When it comes to roof replacements and repairs, many homeowners start by filing a claim with their homeowner’s insurance provider. However, this is not always the best idea, and sometimes it can actually cost you more money in the long run.
Just as with any other part of a home, there is a finite life span to the materials used in roofing. RI homeowners have to be aware of the age of their roofs while also being mindful that they live in an area prone to severe weather, which can cause roofing damage. Let’s consider a few scenarios involving roofing, RI homeowners, and insurance agents:
- A RI homeowner notices a wet spot on his ceiling after a storm, goes up on the roof, and locates the problem: a tree limb has fallen during the storm, causing roofing damage. The homeowner calls his insurance company to file a claim. The roof is relatively new, the damage is isolated and was clearly caused by the weather, and the claim is approved.
- The neighbor next door to our first homeowner also notices a leak after the storm. He assumes the problem is storm damage and calls his insurance agent. When the adjuster visits, she sees that the roof is over 25 years old, but the roofing components only carry a manufacturer’s guaranty of 20 years. She sees no specific storm damage, determines that the leak is due to the age of the roof, and denies the claim.
- A third neighbor on this street notices some shingles on the ground and some branches up on his roof after the storm. He decides to first call someone who can determine if he needs to repair his roofing. RI has many qualified, reliable, licensed roofers, so he checks with the Better Business Bureau and makes some appointments. Three roofers visit and all agree that the 15-year-old roof has incurred storm damage caused by hail and fallen tree parts. They provide written repair estimates as documentation. The homeowner then calls his insurance company, providing the estimates to the adjuster, who approves the claim.
The first neighbor in our scenario was lucky in that the tree limb was still where it had landed, causing the damage. It was obvious what had caused the leak, so his claim was easily approved.
The second neighbor was not so lucky. Had he taken the time to have a professional RI roofing company inspect his home, he would have known that the leak was caused by the age of his roof. Now he has a claim on his insurance AND he has to pay out-of-pocket for a new roof. If, on the other hand, the leak was caused by storm damage, he could have had a roofing expert present when the adjuster did his inspection, and this may have helped the homeowner tremendously.
Our third neighbor did everything right. He had estimates done before contacting his insurance company, which saved him from filing a claim that could have been declined if the adjuster didn’t see obvious storm damage. However, since the homeowner was sure that his roofing repair was necessary due to storm damage, and had multiple estimates from reputable companies, the adjuster had more information to work with and was more likely to approve the claim.
Need help with roofing in RI? Schedule a free estimate now by calling us at 1-800-975-6666 or filling out our online form to the right.