Storms roll through and can wreak absolute havoc and heartache on communities. At MARS Restoration, we know that feeling all too well. The one thing you shouldn’t have to worry about is how you’ll be able to pay for your roof replacement.
We’re here to help you ensure you can get insurance to pay for your roof replacement after harsh weather takes a beating on your home.
GETTING STARTED WITH YOUR INSURANCE CLAIM
There are several steps to ensuring that insurance pays for your roof replacement. Filing a claim is the first step in the process of getting your roof replaced. But, before you’re able to file a claim, you’ll want to know what’s covered by insurance.
Here’s how the process for a roof replacement breaks down.
- Understand your coverage and what you can make a claim for
- Document the damage to your roof
- Get an estimate from a contractor
- Submit your claim to insurance
- Schedule the job to be completed
WHAT’S COVERED BY YOUR INSURANCE POLICY
Before you file an insurance claim or start working towards filing one, you should know exactly what’s covered in your policy. Picking up the physical document and reading through it is the best way to get the answers you need, but calling your insurance company and talking with your provider is a faster way to get some answers as well. Your insurance policy should outline what is and isn’t covered in the event of damage to your home and roof.
Insurance will cover the cost of a roof replacement or repairs after a storm or other natural disaster. However, sometimes homeowners will need to pay for the damages or pay the difference in what’s covered by insurance vs. actual cost.
DOCUMENT THE STORM DAMAGE
Documenting the damage done by a storm as soon as you can makes a world of difference in your claim process. Photographing or videoing the damage, noting how bad it is, and keeping track of any repair bills will help ensure your insurance company doesn’t try to claim the damage was already there.
Getting an estimate from a roofer or a professional roof inspection every one to two years can also help ensure that you have a good record of the condition of your roof before the storm rolls through.
FIND A REPUTABLE CONTRACTOR TO WORK WITH
Not all contractors are created equal, so you’ll need to find one that you can trust. A good place to start is looking for a contractor who is licensed, insured, and has a good reputation in your community.
A quick Google search will give you a list of contractors in your area, but it’s always better to ask friends and neighbors for referrals because they’ve likely worked with someone in the past for their roofing needs.
WATCH OUT FOR STORM CHASERS (INSURANCE SCAMS)
Storm chasers are roofing companies out of town who show up after a storm and try to get homeowners to sign contracts or make payments towards a new roof without putting forward any service. Unfortunately, they often provide poor work or don’t complete the job. They can be pushy and force homeowners into making decisions they aren’t comfortable with.
Spotting one of these scams is important for your relationship with your insurance company and your finances. These scams can be costly, and if you end up on the wrong side of it, you might need to pay two companies to do one job.
Here’s how to keep your eyes peeled for a scam:
HOW TO SPOT A STORM CHASING ROOFER
Here are some telltale signs to spot a storm chasing scam:
- They offer special discounts for cash payments or a credit card upfront.
- Their sales pitch seems too good to be true.
- They’re rude or aggressive about how long you have left to “take advantage of their services.”
- You can’t find any information on the company online.
Vetting their Google reviews and making sure they’re locally insured will make a huge difference in how they respond and act towards you. Keep yourself informed, and they’ll be less likely to take advantage of you.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A REPUTABLE CONTRACTOR
As you’re on the hunt for a reputable contractor, there are a few things we recommend that you keep in mind and check for:
- Are they licensed and insured to work in your area?
- Do they have a reputation in your community?
- Can they provide you with references of past customers and testimonials to see and hear from real customers?
- What is their process like, and how soon will they do the work?
- Do they have a professional website?
- Do they have real and positive Google reviews?
If you’re able to answer most of these questions, you should trust that your roofer will be able to provide you with some value.
WHAT DAMAGE ISN’T COVERED BY INSURANCE?
Unfortunately, not all damage will be covered under your insurance policy. Many policies have a clause that excludes damages caused by “acts of God” such as wind, rain, fire, or hail. This is often in the fine print, so be sure to read over your policy carefully and understand what is and isn’t covered.
Other damages that might not be covered include leaks and damage that can happen over time. Many roofs will have a warranty, and after they go beyond their expected lifespan, insurance may not be willing to pay for the damages.
Reasons your roof might not be covered by insurance include:
- Your roof is too old
- Your own actions caused the damage
- The roofing material is too finically risky to be covered
- The cause of the damage is specifically not covered by insurance
If you think you have a legitimate roofing claim and your insurance company refuses to cover the damages, you always have the right to seek legal action.
INSURANCE COVERING ROOF REPLACEMENTS VS. REPAIRS
When it comes to covering a roof replacement vs. repair, there are several variables. Some of the biggest variables include:
- Age of your roof
- The extent of the damage
- Ability to match new material to your existing roof
If any one of these factors doesn’t work out quite right, it’s likely that your insurance provider and roofer are going to recommend a full roof replacement instead of a repair.
If your roof is relatively new and the damage isn’t too extensive, a repair might be an option that’s available to you. However, always keep in mind how much of the original material will need to be replaced and how it will match the existing roofing material.
TWO TYPES OF INSURANCE: ACTUAL CASH VALUE VS. REPLACEMENT COST COVERAGE
When it comes to your homeowner’s insurance policy, there are two options for insurance and they cost different amounts for you to have. But, one over the other will provide more value for you and your financial situation.
ACTUAL CASH VALUE INSURANCE
Actual cash value (ACV) insurance is one of the more common insurance policies offered to homeowners because it makes the most sense. The formula used for this type of insurance takes your roof’s cost minus its age to determine how much the roof is worth.
For example, a $20,000 roof with a lifespan of 20 years will be worth $10,000 after 10 years because it loses 5% of its value every year. You’ll need to pay the difference to have your roof replaced when you have ACV insurance. In this case, a replacement would cost you $10,000. But, that’s a lot better than spending $20,000.
REPLACEMENT COST COVERAGE INSURANCE
Replacement cost coverage (RCC) insurance is much simpler to understand because your homeowner’s policy will cover the total cost to replace your roof.
This might seem like the perfect policy for you, but one of the biggest drawbacks to having an RCC policy is that the policies are much more expensive. You can expect this type of coverage to cost 2-3x more every month.
FIND THE RIGHT CONTRACTOR FOR YOUR ROOF REPLACEMENT OR REPAIRS
Finding the right contractor to complete the project is just as important as having a good insurance policy and properly documenting the damage.
A good roofing company needs to respond to your call promptly, provide temporary repairs when needed, and should offer a free written estimate.
At MARS Restoration, we strive to meet each of these needs and provide you with excellent customer service. Contact our team and put us to the test today. We’d love the chance to exceed your expectations!