Disaster is a part of life. Severe wind and hail can cause significant damages to your home. After a bad storm it is important to make sure the exterior of your home was not affected. Dayus Roofing will be happy to arrange an inspection of your roofing and siding if you are unsure, and provide your insurance company with a letter reporting our findings.
We all know it’s no fun dealing with insurance companies. It is crucial that you record the exact date the damage occurred and notify your insurance company as soon as possible. Insurers generally have a time limitation on filing claims.
When it comes to choosing a contractor, it is your choice who repairs your home. Insurance companies aim to minimize their claims and may recommend a contractor that is less expensive and not necessarily the highest quality. Homeowners commonly make mistakes in handling their insurance claims. Below we review the best practices to ensure your claim is taken care of as efficiently as possible.
Best Practices for Handling Your Insurance Claim
1. DO NOT WAIT TO FILE YOUR CLAIM
You should contact the claims department of your insurance company as soon as possible and find out how long you have to file a claim. If you don’t file a claim within the allowable time, usually one year, you may end up footing the bill yourself.
2. CHOOSE YOUR OWN CONTRACTOR
In most cases, insurers will not force you to use the contractors they recommend. Although their preferred contractors are usually reputable companies, there’s no guarantee you will get the quality you deserve. It is important to meet with any contractor under consideration to make sure you are comfortable with using them. You have the right to choose your own contractor and should take as much care in doing so as you would if the insurance company was not involved.
3. INSPECT YOUR HOME THOROUGHLY
Even minor damage can cause serious, expensive leaks in the future. Click here to learn how to spot hail damage. (WOULD LIKE TO SCORLL DOWN PAGE TO WHERE THIS IS) A professional inspection will confirm how much damage you have and whether your roof needs to be repaired or replaced. Minor repairs (less than your deductible) can be handled outside of the insurance claims procedure to ensure your coverage is not affected.
4. DO NOT RELY ON YOUR SHINGLE MANUFACTURER OR ROOFING CONTRACTOR WARRANTIES
Manufacturers’ warranties have specific exclusions for hail damage and limitations with regards to wind coverage. Similarly, roofing contractors offer warranties that cover their workmanship, not acts of God. If you have hail or excessive wind damage, you should file a claim with your insurer as soon as possible.
5. UNDERSTAND YOUR INSURANCE COVERAGE
Insurers are not allowed to cancel your home policy due to hail or wind damage claims, but it is important to understand the details of your coverage and how your premiums may be affected. Compare the costs of your deductibles and premium changes to the overall cost of the repair before filing a claim to ensure it is worth your while.
6. YOU FILED A CLAIM BUT IT WAS DENIED
After a major storm, insurance adjusters and roofing contractors can become overwhelmed. As a result, you may not receive a thorough inspection on your claim. In situations where there a large amount of claims being made, your claim may not have received the proper amount of attention. This can lead to claims being mistakenly denied.
You have every right to appeal this decision, especially if you know your area was hit by hail and your neighbours have had their claims approved. You should get another independent, detailed inspection, so you can provide your insurer with evidence that might have been overlooked.
How to Tell if You Have Roof Hail Damage
Homeowners very often make the mistake of confusing deterioration with hail damages. Understanding the difference will help you decipher between actual damages and regular maintenance.
Hail damage removes some of the granules from your shingles and speeds up the aging of your shingles. If your area has recently experienced hail, you should check for damages as soon as possible.
Evidence to Look for:
1. Asphalt shingles hit by hail will show a bruise – a dark spot where the granules have been knocked off, exposing the asphalt. If it’s a brand new hit, the spot will be shiny because the asphalt is freshly exposed.
2. Hail may also dent the metal components of your roof – flashings, valleys and gutters. If you have invested in a metal roofing system be extra careful with your inspection. Hail protection outlined in by metal shingle warranties ensures your roof will not become perforated, but does not guarantee your shingles are protected from pitting or marking from hail.
3. If you are nervous about getting up on your roof you can simply check your eavestrough and downspouts for an unusual amount of granules displaced from your shingles.
Does Your Roof Need Replacing?
Depending on the severity of your roof hail damage, repairs may be a viable option. However, if the damage covers a good portion of your roof, you will probably need to replace the entire roof.