If you have a hail damage roof,
depending on your home insurance policy, you may be eligible to file a claim and have it fixed.
Before filing a hail damage roof insurance claim, there are a number of things that you need to be aware of to get this process done successfully and efficiently.
We will walk you through this process step-by-step and identify any pitfalls along the way.
Disclaimer This guide is provided for general information purposes ONLY, and does not constitute insurance or legal advice. If your roof has suffered hail or other damage, contact your insurance agent and/or your attorney for a consultation. Use the information below at your own risk. We are not responsible for any outcomes.
Preparing to file a claim
1. The first thing you need to do is write down the date of the storm. If possible, take as many pictures of the roof damages as you can. This will serve as an important piece of evidence for your insurance company, and will help them in making a decision whether or not to approve your claim.
Please be aware that there has been a spike in fraudulent hail damage roof insurance claims in the last couple of years and insurance companies are being extra vigilant throughout the process.
2. Contact a local roofing contractor in your area to inspect the roof. Do your research to find an experienced, highly-trained roofer. Many companies offer initial damage inspections at no extra charge.
Typically, the inspection takes 20 minutes, unless the roof damage is so severe that it needs to be inspected at great length. It is also a good idea to ask for an itemized list of damages to your property, and have it as another piece of evidence for the insurance company.
3. Ask the roofer whether he recommends filing an insurance claim based on the inspection. If he tells you to go ahead, ask if he is willing to be there when the insurance adjuster comes in for the inspection.
Filing your claim
1. Call your insurance company and let them know that you would like to place a claim for hail, wind or other damage to your roof. Fax or send them the pictures you have taken, as well as the itemized list of damages from the inspection. Make sure to write down and keep for your records the claim number you will be given, as this is how your claim will be referenced in the future.
2. If you have already decided which contractor you would like to work with (perhaps it is the company that did the initial inspection), you can give your insurance agency their name, phone number, and the name of the project manager. Ask the adjuster to call the project manager, and schedule the adjustment or inspection of your house.
3. Follow up with the roofing company by telling them that you have filed a claim and provide them with the claim number. The contractor will call your insurance company to set up the time and date of the inspection. Having both the insurance adjuster and the roofing contractor for the inspection will insure that you as a homeowner are being treated fairly by the insurance company, and will also help expedite the restoration process.
When the insurance adjuster will come in for the inspection, he will assess the damage and take pictures. It is possible that the adjuster will give you a quote right away, but it is also likely that you may need to wait for a couple of weeks before you get a quote.
The insurance adjuster and the contractor will compare notes with each other and see if there are any disagreements between the two of them on the scope of damages they found. The contractor will negotiate the cost of repairs with the adjuster until they come to an agreement. If your contractor cannot be there for the inspection, you can tell them what the adjuster said, and the insurance company itself will send the adjuster to meet with he contractor on a different day.
Once your claim has been settled, your insurance company will send you a scope of loss and a check to use as a deposit. A scope of loss is an itemized allowance for the cost of roof repairs. The contractor will go over the scope of loss, determine what work needs to be done, and will prepare the necessary paperwork to begin the restoration phase.
Funds disbursement procedure
Your insurance company will disburse your payments in the following way. It will pay your total insurance amount minus your deductible. As with most claims, the deductible is the only payment you have to make. The first check will be a partial payment, and you will get the rest of the checks after the repair has been completed. It is possible that you may also get a supplemental check for damage found during the restoration phase, which was not originally discovered during the inspection.
If you have a mortgage on your home, your insurance company will make the checks co-payable to you and your mortgage company. This is done because your mortgage company has a vested interest in your property, and needs to be notified that your property has suffered damages.
The insurance company will withhold some funds from you after they approve your claim, known as depreciation. Depreciation is calculated as the difference between the current replacement cost and the current value of your property. The insurance company will send you a check for the depreciated amount upon completion of the work and the receipt of the invoice from the roofing contractor.
In many instances, additional items may need to be repaired that were not discovered during the initial inspection. Upon completion of all work, the roofing contractor will make a final invoice, listing all those additional items and will send it to your insurance company, so that your depreciated funds can be released. By not releasing funds until they have the final invoice from your contractor, the insurance company verifies the amount of money you actually spent, and will only pay you up to that amount.