Remember the roof repair that you needed to do last year? That roof leak may not have leaked for while now. That’s not because the leak went away. The colder weather of winter brings less rain in some parts of the country. Instead of dripping water inside your house, the area that needs a roof repair may have temporarily dried out.
Unfortunately, that roof repair may need to be done before another big rainstorm hits. The rainy season isn’t over. Instead, in many parts of the country the biggest rainstorms of the year are in the coming months. Take action now to avoid water damage.
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Will my insurance pay for a roof repair?
Whether your homeowners insurance will pay for the needed roof repair depends on what caused the roof leak. Here’s how the scenario will play out. Was the roof leak caused by:
- Wind storm
- Hail storm
- An ice dam
- Another event that insurance covers
If the answer is yes, and your insurance policy does not exclude coverage for these types of issues, then insurance should pay for the roof repair. Be sure to take into account whether the roof repair cost is greater than the amount of your deductible. In some cases, deductible amounts can be thousands of dollars. For example, with insurance against wind damage it’s common the for the deductible to be 5% of the policy, or even more. It takes an expensive roof repair to be covered under a policy with this type of deductible.
In the situation where the roof repair is not covered by your homeowners insurance, there is no reason to expect the insurance company to cover the cost of the repair. Homeowners insurance policies are just like any other type of contract. The contract exists for the purpose of specifying what is and what is not covered. If your policy does not cover roof repairs for your situation, you cannot expect an insurance company to pay the cost of the repairs.
Know Your Insurance Coverage Before Filing a Roof Repair Claim
Here’s the craziest thing you ever heard about insurance. You might want to be confident the claim will be covered before calling your agent, or your insurance company, about your roof leak. Here’s why. Simply calling to ask questions can result in you being reported to the insurance database that all insurers access when underwriting a policy. Being reported to this database means the cost for you to get insurance in the future is likely to be higher, and you may have difficulty getting coverage. Even if you only inquire and don’t file a claim, you can still be reported to this database.
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Now is The Time to Get the Roof Repair Addressed
The arrival of spring and summer is a good time to schedule the roof work you need done. The weather is warming up, and for many parts of the country, the heavy rain is yet to come.
Here are some pointers on how to go about getting your roof repair work done. Always get at least three quotes from licensed, reputable contractors. Start the process now. Contractors are likely to get increasingly busy as spring and summer gets closer. This is because home building and home repair work often slows down during the winter months then picks up again as the weather improves.
When getting the quotes from each contractor, make sure they are quoting on the exact same project. You want to ensure they are using the same materials, and doing the same work. That’s the only way you can do an apples to apples comparison of the price quotes the contractors provide.
Getting multiple quotes is very important. I recently got quotes for a roof replacement and the variation in price was more than 2x. These were both reputable contractors. Some just wanted what I believe was an unreasonable price. Had I not gotten multiple quotes, I wouldn’t have known how far out of line some roofing contractors are with their pricing.
Also, be sure to check referencers and the insurance coverage of the contractors. References are important to make sure you know they are a credible source for the work you need done. Insurance is important to make sure that if someone gets injured, you’re not liable for the costs.
Will your homeowners insurance company offer a fair settlement?
The question of whether your insurance company will offer a fair settlement is a completely different question than whether a roof repair is covered. The reason this is a different question is that just because your insurance policy may include roof repairs doesn’t mean your insurance company will pay promptly, or that they will pay the full amount that should be covered. This depends on which company you chose.
At ValChoice we’ve been analyzing insurance companies for years. We’ve learned there are significant differences in how insurance companies handle claims. While many companies handle claims very well. Unfortunately, not all do. It’s important to recognize that advertisements on TV are no indicator of how a company will perform when it comes time to pay a claim.
Part of the ValChoice service is an analysis of how well companies perform when paying claims. The result of the analysis is an easy-to-read, fuel-gauge-style image showing how any insurance company compares to the industry. In reality, this is one of the most important pieces of information consumers need when buying insurance. After all, what good is insurance if it’s difficult to get a legitimate claim paid?
ValChoice analyzes nearly every homeowners insurance company in the country. The analysis is done in every state where the company operates. This analysis enables consumers to know which companies will provide them the best protection.
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Note: ValChoice does not receive any form of compensation from insurance companies for grading them in our auto and home insurance report cards. Our analysis is independent and unbiased.