It is a real shock when extreme winds or other forces damage your roof. Insurers refer to them as “covered perils.” Hail and fire are other examples.
Sustaining roof damage is a jarring experience for a homeowner. One day, you’re enjoying the comfort and security afforded by your roof. The next, you’re in a full-blown emergency. When your roof is seriously compromised, it’s time to put temporary protections in place without delay.
How do I quickly locate a qualified roofing contractor?
When your roof is damaged, one of the first insurance roof replacement questions pertains to the need for a roofing contractor you can trust. Since insurers want to cut the cost of claims, you need someone in your corner. You need a local, reputable roofing contractor to take a look at your damaged roof. You want an unbiased professional to weigh in on how extensive the damage is.
Modern asphalt shingle roofs last for many, many years. When yours gets damaged, you don’t want to make hasty or careless decisions. You want to find a roofing specialist who understands the insurance claims process.
A good roofing contractor can be proactive about documenting things that insurers sometimes use to deny or reduce claims. To further strengthen your case, note that you’ve had your roof inspected on a regular basis.
Why is it a good idea to work with a factory-certified roofing contractor?
An independent inspection by a qualified local roofing specialist is a key to your defense. Look for a roofing contractor certified by one or more major roofing manufacturers like GAF, Certainteed, etc.
The best idea is to work with a factory-certified roofing contractor that serves your local community. This is the kind of contractor the manufacturer trusts to install its products. It’s the kind of contractor a manufacturer also trusts to offer its very best warranties.
How much will I have to pay out-of-pocket?
There are several ways that insurance companies shift roofing costs to the homeowner. Deductibles, depreciation, the 80-percent rule and overlooking underlying damage all impact claims payments.
Your insurer subtracts the amount of the deductible is from any payout. A typical deductible on a NJ homeowner’s policy is $1000 or $1500. Deductibles tend to range from $500 to $2,500.
Per your policy’s terms, your insurer may use a depreciation schedule to further reduce any payment. Policy terms vary. Sometimes, a roof is not depreciated at all until it is at least 10 years old. Sometimes, depreciation schedules apply to much newer roofs. Policy terms could result in a 10-year depreciation being 40 percent or nothing at all.
The 80-percent rule
The 80-percent rule may also increase your out-of-pocket costs. It’s a potential problem when the amount of insurance you’re carrying is less than 80 percent of your home’s current value. This is a trap that sometimes sneaks up on a homeowner with a roof claim. Over time, a home may increase in value because of inflation, rising property values in your community or capital improvements.
The rule can apply even when damage is nowhere near 80 percent of the home’s value. Being under-insured is not just a problem when the damage exceeds 80 percent of the value of the home. Investopedia provides an example where the rule could add thousands of dollars to a homeowner’s out-of-pocket costs.
Insurance companies expect their adjusters to deal with a wide variety of claims. They are rarely roofing experts. As a result, they may miss damage that a more experienced eye would catch. Deal with this concern by involving a reputable local roofing contractor early in the process.
What are the common reasons for denied claims?
Don’t put your fate solely on the hands of the insurance adjuster. Such individuals deal with a wide range of homeowner claims. Rarely are they true roofing experts. Don’t forget the adjuster is employed by the company responsible for paying your claim. Many insurers approach claims with integrity. However, you don’t know that as you begin the claims process. There is no more reassuring feeling than to know there’s an independent contractor ready to point out the facts about your roof.
The reasons insurers give for denying claims include:
- Improper installation. The insurer says the roof installer is at fault.
- Improper attic venting caused cupping that made shingles vulnerable in the wind. The insurer says it’s the builder’s fault.
- Faulty roofing materials. The insurer says the manufacturer is at fault.
- Improper maintenance. The insurer says the homeowner is at fault.
- The damage is superficial. The insurer claims the roof is structurally sound.
What if additional damage is discovered once repairs are already underway?
When a tree crashes down on the roof, the damage is very messy. The true extent of the damage is not always evident to the untrained eye. Framing, gutters, soffits, interior ceilings and walls often sustain damage as well. Sometimes, the chimney, a window or a skylight is in the path of the tree, often a multi-ton behemoth. One source says that mature trees can weigh as much as 50 tons. The roof structure is pretty defenseless when even a portion of a tree comes down on a roof.
Contact CRS Today
CRS has served New Jersey homeowners for more than 40 years. We’re familiar with the insurance claims process. When disaster strikes, we can help. We have the knowledge, experience and resources necessary to handle your roof damage. This includes providing everything from emergency tarping to full roof replacements.
We also understand how local, updated codes impact the roof replacement process. When you need a full roof replacement, we’ll work with the local building inspector and the insurance company to expedite the process. We’ll document extra damage if it appears after the work has begun.
CRS is both a GAF Master Elite Contractor and an Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor. Trust the local roofing company major manufacturers trust. For help with your insurance roof replacement questions, please contact our team of roofing professionals. We are here to help.