Sudden roof damage is a headache all around. You have to worry about possible additional damage to your attic or the interior of your home when water’s getting in. You also have to navigate the insurance claim process, do a song-and-dance with your mortgage company and insurance adjusters—all to find out when (and how much) your insurance company will pay to replace the roof.
Oh, and you’ve also got to find a trustworthy roofing contractor in Raleigh (hint, hint… that’s actually the easiest part!).
If you suspect your roof has been damaged in a storm, contact your insurance agent to start a claim as soon as you can. You’ll also want to have a professional inspect the damage and provide a written estimate.
Most claims will cover the full amount for wind and hail damage on roofing, siding, gutters, and downspouts, but different policies are different. The insurance adjuster will determine if and how much of the damage will be repaired under insurance. Being persistent will ensure your home gets repaired under your policy and will help you get your payment as quick as possible.
Here are some things to keep in mind.
Roof Replacement Deductibles
Homeowners’ policies have up to three deductibles, each of which will apply in different situations.
- A standard deductible applies for “all perils,” per occurrence.
- A wind/hail deductible, which is often higher than the standard deductible, will only apply for wind or hail claims.
- A named storm deductible applies if the damage to your roof is caused by named storm, like a hurricane or tropical storm. North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia were hit with $45 billion in estimated property damage from Hurricane Florence last month, so this is a very common claim we’re seeing currently.
Which is better—replacement cost or actual cash value?
Some insurers provide full replacement cost for roofs (even old roofs) but this coverage is becoming less common. Insurance companies are quick to point out that your old roof isn’t worth as much as a new roof. That’s why the practice of insuring roofs for “actual cash value” as opposed to replacement cost is very common. For example, if your insurer uses a 30-year life expectancy for your roof and your roof is 20 years old when it is damaged, the roof repair claim probably won’t be paid at the full cost of replacement. Every insurance company uses a different way to calculate roof depreciation.
Know Your Exclusions
Wind and hail are the leading cause of homeowners insurance claims. A typical all-perils homeowners insurance policy covers the replacement of a roof, regardless of age, only if it is the result of an act of nature (like wind/hail, weight of snow and falling branches). Other “named exclusions” that might cause a roof leak to not be covered include:
- Mold, fungus, or wet rot
- “Wear and tear” and deterioration
- Settling, shrinking, bulging or expanding
- Birds, vermin, rodents, insects
Remember: roofs that have exceeded their intended lifespan are usually not eligible for replacement because they fall under the general maintenance responsibility of the homeowner.
Watch for Changing Policies
As damaging storms become more frequent and severe, your insurer may reduce your coverage to avoid paying for roof replacement. Policies have been changed as insurers are less likely to cover roofs over a certain age (like 10 years). Sometimes they’ll add a separate “hail deductible,” which is subtracted from what you’re paid on a hail claim. They may also exclude damage that’s considered “cosmetic.”
Paying for roof replacement means playing a waiting game, even if you have the best policy. To make sure you aren’t hit with any surprises, be sure to review your insurance coverage every year or two. There may be an add-on for your policy that can provide better roof coverage so you’ll avoid headaches when it’s time to file a claim. But remember: the time to make changes to your policy is before you have a claim. After the roof is leaking, it’s too late to change your policy.
Statewide Construction LLC can take some of the headache out of the roof replacement process. We can deal directly with the insurance company to make sure they account for additional concealed damage, make sure insurance is paying for their obligation, take photo records, and fulfill the administrative tasks needed to commence work and receive payment. We serve Wake Forest and Raleigh and the surrounding communities. We want your insurance claim process to be as painless as possible so you get your payment as quick as possible. Reach out today.