim is valid, the insurer issues you a check to cover the repair cost, in part or in whole, and pays the balance of the cost due after the work is complete.

Policy Language

  • When the adjuster inspects your roof damage, he must determine whether the damage is consistent with a cause of loss that the policy covers. In other words, your insurer will not pay for every type of damage your roof may sustain. Rather, only the causes of loss listed in your policy will result in an insurance payment. If your adjuster determines that the roof was damaged in a way other than what the policy allows, your claim will be denied.

Financial Considerations

  • If your claim is valid, you will receive a settlement check for at least part of the repair cost of the damage. However, the insurer will subtract the deductible amount from the settlement check. For example, if the repair cost is $1,000 and your policy deductible is $500, your check will be for $500. Additionally, your premiums may increase afterward, depending on your state's laws and insurance company's policies. Evaluate whether the amount of money you will receive after the deductible is subtracted is worth the potential premium increase that will result.

Roof Contractors

  • If you file a claim that is ultimately denied by your insurer, your premiums may increase anyway, despite no insurer payout. Consider hiring a roofing contractor to inspect your roof prior to calling your insurance company. Many contractors work with insurers and can help you determine the likelihood of your claim being accepted as valid. Additionally, they can help find damage your adjuster may miss, thus maximizing your settlement amount.

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