Storms can wreak havoc on buildings and the people that live or work in them. No one looks forward to dealing with them, but unfortunately, they aren’t within anyone’s control. Regardless of the harsh weather condition you have endured, be it flooding, hail or snow, there’s a good chance your flat roof needs to be replaced or repaired. It doesn’t matter whether the damage is major or minor because roofing problems are no joke. Failing to take immediate action allows them to get bigger and can cost you a lot more than they would otherwise. In this case your best bet is to file an insurance claim for storm damage. This will let you relax as you won’t have to pay for all the damage yourself. In this blog we go over some insurance tips to help you avoid common mistakes and minimize hassle.
6 Flat Roof Insurance Claim Tips
Unpredictable weather, like storms, can take a toll on your property’s flat roof. Be aware of the right things to do.
- Inspect the Damage
It’s important to remember not to contact the insurance company immediately after the storm has passed. Look around and observe the destruction. These are indicators of damage your flat roof may have sustained:
- Debris or branches
- Ponding or standing water
- Stained ceiling or walls
- Dents on the surface of the roof (as a result of hail)
- Document What You See
Have evidence that the damage is new when filing for a claim. Make notes with detailed descriptions of the harm done by the storm and include where on the roof it happened. For this, you need to be exceptionally observant and make careful notes while inspecting the damage. It may be helpful if you can get video footage or photos of the storm while it’s happening, but stay safe.
- Get in Touch with Your Roofing Contractor
Once the initial assessment and documentation is complete, you need to get a better understanding of your roof’s condition. For this, you should consult a roofing expert who can inspect the damage thoroughly. Most offer an inspection report that can be filed along with the claim. They’ll be able to detect hidden damage your untrained eye may fail to notice, so let their extensive knowledge of how to deal with it guide you. Their experience will also help them recommend whether you should go ahead and contact the insurance company or pay for the repairs yourself. Additionally, they’ll make a comprehensive report containing proof of the damages including the building’s historical background, when the damage occurred and roof measurements. Once they’ve shared all the information with you, you can file them together.
- Know What Your Policy Covers
It’s a good idea to go through your home insurance policy to find out what’s covered before getting in touch with your insurance provider. Homeowner insurance typically covers roof damage caused by vandalism, fire, tornadoes, hail and windstorms, with the latter two being the most common claims. However, every insurance company offers different policies. Some are comprehensive and cover all sorts of damage; others have limitations and cover only a certain amount.
- Contact Your Insurance Provider
The next thing to do is to call your insurance provider and make an appointment. Don’t wait too long to contact them as many companies have guidelines that require insurance claims to be made within a certain timeframe after the damage occurs. Never wait, for instance, until you receive an estimate of the repairs before making the call. During the meeting with your insurance company, give them all the evidence and documents you have related to the damage. This is a great time to ask any questions you may need answered regarding your coverage. You can ask them if there are any recommended steps you need to take to make the process easier.
- Start the Repairs
If the insurance company gives you the go-ahead, they will cut an initial cheque for you to get started on repairs. Any additional expenses should be reported so they can be covered as well. In case the insurance company doesn’t approve the claim, you must review their insurance policy. Denials generally occur when the building owner fails to provide proper documentation. In the event of a rejection, they should provide a written letter explaining why it was denied.
Dealing with a roof insurance claim doesn’t have to be as challenging as you think it to be, if you keep these tips in mind. With the help of professional roofing contractors, you will be able to handle the damage without frustration or confusion. As they have the experience of dealing with insurance companies, you can expect positive results.