If you own a home for very long, it’s likely you’ll have to deal with the need for roof repair or roof replacement. That in turn almost certainly means you’ll need to deal with your homeowners insurance company. This is a guide to making that process go in as smooth and satisfactory manner as possible.
When Using Your Home Insurance, Attitude Is Important
When you’re dealing with the stress of needing roof repair or a new roof, there’s a good chance you’re not in the best of moods. It’s also possible that you’ve had an unfortunate experience with an insurance agency in the past or you’ve heard horror stories about such experiences, and that inclines you to go in with a pugnacious attitude.
You want to keep that impulse in check, however. If you’ve ever worked customer service, you know how you reacted to pleasant, reasonable customers and how you felt about obnoxious ones. The representatives at insurance companies are no different. You hope you’ll end up talking to someone motivated to provide excellent service to every customer, but we’re all human, and the proper approach can go a long way toward eliciting a representative’s very best efforts on your behalf.
With that in mind, be patient. Remember that the representative may have many claims to deal with, each as worthy of efficient service as your own. This is especially true if you’re calling in the wake of a natural disaster like a hurricane.
Also, be organized. Whenever interfacing with insurance companies or roofers, have all your important information available. Make sure you have essential phone numbers and email addresses like those of your homeowner’s insurance agency, adjuster, and roofer. When meeting with the adjuster, for best results, you want immediate access to your policy and policy number, your roofer’s detailed estimate of the nature and cost of the work, and photographs of the damage.
Finally, honesty is important. Only file a legitimate claim for damage actually caused by the storm or other incident in question. Believe it or not, this will help you keep you out of the clutches of shady itinerant roofers who do substandard work. You should protect yourself by only dealing with a licensed, legitimate local roofer with a local physical address. Your home insurance agency has probably dealt with that roofing company before, which will facilitate them working together.
Having said all that, let’s look at what you should actually do when you need a roof repair or roof replacement.
Using Your Home Insurance for Roof Repair or Roof Replacement: The Process Step by Step.
First, call your insurer as soon as you can.
Second, contact a trustworthy local roofer as soon as you’ve spoken with your insurance representative. Such a company is likely adept at communicating and otherwise dealing with insurance companies and that expertise can save you many headaches. The roofing company will be well acquainted with the claims process, the timeline, and what the insurer expects.
It’s possible the roofing company won’t be able to start a roof repair or roof replacement immediately, but a roofing crew can at least tarp the damage to keep it from getting worse and to protect the interior of the home. That’s important not just for the obvious reason (safeguarding your property) but because the terms of your insurance likely impose an obligation to prevent further damage as best you can. When an adjuster arrives, he or she will note the tarping and be more inclined to recognize the validity of your claim.
Finally, be as helpful as possible to the adjuster when he or she shows up. As noted above, this is largely a matter of being ready to furnish all the necessary information.
Two More Tips for Dealing with Insurance, Roof Repair, and Roof Replacement
You need to understand your home insurance policy to avoid nasty surprises.
To that end, know what’s covered and what isn’t. Will the policy cover a full roof replacement? What if water has gotten into the house to damage the rafters or other parts of the house? Do you need to file a separate claim for that? If reading your policy doesn’t clear everything up, don’t be afraid to ask your insurance agent to explain it to you.
By the same token, know your deductible. Partly because insurance companies don’t want to deal with a constant influx of small claims, the policy sets an amount for a repair that the policyholder must pay for himself before the coverage kicks in. You should understand what that amount is.
Some deductibles are pretty high, high enough to prove a serious problem when you find out how much roof repair or a whole new roof is going to cost you out of pocket. You can prevent the problem by putting aside some money each month until you build up a savings account equal to the deductible.
Insurance, Roof Repair, and Roof Replacement: A Final Word
As noted above, choosing a reputable local roofing company skilled at dealing with insurance issues is key to avoiding hassles and ensuring that your policy pays out as it should. We at Stay Dry Roofing take pride in being such a company, and we invite you to call us when you need us.