Sudden windstorms leave homeowners and business owners in difficult situations, especially if they have to add struggles with the insurance company to their list of problems.
So, how can you effectively settle a roof damage insurance claim?
The first thing you should know is that it’s best to be prepared.
Even when a hurricane or tornado isn’t present, high winds can cause severe structural damage.
No matter how serious it is, from a few missing shingles to a total loss, it’s essential to be ready to work with the insurance company—even if you don’t expect much of a fight to settle your claim.
Although you probably expect to review your policy and fill out some paperwork, you might not anticipate the amount of footwork necessary to make sure your roof damage insurance claim is settled efficiently.
There are some things you must do as a policyholder, but there is also additional information you might like to prepare before an adjuster visits.
To help you get started, here’s what to know about settling your roof damage insurance claim
Roof Damage Insurance Claim - Part I
The First Steps to Take After High Winds Have Damaged Your Property.
Under most insurance policies, a home or business owner is expected to take steps very shortly after high winds or a storm. This means you should immediately:
- Check your property
If there have been high winds in your area, check your property for any damage to the exterior of your home or business, including roofs, windows, doors, and siding.
You might consider contacting a professional who has the right tools, equipment, and knowledge to identify problems.
- Review your policy
Read over the most current copy of your policy to get a better idea of your potential coverage and what the insurance company requires from you.
- Contact your insurance company for your roof damage insurance claim
If you notice anything damaged, notify your insurance company of the loss.
Use this opportunity to ask questions about your coverage, your deductible, how long it might take to resolve your claim, what information you need to submit if certain contractors are required.
You should be able to leave the call with a good understanding of getting the ball rolling.
- Consider temporary repairs
Check the damage to your home or business and determine if temporary repairs are needed to keep damage from getting worse.
Take pictures of the damage before you get started, and make sure an insurance company adjuster doesn’t need to see the building in person beforehand.
Save all receipts and documentation from your temporary repairs.
Roof Damage Insurance Claim - Part II
What You Should Have Ready to Settle Your Insurance Claim
Once you finish the initial steps above, there’s still a lot you can do to make it easier to settle a claim for wind-related damages, no matter how severe.
After reviewing your policy and notifying your insurance company about your need for your roof damage insurance claim, here’s an idea of what else to prepare before an adjuster visits:
- A list of personal property that has been damaged
Make a list of all items damaged by the windstorm, and keep this with any relevant receipts.
Don’t replace, repair, or throw away these items before an insurance adjuster completes an evaluation.
Keep photographs of the damage for reference to help you settle your roof damage insurance claim more effectively.
- A reminder of what needs to be seen on the walk-through
Make a list of everything you want the adjuster to see, including damage to the roof, general structural, outbuildings, pools, and more.
This precautionary measure helps you remember to mention some of the lesser damage and know that everything is thoroughly covered during the visit.
- Copies of all communication and documentation
To ensure your insurance claim has the best chance for success, make copies of any documentation you send to and receive from the insurance company.
Hold onto all receipts, including those for temporary repairs or housing while you’re displaced.
Confirm that you have a current copy of your insurance policy.
- Repair and replacement estimates
Get repair or replacement bids from several contractors, and don’t overlook potential “hidden” damages from the storm.
These might include damage to HVAC systems, damaged shingles, minor leaks, and other issues.
If possible, request that the bids include itemized details of the projected costs that should be covered by your roof damage insurance claim.
By taking the time to gather this information and prepare for the adjuster’s visit, you give yourself a much better chance to quickly and fairly resolve your roof damage insurance claim.
Having Trouble Reaching a Fair Settlement for Your Roof Damage Insurance Claim?
If you’ve communicated with your insurance company and followed appropriate steps, you should be well on your way to settling your roof damage insurance claim.
However, if you are offered a settlement that doesn’t seem quite right, you might want to check into your legal rights before you accept.
While many insurance claims are resolved without concern, home and business owners can run into some common issues, including the following.
- Disagreements about coverage terms
- Unfair denials
- Repair versus replacement costs
- Delays in roof damage insurance claim resolution
- Underpayments or undervaluing repair costs
Although these kinds of issues can be frustrating, it’s possible to overcome the challenges and still get what you deserve from your claim—but you will probably need help.
If you have questions about a roof damage insurance claim that you believe has been unfairly delayed, denied, or underpaid, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced policyholder attorneys today at 888-614-7730.