5 Steps for Insurance Claims

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5 Steps for Insurance Claims

Whether you live in or near the tornado or hail zones of Colorado – or not – you may sometime in the future need to replace your roof and file an insurance claim. Even a heavy wind or a tree that has dead roots may cause damage to your roof. You will then have to file an insurance claim. So what do you do?

First- Survey the Damage

When your neighborhood has experienced a hailstorm or other severe weather, the first thing to do is inspect your property to see if other property such as your car, your fence and your windows have been damaged. A roof always needs to be inspected by a professional. Colorado often has numerous hail storms and unlike other parts of your home, your roof can sustain damage that is only visible when the roof leaks years later. Once this happens, it is too late to file a claim, and installing a new roof from your own budget is a major expense with little return. Most insurance claims require that you file a claim within one year of the date of the damage. 

Second – Contact Alliance Roofing

If you feel damage has been sustained, contact a  professional  roofing contractor like us  to inspect your home’s roof and see whether damage has occurred.  Whoever you choose, they should give you a rough written estimate as to how much it will cost to fix.

Three – Check Your Insurance Policy

Check your insurance policy and determine IF the cause of your roof damage is covered. You may not be covered for all disasters, in which case you will be responsible for repairing the damage yourself. If you are covered, contact your insurance agent, who will send an insurance adjuster to visit your home and inspect your roof. Often Alliance Roofing will go with the adjuster to evaluate the damage and provide our expertise to represent you better.  We have seen times where insurance claims have been disallowed and in those cases you may need to hire an independent evaluator.

Often the adjuster will want to be in touch with the roofing contractor to make sure that they agree about the extent of the damage and the cost of repair. Some adjusters may give you a quote on the spot while others may take a few weeks before getting back to you. Some insurance policies may cover your adjuster’s fee, so read your policy carefully to determine whether this is the case.

Four – When Not to File a Claim

It’s important to know how much the repair will cost and compare that amount to your deductible and the potential impact to your insurance premiums. Because insurance companies tend to raise premiums after claims are filed, many people recommend  you not file a claim unless the cost of repair is three times more than your deductible. For example, if your deductible is $1000, you shouldn’t file a claim if the cost of the repair is less than $3,000. In that case, it’s better to pay out of pocket instead of raising your insurance premium.

Five – Stay Within the Law

A contractor may offer to pay your deductible to get you to hire them. While this may save you money, is also illegal. Colorado SB38 -The Consumer Protection/Roofing Bill requires a statement that if the property owner plans to pay for the roofing services through an insurance claim, the contractor cannot pay, waive or rebate the homeowner’s insurance deductible in part or in whole.

While you can receive benefits from the contractor, such as an advertising fee if he places a sign on your property or a referral fee if you send him additional customers, you should look closely at these benefits before you agree. The best way to protect yourself is to contact a qualified contractor.

Colorado State Bill 38 also requires a statement that the contractor shall hold in trust any payment from the property owner until the contractor has delivered  roofing materials to the job site or has performed a majority of the roofing work on the property. In addition they need to include a statement that the property owner may rescind a contract for services, the payment for which will be made from the proceeds of a property insurance claim, within 72 hours after receiving notice from their insurer that the claim is denied in whole or in part.