Roofing Insurance Claims – What to Do After Storm Damage Occurs

Roofing Insurance Claims – What to Do After Storm Damage Occurs

May 22, 2024 0 By Kasey Chapman

Storm damage and rooftop insurance claims are some of the toughest parts of the restoration business, so here is what your restoration firm can do when storm damage happens to ensure that it goes as smoothly as possible.

Inspect all of your property damage carefully. Additionally, board up or make similar emergency repairs (for example, tarp your roof) that make sense and record receipts for them.

Take Pictures

Before filing your claim, it helps to document damage like this: take multiple photos, from various angles, with your phone or camera – and the more detail, the better. Also, walk an insurance adjuster through your property, pointing out damages they might miss.

Furthermore, look beyond the obvious roof damage, was there any damage to your windows, doors and any other part of your home that may have been hit by wind and water during a storm? This is especially relevant if you’ve experienced a hail storm – hail will cause damage that is not easily seen by the naked eye. It will often leave dents and destroy the granules at the top of your shingles. This is hard to see from the ground.

If you take pre-storm pictures in case damage should be caused by a storm (which hopefully it will not!), your insurance carrier will have some hindsight on just how severe the damage is and will avoid trying to shift the blame to the storm for pre-storm damage – ultimately saving money on claims while avoiding a sudden increase in your premium.

Contact Your Insurer

When the storm has abated, and it’s safe to return home, take a stock of property damage. Note the affected areas, taking photos (from close-up for affects that are hard to see, wide shot for general destruction), and also any items that could be lost or destroyed.

The second is to contact your insurance agent as soon as possible to explain what’s happened, who’s having the mitigation work performed and why and how. This should give you an idea of how much time you have to put together your claim before your policy or the company notifies you that there’s a limited time – and first-come, first-served!

If a contractor’s calling card claims that he or she can ‘work directly with your insurance company’, hang up. And if you can swing it, wait to do any business until you have an agent or an adjuster personally recommend someone; during emergency repairs, be sure that job specifications, pricing breakdowns and receipts are all spelled out in writing before anyone even shows up.

Contact a Roofing Contractor

Your roofer can give you an estimate and professional opinion regarding the damages to your roof. He or she will help you understand the extent of damage caused by the storm, explain it to your insurance adjuster and clarify any reports of disparaging differences between claims reps.

Your roof is covered under your insurance policy Contracting with contractors who hold good reputations offers peace of mind that if your claim is disputed, then they will help you navigate the situation in order for you to receive the appropriate compensation and repairs. The roofing contractor will provide your insurance company with photographs, assessments, descriptions and quotations detailing damage to your roof and repair details.

Get a local roofing contractor with an actual street address and phone number; be suspicious of ‘storm chasers’, out-of-state contractors showing up in waves after an ‘historic’ storm hits to offer cheap prices as they undercut local companies while trying to beat the other storm chasers before disappearing before the next round of area storms. Make sure that the local contractor you use in your town or city is insured, bonded, and licensed with your state’s roofing authority; if not, choose another.

Make Temporary Repairs

Because roof damage from a storm can cause water penetration and other expensive problems if not promptly discovered and repaired, homeowners need to evaluate roof damage right after the storm so they can respond appropriately – and provide the correct information to their insurance company.

If your roof was damaged beyond light repair, you should make temporary measures to cover the roof until permanent repairs can be conducted. Covering the affected area with tarps and fixing leaks with roofing cement are both good ideas; clearing away debris and fallen trees from the area is also a good plan.

Next, photograph the damage in detail and immediately notify your insurer so a claim can be submitted. You can usually expect an adjuster to drive out for an inspection and a report; follow along pointing out details that the adjuster might overlook, and save all receipts for any reasonable temporary repairs or expenses you might incur – you could be reimbursed for them, and also such receipts might help a hopefully quick settlement.