If you receive solicitations from hungry roofing contractors right after a storm whether you sustained any damage or not, you might live in Colorado. Ranking number two in the United States for annual insurance claims due to hail damage, there’s a reason contractors compete heavily for homeowner attention in the wake of a devastating storm.
If you’re currently facing an insurance claim to have your roof replaced, you likely have a few insurance roof replacement questions. Our expert roofing team is always willing to discuss the details of your unique situation, but we wanted to provide some upfront answers to questions we hear often from homeowners just like you.
1. What signs of roof damage should I look for after a fire or storm?
Roof damage resulting from a fire or intense storm can range from a few missing shingles to complete roof collapse. The severity of the storm often determines the extent of damage, but some seemingly mild windstorms can sometimes produce significant damage.
In some cases, the most concerning damage isn’t visible from the ground. You need a Colorado roofing contractor to complete a comprehensive assessment of your roof. The well-trained eye of an experienced contractor will detect all damage, no matter how minor or significant.
If you aren’t sure whether you need to schedule an assessment, take a walk around your home and look for any changes in the visible sections of your roof. If you suspect some damage was sustained, contact a roofing contractor immediately. Don’t try to assess the damage yourself because you could miss hidden damage that isn’t obvious to the untrained eye.
2. How can I document roof damage after a storm or fire?
Once roof damage is identified, you have the responsibility to provide documentation for the insurance company. In most cases, that means snapping photographs of the damage or perhaps creating a short video. It’s important that you get as close to the damage as possible and ensure your evidence is clear. That often requires getting up on your roof, so expect to work with a roofing contractor to identify and document all damage present.
If you do decide to take pictures or video footage on your own, make sure to do it during daylight hours. If you have to do it after dark, use your camera flash and perhaps some added light to ensure the images are clear. Wear the right footwear to ensure you have a solid grip on the roof and watch your step to ensure safety.
DO NOT put yourself or anyone else in danger. If you can’t get documentation of the damage without protecting your health and safety, work with a contractor or simply tell the insurance company that you cannot safely provide documentation.
You may also want to write down details important to your insurance claim. For instance, you will need to know the day and time that the damage was sustained. Depending on circumstances, you may have other details to record.
3. If I suspect roof damage, who should I contact first?
You know there are two people you need to contact if you believe your roof is damaged:
- Insurance company
- Roofing contractor
The question is who you reach out to first. The simplest answer is to contact your insurance company to make sure you understand how they process insurance claims. You should then contact a local roofing contractor to get a quote for roof repair or replacement.
Why do you need to contact a contractor on your own when your insurance company will send out their own contractor to inspect the damage? That’s a common question with a simple answer: You want to make sure you get what you’re entitled to, according to the terms of your insurance policy.
Your insurer may give you the option of allowing their contractor to replace the roof or accepting a check and finding your own contractor. How do you know which is the best deal if you haven’t already secured a quote from a trustworthy contractor?
4. What are insurance adjusters looking for when inspecting roof damage?
The insurance adjuster’s job is to determine the extent of damage and verify the likely cause. It’s common for homeowners to get roof replacements that were needed even before damage was caused by a storm or fire. That’s acceptable as long as the adjuster can verify damage caused by the storm, fire, or other claimed incident.
Some specifics that an adjustor may look for during a roof inspection include:
- Age of roof
- Proper roof installation
- Visible signs of damage inside home
- Visible signs of damage on roof
5. Will my roofing contractor be there during the insurance adjuster’s inspection?
It’s very helpful if the contractor is their for the adjuster inspection. We prepare a full estimate of the damages we note during our initial inspection and add in applicable county and city IRC codes as well as consideration for our manufacturers requirements. This helps the insurance adjuster create a proper scope of work. Otherwise the adjuster will only write up an estimate for what they may see as damaged and not what it will take to repair/replace what has been damaged. They may also review the report to see if there is additional damage that may qualify an increase in scope of work, especially if the settlement amount offered is too low to cover your roof repair or replacement.
If your contractor isn’t present, keep in mind that the adjuster has a business relationship with your insurance company. Even if they state that they aren’t employees of the insurance company, you can assume that everything you say to them will go right back to the insurance.
6. How much will my roof replacement cost?
The national average for a roof replacement is around $8,000. Depending on a variety of factors, you can count on paying at least $5,000 and possibly more than $10,000. Your final price depends on the type of shingles used, size of your roof, and competitive rates in your local area.
7. Can I get more than one estimate for roof repairs?
You can get as many roof replacement quotes as you want. Most roofing contractors offer free property inspections and quotes, so you lose nothing but time if you want to schedule an appointment with a few local contractors. If you need to provide quotes to your insurance company, you can select the one that you feel offers the best quality rather than choosing the lowest price.
If you already have a relationship with a trustworthy roofing contractor, then there’s no reason to get multiple quotes. The reputation of the company and their past work for you should speak to their value, justifying an immediate decision without considering competitive prices.
8. What type of insurance policy do I have?
For residential property, there are two types of insurance policies:
- Actual Cash Value (ACV) – You will receive a settlement check for the perceived value of your roof, which may or may not fully cover the cost of a replacement. The insurance company will also subtract a bit for depreciation of your roof.
- Replacement Cost – Your insurance company will pay the full cost of your roof replacement, minus your deductible. In most cases, the payout will come in two checks.
If you don’t know what type of insurance policy you have, contact your insurance company to ask. You may also find that information on the company’s website or within the app if they have one.
How do I know what my insurance policy covers?
If you have access to a mobile app or insurance company website, that’s the best place to look for policy coverage details. You will know if you have this access because it’s likely where you go every month to make your payment or find other information provided for your policy.
If you don’t have a way to check your policy details online, then you can contact your insurance company to request an overview of coverage. It’s a good idea to have this information on hand even before it’s necessary to file a claim.
9. Will my insurance premiums increase after I file a claim?
You’re likely to see your homeowner’s insurance premium change at the first renewal date after your roof replacement. While it may go up a bit to account for what the insurance just paid to replace your roof, but it may also go down some.
Why would your premium go down? In some cases, the insurance company determines that the house is safer and more valuable with the new roof. This isn’t guaranteed to happen, so you should brace yourself for a premium hike when it’s time for your policy to renew.
If you want to turn this into a positive opportunity, think of it as a great time to compare rates with other insurance companies. You may find a better deal with another company.
In most cases insurance premiums will increase whether a claim is made or not if a zip code has been hit with a weather event. It’s in a customer’s best interest to make a claim and then shop for a new policy after they have a new roof and siding.
Advanced Consulting installs Class 4 shingle products when we can. This usually discounts our customers premium’s 10-20% for the life of the roof.
10. Can I challenge a claim denial? If so, how?
Yes, you can dispute a claim denial issued by the insurance company or their adjuster. Start by writing a letter that details why you believe the claim was unjust and send it to the adjustor who made the decision for your roof. Study the terms of your insurance first so that you can discuss what you’re entitled to according to the terms of your policy.
If you don’t get a reversal of the denial from your written communication with the adjustor, request an in-person discussion about the issue. You can present your proof that the claim was valid and hope to solve the problem with clear communication. If that doesn’t work, then you can file a complaint with the Department of Insurance in your state.
You should also collect evidence that supports your claim and have it ready whenever you discuss the issue with the insurance company. Your roofing contractor can help you develop this evidence and put your arguments in writing.
Professional Roof Replacement in Colorado
Consulting with an experienced roofing company is the easiest way to get answers to your insurance roof replacement questions. After looking at your property firsthand and listening to the story behind your roof damage, a knowledgeable contractor can help you maneuver the insurance claims process.
At Advanced Consulting in Denver, Colorado, the goal is to help every customer get what they deserve from their insurance policy. We understand the stress and anxiety that comes with property damage, and we do our part to make the insurance claims process easier to understand.
To discuss your roof damage and the details of your claims process, contact the roofing experts at (303) 550-4530.