As a homeowner, you pay your insurance premiums to get that peace of mind that your roof and home are protected. So, it’s frustrating when the insurance company only wants to pay to only partially replace your roof.
This frustration leads to homeowners asking, “How do I negotiate a roof replacement with my insurance company?”
While negotiating isn’t the proper term for the process, some things will give you a better chance of approval and getting the whole roof replacement cost covered.
Rescue My Roof has been a leader in the roofing industry for over a decade, helping homeowners achieve a roof to keep their homes and families safe for a lifetime. We’ll help you understand what you can do to move the homeowner’s insurance approval process forward.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to effectively negotiate a roof replacement with your homeowner’s insurance and get your insurance claim approved. Ultimately, you’ll know the best way to get the total cost of your roof replacement covered.
3 Steps to Take To Get Your Homeowner’s Insurance Claim Approved
Homeowner’s insurance is meant to ensure your home’s protection. But sometimes, they cut corners to save money at your home’s expense.
If you want to ensure your insurance claim is accepted and your total roof replacement is covered, here are three steps.
1. Reviewing Your Insurance Policy
Before starting the process, you need to review your insurance policy to determine what it covers. Your policy determines if insurance covers (and pays) for a complete roof replacement.
Your insurance includes an Actual Cash Value policy or Replacement Cost Value Policy. Each policy equals a payout, but the amount insurance gives is different.
An Actual Cash Value (ACV) policy gives a payout for the depreciated value of your roof. This means insurance will only pay what your current roof’s value. If your insurance claim is approved, insurance will pay the ACV, and you will be responsible for making up the difference.
A Replacement Cost Value (RCV) policy gives you a payout for the entire roof replacement cost. You won’t receive a check for the total replacement amount upfront.
When your claim is approved, you’ll begin collecting roof estimates. Initially, insurance will give you a check for the ACV. After you accept an estimate, sign a contract with a roofing contractor, and provide proof the work was done, they will send a second check that covers the rest of the cost.
2. Get Photo Documentation
When filing an insurance claim, the company needs clear evidence that damage occurred. The best way to do this is to get photo documentation from a roofing contractor during a storm damage inspection.
Roofing contractors will mark roof areas with missing shingles, granule loss, hail damage, dents, and other possible storm damage. They mark the areas with chalk, making them more visible in photos.
After marking damaged areas, they’ll take pictures of the damage to submit to your homeowner’s insurance company. They may also take photos of damage on the ground level that indicates storm damage, such as:
- Dents in downspouts (Above 5 feet, so it can’t be blamed on a lawnmower)
- Dings or strikes to your garage door
- Holes in your window screens
- Dings to any painted wood or shutters
- Splatter marks or dings to your electric meter, AC unit, or grill
- Dents to your mailbox and other soft metals on your property
- Shingles around the property
3. Know Your Options If Your Claim is Denied
After the claim (along with evidence) is submitted, insurance will review it. If your claim is approved, then work can begin.
If your insurance claim is denied, the “negotiation process” begins.
There are issues insurance companies won’t cover. These issues are outlined in your policy and can include improper installation, inadequate attic ventilation, waiting too long to file, or other policy exclusions.
But you have a few options if your claim is denied because they didn’t find damage. The first thing you should do is ask your insurance company for a second opinion.
They will send out a second adjuster to reassess the damage. They will either approve your claim or agree with the first adjuster that there’s no proof of damage. If the second adjuster denies your claim, the next step is to contact a structural engineer.
A structural engineer can perform an inspection and offer more proof to the insurance company that the roof must be replaced. If this fails, the only option is to file a complaint against your insurance company or pursue legal action.
Getting A Roof Replacement When Insurance Won’t Pay
Homeowner’s insurance can be reluctant to approve your roof damage claim. To give your claim the best chance at being approved, you should know what your policy covers, get photo documentation, and know the next steps to take if insurance denies your claim.
You can learn more about navigating the insurance process with “Will Insurance Cover My Repairs or Replacement” or “4 Reasons You Should Get Multiple Roofing Quotes.”
Additionally, you can download our Buyer’s Guide to learn more about the entirety of the roofing process.
Regardless of whether or not the insurance claim goes through, a roof repair or replacement is inevitable.
If you need any roofing services in Southeastern Wisconsin, Rescue My Roof has you covered. Contact us today to get a free estimate.