What You Need to Know Before Calling Insurance to File a Roofing Claim
Storms like we've had recently can be a scary, trying time. As long as you friends, family, and pets stayed safe, “stuff” can be replaced. Unfortunately this is often where the work just begins. As you're probably finding out one of the first steps that need to be done is calling the insurance company to get started filing a storm damage claim. People have had mixed experiences with this first step but if you follow these tips the process should go smoothly.
1. Have the Specifics About the Storm Down
You'll need to know the date of the storm and the exact type of damage that it caused. Ideally you'll have documented photos of every area that was affected by the hail such as roofing, siding, gutters, windows, etc.
2. Hire a Restoration Specialist Before the Insurance Adjuster Arrives
It never hurts to get ahead of the ball in hiring a restoration specialist to identify the exact areas of damage. They can assess not only hail, but also any wind damage to ensure you get the maximum amount of coverage allotted to you.
3. Have an Understanding of Your Mortgage and Other Banking Info Regarding the House
The adjuster and the insurance company will need to cross reference any financial information associated with the house. The insurance companies can be a headache enough, you don't want to have to wait on details from the financial institution as well.
4. Know the Difference In Insurance Adjusters
If possible, request an independent national adjuster compared to the local insurance company staff adjusters. Traditionally the national adjusters work on a salary commission based on the amount of damage they report whereas the local workers are often more conservative, salaried employees. In light of the storm your provider will likely have all hands on deck – just something else to think about.
5. Know the Letter of the Law Regarding What Constitutes Hail Damage
The restoration specialist will also assist with this. Historically adjusters claim any damage lower than 4ft on the home 'mechanical damage' caused by kids, pets, lawn mowers, etc. The restoration specialist will be able to determine the exact cause however which may lead to a more rewarding claim.
6. Know When the Home Was Built and When the Current Roof, Siding, Gutters, etc. Were Installed
Your roof, siding, gutters, etc. depreciate as they age. The adjuster will need to know when they were installed so he or she can calculate the current value and may require proof as such.
7. Don't Forget About Other Outside Property That Was Damaged
In addition to items attached to the home, your other outside property may be eligible for coverage under your claim as well. Outdoor patio furniture, barbecue grills, landscape lights, etc. are the most common that incur damage.
8. Have a Hail Damage Consultant Around When the Adjuster Arrives
It definitely helps having a representative working on your behalf available when the insurance adjuster arrives. The renovation specialist understands the claim process and the lingo associated with the recommended repairs.
9. Schedule a Morning Adjustment
Despite the misconception that they are just 'pencil pushers', insurance adjusters actually work pretty hard. They are going up and down ladders constantly all day and navigating steep, damaged roofs. Just another example of tilting everything in your favor is scheduling a morning adjustment when the air is cool, the shingles haven't warmed up yet, and the adjuster is fresh and hopefully in a good mood.