1. Check Your Coverage
Before you submit an insurance claim, it's important to know your coverage. If you're not familiar with your homeowner's insurance policy, now is the time to read over the terms and conditions. This will give you vital information, including the following:
- The amount of time you have to file the claim
- Any conditions that may exempt you from coverage
- The cost of your deductible
In addition to providing a timeline for filing the claim, your policy will outline any factors that may prevent you from getting coverage. For example, some insurance policies deny coverage for roofs that are older than 10 or 15 years.
It's also important to know your deductible, which is an amount you must cover yourself before your insurance company will pay a claim. If the deductible is more expensive than the cost of repairs, you might want to skip the claim entirely.
2. Document All Damages
Anyone who decides to move forward with their hail damage roof insurance claim should take some time to carefully document all damages through photos and videos. This includes any internal problems that may have occurred, such as damage to your walls or ceiling. When it comes time to file the claim, your photographs will help demonstrate the extent of the damage.
Along with taking pictures of the accident, it's a good idea to collect some photos of your roof from before the storm occurred. By including both before and after pictures, your insurance company will have a better idea of how extensive the damage was.
3. Submit Your Claim Quickly
As mentioned earlier, the deadline you have to submit your claim will vary depending on the insurance company. In general, most companies will give you about a year from the day of the hail storm. However, even if you have plenty of time available, it's advisable to submit the claim as soon as you can. The longer you wait, the longer you'll have to live with a damaged roof, which can be inconvenient and — in some cases — dangerous. Having a damaged roof makes you more susceptible to the following issues:
- Insulation damage
- Mold and mildew growth
- Water leaks
- Compromised walls and structure
A damaged roof impairs your insulation and encourages mold growth, which increases your energy costs and puts your health at risk. In a worst-case scenario, the structure of your home becomes compromised, which may lead to accidents.
4. Contact a Reputable Roofing Contractor
After sustaining roof damage, most homeowners will contact a local contractor to assess the property and provide an estimate of costs. However, this estimate may not equal the actual cost of repairs — your insurance company also gets a say. Once you contact them, they will ask you to schedule an appointment with an insurance adjuster, who will then modify the estimate.
When you establish an appointment with the adjuster, it's a good idea to ask a reputable roofing contractor to come to the meeting. By having two sets of eyes assess the property, you can reduce the risk of any damage being overlooked and help ensure you're getting a fair, reasonable estimate.
5. Use an Online Tool for Accuracy
The whole point of filing a roof insurance claim is to get coverage for the necessary repairs. Before the repairs can begin, however, the contractor and adjuster must agree upon on the roofing estimate. To calculate their estimates, they'll evaluate the following:
- Labor and material costs
- Material quality
- Required building permits
In addition to performing their own assessments, they'll both contact the city or county to gather details about the home. If they cannot come to an agreement, it will end up delaying your roofing project. Fortunately, you can help make sure they're on the same page by asking both parties to use the same calculation tools. Online applications such as HailTrace and OneClick Code can provide weather reports and verify roofing codes for any property, helping both the contractor and adjuster reach an accurate estimate.
Try OneClick Code Today
A hail storm may not take too long, but the damage it causes can last for months. As soon as the storm passes, it's important to start gathering the information you need for your hail damage roof insurance claim. One of the best ways to ensure you get a fair estimate is by using tools like HailTrace and OneClick Code. Together, these applications can tell you the following:
- The date of the storm
- The size of the hail that damaged the home
- The required building codes and permits
The sooner you can get an accurate estimate, the sooner you can enjoy a restored roof.