Filing an insurance claim can be a stressful experience if you're not prepared. That's why we've put together this comprehensive guide to help you understand how the process works:
If you think your roof has been damaged in a way that would warrant an insurance claim, you should first have your roof inspected by a licensed and certified roofing contractor before filing a claim. This way you will know that filing a claim is worth the effort before doing so. If, after performing a thorough inspection of your roof, your contractor feels you have enough damage to warrant a claim, then you should file a claim.
The act of actually filing a claim is relatively easy and requires little strain on your part as the property owner. All you have to do is contact your insurance agent's office by phone or online and tell them that you would like to file a claim. You will then receive a claim number from them, which you should save and write down for future reference.
Once you file your claim, an insurance adjuster will contact you within 48 hours and set up an appointment to inspect your roof. You do not have to be there for this appointment unless your home has interior damage, but your contractor should be there to meet with the adjuster and provide assistance during the inspection. Having your contractor at the inspection is very important because your contractor will help guide the adjuster through the process and make sure the adjuster is aware of all necessary repairs.
An adjuster's inspection process will go like this: First, the adjuster will walk around your property and survey it for any clear signs of damage. Then she will inspect your roof using the test square method, which involves looking for damage in a ten-by-ten-foot section of your roof. The adjuster will then fill out a report on the problems and submit it to the claims department for approval. If the claims department approves the adjuster's report, then they will mail you the completed adjuster's report along with an initial check for the repairs to be made. We should note that this first check will not cover everything; instead, the insurance company will withhold some funds to ensure the repairs are made (called the depreciation value). These funds will be released in a second check after your contractor completes the repairs.
During the repairs, your contractor may discover that the adjuster missed some damage they should have included in the original report. In this instance, your contractor will document the damage and submit a supplement estimate to the claims department. If the claims department reviews the supplement and approves it, then the additional costs of repairing the damage will be included in the final check you receive once your contractor finishes the job.
After your contractor has finished repairing your roof, he will invoice the claims department, and they will send you the final check containing the depreciation value for the repairs. Once you receive the final check and everything is squared away, the claim will be closed by the claims department.