Summer is a great time of year for being outside and for family vacations, but the warm and humid weather often brings damaging winds and storms. Whether it’s a few loose shingles or extensive damage resulting from tornados or hurricanes, or even just those crazy strong afternoon thunderstorms we all get, dealing with the insurance company can be a nightmare!
Knowing who to contact and when can help mitigate your anxiety and stress over the entire situation.
1. DOCUMENT EVERYTHING
Once conditions are safe to do so, go outside and inspect your roof from the ground. If you have windows that overlook parts of the roof, you can also examine those areas from inside. So not go onto your roof, especially if you suspect any damage! Take photos of any damage immediately (and having recent pictures that show the roof in GOOD condition is a good idea). Call your insurance company and answer their questions. Make sure to document everything discussed, with the date, time, and your point of contact. At that point, they will more than likely set up a time for their inspector to come out to inspect the scene.
Ideally, you will have an existing relationship with a roofing contractor who is familiar with your roof and its maintenance. Doing so helps to ensure a higher insurance payout based on a history of preventive maintenance and care.
2. CALL YOUR ROOFING CONTRACTOR
If there is a lot of damage nearby from storms, it can take some time for both the insurance company and for your roofing contractor to get to your property. Most often, however, your contractor will get there first. Be very wary of hiring any contractor who shows up after the storm, who you did not contact directly FIRST. Often times, these are scammers who will take your money, and never be seen again. Calling a trusted local roofing company will help ensure the proper repairs are made, and that you are not taken advantage of.
Your contractor will inspect the property and make any necessary immediate repairs to protect the home and prevent further damage.
3. WHAT’S COVERED BY ROOFING INSURANCE
Your contractor and insurance company will largely handle everything between themselves. How much your insurance company will pay, is based on many different factors, including the age and condition of the roof, any warranties in effect, the overall style of the roof, and the general construction and roofing materials used. Basically, it boils down to the better constructed and conditions your roof is in, the more the insurance payout will be.
Insurance companies typically issue two checks for eligible claims: the first is for the actual cash value, then another check that covers the remaining amount based on the roofing contractor’s estimate, minus deductibles. While it is tempting to opt for a cheaper roof repair and to keep some of the cash leftover from the claim for other expenses, it is in your best interest to do the repair exactly as your contractor quoted. Doing so will maintain the integrity of the roof and your home, but also helps to ensure future claims are honored.
Whether you are an existing LEI customer, or a new one, our experienced staff is happy to help you in emergency (and non-emergency) situations. To schedule a free, no-obligation quote, contact us today.