Texas homeowners are all too familiar with inclement weather, from severe thunderstorms to hailstorms that can do some serious damage to their homes. After such an event that leaves your roof damaged, knowing what to do next and filing a homeowner insurance claim for roof damage is essential to get your home promptly restored and to protect your family and belongings from external elements and further deterioration.
It is important to take the right steps to ensure you have enough evidence to support and begin your roof insurance claim process and to get the most value from your home insurance policy.
Continue reading to learn what steps to follow for filing a homeowner’s insurance claim for roof damage in Texas.
Steps on How to Claim Roof Damage on Insurance
Review Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy
Take some time to review your homeowner’s insurance policy and check to see how your insurance provider handles roof damage.
Homeowner’s insurance policies in Texas provide either:
Replacement Cost Coverage
To be fully protected against damages, you need to have replacement cost coverage in your policy as it pays to replace or repair your house at current prices minus the deductible. Hence, even if your roof is ten years old and you need a replacement after a severe storm, the replacement cost coverage will replace your roof at today’s prices.
Actual Cash Value Coverage
The actual cash value coverage pays for the replacement cost minus depreciation. Consequently, under this policy, your out-of-pocket cost can be significantly higher when compared to replacement cost coverage—depending on your roof’s age and the amount of wear and tear over the years.
Once you understand the type of coverage you hold, have your insurance number handy and contact your insurance company to initiate the process.
Note: Contact and report your claims with the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association if you have a hail and wind policy separately with them.
Determine the Damages and Document the Details
It is imperative that you inspect and determine the extent of damage right after a storm or severe weather that may have damaged your roof.
Document everything you can and make a detailed list. To simplify and make your roof insurance claim process easier, take pictures, make videos, and make a list of all the damages with explanations of everything that needs to be repaired or replaced, including their estimated costs, where possible. The more comprehensive your list, the better. Remember to include any damage to your gutters, siding, fencing, or interior portion of the roof.
While you can perform this task yourself, it might be safer and more efficient to consult a roofing company to perform the assessment instead. This is because reputable expert roofing contractors are trained and know exactly where to look for roof damages after a severe storm. A roofing company that’s experienced working with insurance claims will provide a complete scope of work in the format that insurance companies expect.
Protect Your Home and Make Only Necessary Repairs
The roof insurance claim process is not something that can be completed in a day or two, so you may have to complete a few necessary repairs to protect your family and belongings and to minimize further damage to your home. For example, if there is substantial damage to your roof that results in leaks and can likely damage the interior.
If possible, avoid making any permanent repairs unless approved by the insurance company. Be sure to save all your repair receipts in case you need to show them as evidence/proof during your claim process.
Submit Your Claim
Once all the above steps are completed, submit your claim.
Once your claim has been submitted, your insurance company may send an insurance adjuster to independently review and assess the damage against those claimed. It is advised to have whoever helped you make the initial assessment present at this time and walk through everything and discuss the estimated costs to ensure the adjuster doesn’t miss anything. If you used a roofing company that has experience working with insurance companies, they will be prepared to review all the documentation with the adjuster.
All this will help the insurance adjuster determine the cost that your insurance company will payout for the necessary repairs and replacements.
What to Expect After You’ve Submitted Your Claim
As with any insurance company, there is always a chance you might be asked to provide further information to assess your claim. This is why it is vital to have everything recorded and well-documented.
Regardless of whether more information is required or not, your insurance company must confirm receiving your claim within 15 days of getting it and accordingly accept or reject your claim once all documents are complete.
In most cases, if your claim is accepted, the insurance company must send you a check within five business days after accepting. However, these deadlines can vary a little and be extended in the case of a natural disaster.
In case your claim is rejected, the insurance company is liable to give you a reason why. It is also important to note that if your roof damage is the result of improper maintenance and could have been prevented through timely maintenance, your insurance company will most likely reject your claim. Therefore, it is extremely necessary that you conduct regular inspections and maintain your roof.
What to do if you Disagree with the Adjuster’s Report or Final Estimate
Most of the time, working with an insurance adjuster should be enough; however, if you disagree with the adjuster’s estimate, you do have options you can take to challenge the decision.
- Talk to your insurance company: Most of the time, you can discuss your concerns and call the insurance company to try to resolve the situation by providing additional documents and details. It may be that the insurance company missed something.
- Hire a public adjuster: You can hire an independent adjuster (public adjuster) to assess the damage. The public adjuster works for you and not the insurance company. You should note that hiring a public adjuster can be pricey, so be aware of the costs before proceeding.
- Hire an appraiser: In this case, each side (the insurance company and the complainant) hires an appraiser. In turn, the two appraisers hire a third appraiser to act as an umpire. The decision made by the umpire is then binding to both parties.
- File a complaint with the Texas Department of Insurance: If you cannot resolve the issue after discussing it with the insurance company, or by any other means, you can also choose to file a complaint against them with the Texas Department of Insurance. It is advised to review their policy first and check what they can, and cannot do, to help you resolve your concerns.
- Get Legal Help: If all else fails, and you are still unhappy with your outcome, you can choose to sue your insurance company.
Hire a Reputable Roofing Contractor
It is now time to choose a trusted and reputable roofing company to conduct necessary repairs or replacements. Look for experienced roofing companies that have good reviews from customers, and understand the insurance claim process.
At Roof Master of Lubbock, we are fully licensed and insured and have been successfully delivering quality roofing services with superior workmanship for over 40 years. For you and your family’s peace of mind, most of our jobs are completed in just one day. We complete every project using the best materials available to ensure the improved durability and longevity of your roof.
Contact us to talk to one of our experts about helping you document the damage to your roof and provide a complete scope of work to your insurance company.