Under most circumstances, damage to your roof should be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy.
If you have experienced anything other than minor damage, you should notify your insurance company immediately and begin a roof insurance claims process.
While you do need to protect your home from water, do not attempt to make any actual repairs before talking to your insurer.
In almost all cases, an adjuster will be sent to your home to inspect the damage before any roof insurance claims are processed. Some companies will allow you to receive estimates from one or more roofing companies and accept that information instead of sending an inspector.
Depending on the amount of damage, your insurance company may cover only the cost of repairs. Extensive damage can require a new roof. You should take photos for your own records, but do not risk your safety in the process.
When you make roof insurance claims for covered damages, you may not receive the full cost of a new roof. The age of your roof will be taken into consideration and a depreciation factor will be included in the amount the insurance company will cover.
This does depend on the type of coverage you carry. If you have full replacement coverage, any insurance claims you make should be fully covered, minus your deductible.
Cost Versus Deductible
You should also consider the extent of the damage against your deductible before you make any roof insurance claim. If you are carrying a $1,000 deductible to save on your premiums, submitting a claim for $1,100 in damage may not be in your best interest. In this case, you would only receive $100 from your insurance company and you could face an increase in premium costs.
Failure to Maintain
While most roof insurance claims for damages will be covered by your homeowner’s insurance, claims can be denied. For example, if you failed to properly maintain your roof and it failed due to neglect, you claim would likely be denied. If you feel your claim is denied in error, you can file an appeal.
You should remember that as the homeowner, you have a choice in the roofing company that you choose to perform any roof repair or replacement. The insurance company only determines the amount that will be paid in case of roof insurance claims. If you have a claim in process, most professional companies will not require you to pay upfront. The company will wait to receive payment from your insurer and then bill you for any amount not covered.