How To Negotiate Roof Replacement With Insurance (and Win)
January 17, 2023
6 minutes read
Has your roof recently sustained significant damage? Whether it was a storm, falling tree, or some other accident, your insurance policy may pay for the cost of a new roof.
Homeowner’s insurance covers your roof but doesn’t cover all types of damages and repairs. A bit of negotiation is usually a must. Here is how to negotiate roof replacement with insurance and get them to cover its costs.
Review Your Insurance Policy
First, it’s vital to ensure you have a solid claim. That’s why you need to know what your insurance policy covers and what it doesn’t. That way, you can show the adjuster why your policy covers the specific damage your roof sustained and why insurance should pay for the replacement.
So, what does insurance cover? While every policy is different, insurance policies typically have exclusions that are important to know about. For example, roof replacement due to general wear and tear or old age isn’t something insurance providers usually cover.
Furthermore, if the wear and tear were due to a lack of maintenance, you will have a tough time convincing your insurance to pay for a new roof.
That’s why regular inspections and maintenance are so necessary. By proving that you have been doing your utmost to maintain your roof and keep it in good condition, you will have an easier time convincing the insurer that the damage your roof sustained was due to an accident.
Know What’s Not So Clear-cut
While specific exclusions are straightforward, others are subject to interpretation. It’s important to know which exclusions are worth fighting against. For example, if the policy states that there is no coverage for roofs over 20 years old, you can’t really fight that.
Often, though, you can have damage due to multiple factors. While most policies don’t cover damage due to birds or pests, you might also have damage you sustained after a windstorm. In that case, you need to convince the adjuster what caused the damage.
A common situation in which things are not so clear-cut is when your roof sustains partial damage after a storm. Insurance companies might not want to pay for a complete replacement if they decide that your roof only sustained partial damage, and a repair could be enough.
Of course, that’s pretty arbitrary. Ultimately, it boils down to the insurance adjuster, so demonstrating that a repair won’t be enough can help convince them to approve you for a complete replacement. In such a case, having a roofing company talk to the adjuster can help.
Get a Roofing Company on Your Side
It’s critical to get a roofing company on your side to help represent you. First, get the roofing company to send a professional inspector to examine the damage and determine its extent.
A roofing inspector with expertise in the industry can demonstrate how specific types of damages were due to particular causes, like a storm, that your policy covers. In cases of damage due to multiple reasons, they can be invaluable in securing coverage for your roof replacement.
Furthermore, an inspector can help uncover additional damage you might not have noticed. An insurance adjuster is unlikely to specifically look for reasons to cover your roof replacement – expect the burden of proof to be on you.
That can help in cases of partial damage. If the damage is more extensive than you initially thought, it will be more likely for the insurance adjuster to approve your claim for a complete roof replacement.
Additionally, a roofing inspector will know the local codes and laws, which may dictate that a roof replacement is in order if the damage is extensive enough that it would make the building unsafe.
A roofing inspector who works with insurance claims regularly will know all the tricks and loopholes insurers use to try to get out of their responsibilities.
They will know how to negotiate roof replacement with insurance and be prepared for the loopholes and excuses insurance companies use. They will help you present the best case possible so that you win. After all, it’s a win-win for both of you – the insurance pays the contractor for the job, and you get a roof replacement at no extra cost.
Your roofing inspector can also help estimate the true cost of a roof replacement, depending on the materials you need. That can help you get full coverage for your new roof.
Overall, having a roofing inspector by your side will help the insurance claim process go more smoothly.
You’ll need the correct documentation to show the insurance adjuster that your claim is valid. To that end, have your insurance policy on hand.
Before and after pictures are essential. Dated photographs can show what your roof looked like before the damage and prove that the damage was due to a specific storm or natural event. Furthermore, they can show that the damage occurred during your current policy period and not during a previous policy period under a different insurance company.
Having receipts of previous maintenance checks and inspections is also helpful, as it will demonstrate that you have been maintaining your roof diligently and that there was no negligence on your part.
Finally, document every step of the negotiation and claim process. Write down notes from your conversations, either in person or over the phone, with different adjusters or staff members from the insurance company.
File a claim as soon after the damage as possible. If you delay your claim, you will make it easier for the insurance company to deny it. That’s because they can find other things that have damaged your roof between the storm and your claim and then say that they don’t cover those types of damages.
Negotiating isn’t fun, but knowing how to negotiate roof replacement with insurance is necessary to get your insurance pay for your new roof. Getting a roofing contractor on your side is one of the best ways to simplify the process and win when negotiating with your insurance.
Remember, even if insurance doesn’t cover your specific situation, you can also look into financing options. Contractor financing is quick, simple, and easy, allowing you to pay for your new roof over several months or longer.