What You Need To Know About Homeowners Insurance And Roof Leaks
It can be easy to take a safe, secure, and well-functioning roof over your head for granted. We don’t seem to give it a second thought until a storm, a fallen tree branch, water damage, or some other disaster threatens that security. When a leaky roof occurs, the idea is to get it fixed as soon as possible in order to minimize further damage and keep necessary repairs to a minimum.
However, before you schedule repairs, you should file a claim with your homeowners insurance to hopefully reduce out-of-pocket costs. Homeowners insurance can be tricky to navigate, and while our team at Cenvar Roofing is knowledgeable, there is no way that we could know the ins and outs of each individual plan.
What we can do is provide basic guidelines for homeowners who are wondering what steps to take with their insurance before they pay for a roof replacement completely out of pocket. This way, you can feel confident in the steps leading up to a roof replacement.
Know Your Coverage
Before filing an insurance claim, make sure you understand the specifics that are covered by your homeowners insurance, as well as any warranties that apply to your roof. If you need a copy of your coverage, you should be able to request a copy from your insurance agent.
The majority of standard homeowners insurance options will offer two types of roof coverage: roof repair insurance and roof replacement insurance. Roof repair insurance will typically reimburse homeowners for a certain percentage of the repair bill, while roof replacement insurance will cover the installation of a new roof if the damage is severe enough to warrant it.
Once you’ve determined what type of policy you have, you’ll have to determine whether or not the roof work will be covered, and schedule the necessary repairs. Take these three steps to make this process as simple as possible.
1. Document Everything
In order to file a claim and determine if the roof damage falls under your homeowners insurance policy, you’ll need to document everything. Take photos everywhere where damage is apparent, making sure that you’re taking ample safety precautions. This should include any damage evident inside of your home or attic space. Because roof damage is often tricky to spot, especially to an untrained eye, it’s a good idea to get a professional roof inspection to assess the extent of the damage and best next steps.
2. Research Roofing Companies
Once you have filed your claim, you’ll want to find a professional roofing company with a strong reputation for good work to carry out the repairs. In order to find the best roofing company for your roof, you will want to look at a few different areas. First, seek word-of-mouth recommendations from trusted family members, friends, or neighbors who have recently had roof repairs or replaced.
In addition to word-of-mouth recommendations, check the roofing company’s online reviews on sites like Google, Facebook or Yelp. Reviews will provide a general overview of what kind of experience you can expect and give you a gauge of the professionalism of the company. After this, it’s time to schedule an estimate with the company. During this appointment, you can ask the company as many questions as you’d like in order to make sure you are making the best decision.
3. Schedule The Repairs
Once you have decided on a roofing company, received an estimate, and gotten your claim approved, it’s time to schedule the repairs or replacement as soon as possible. Roof damage has the potential to increase exponentially in a short amount of time, so it is important to move forward as quickly as possible in order to keep costs to a minimum.
Be Aware of Storm Chasers and Insurance Scams
Throughout the roofing process, be aware of potential insurance scams that will try to take advantage of your situation. The insurance industry can be complicated, and unfortunately, there are predatory scams that will pose as insurance companies or agents, hoping to trick unsuspecting homeowners.
One way that this shows up is through what we refer to as “storm chasers.” This is a term coined to describe individuals who will canvas a neighborhood after a devastating storm pretending to be an insurance agent or sales person. These individuals typically pressure people to sign a “contract” for the work that needs to be done. Sometimes they will offer insurance coverage, or a special low price for contracts signed right then, but in reality they are businesses designed to scam homeowners out of their money.
If you believe you are interacting with a storm chaser, ask for a business card to see if you can identify their address, phone number or other contact information. You can also ask to see a copy of their contractor’s licence and liability insurance, as well as check online for customer reviews on public websites. If you’re suspicious of a scam, it’s always better to say no.
Cenvar Roofing Wants To Help!
If you are looking for a roofing company in Virginia that is professional, reputable, and easy to work with, Cenvar Roofing is your answer. We are an ethical company that values excellence and customer satisfaction above all else. Our desire is to be your risk-free choice when it comes to your roofing needs, offering financing options and no payments until you’re satisfied with your roof. If you are interested in scheduling an estimate, or have questions about your roofing situation, you can schedule a free estimate on our website. We’d love to help you with whatever you need.
Hannah Brown is the Content Manager at Cenvar Roofing, and the main author of our company blog. Her primary focus is to create and produce content for all mediums that explains the complexities of the roofing industry in simple, straightforward language. Hannah has degrees in Strategic Communication and English from Liberty University, and her work has been featured in multiple print and online publications.