So you think your roof might be damaged. Here are some things you should know before you file a property claim with your insurance company. #7 is the most important…
1. Understand your coverage
There are two different kinds of property coverage: RCV and ACV. RCV stands for ‘Replacement Cost Value’. ACV stands for ‘Actual Cash Value’.
The big difference is depreciation. Just like your car value depreciates in value over time, your roof value depreciates over time. An RCV policy will cover depreciation and ACV will not. Meaning that with an ACV policy you’ll end up paying significantly more out of pocket.
2. Know what your deductible is
Ask your agent or access your policy online to find out what your deductible is. Your deductible will either be a fixed dollar amount or a percentage of the overall dwelling (not just the claim). Knowing what your deductible is ahead of time will let you know what you’ll have to pay out of pocket.
3. Make sure your roof is damaged
When you file a claim, your insurance company will schedule (and pay for) an adjuster to come out and assess the damage. If the adjuster finds that you don’t have damage, that will be a black mark on your record and could raise your premiums. So before you file a claim, call a reputable local roofing contractor to do a free assessment.
You can go here to request a free assessment from HOMEfix. We’ll come out to take a look at your roof with no strings attached, no contracts, no obligation, no pressure, and no purchase necessary. We tell people that they don’t need to file a claim all the time because often they don’t! Our approach is what’s best for you is what’s best for us.
4. It might be best to not file a claim
You’ll want to be confident that the damage to your roof is significantly more than your deductible before you file a claim. For example, if you have a $1,000 deductible and the damage to your roof totals $1,100, it would be best to NOT file a claim. That way, you can avoid having a roof claim on your record. Of course, if you need a new roof, then you need a new roof.
5. You should only pay your deductible
If you have an RCV policy and the adjuster finds that you do have damage, you should only have to pay your deductible out of pocket. The only reason you should have to pay more is if you want to upgrade your roof material.
6. You have one year to file a claim
With most insurance companies, you have one year from the date of an event to file a claim. After a year, most often your insurance will not cover the cost to replace your roof.
7. Know if your insurance company offers discounts
You may get a discount for upgrading to a class 3 or 4 roofing material and get the added benefit of not having to file as many claims over the years!
8. You can’t change your coverage to cover a past event
Let’s say a hailstorm damages your roof in June. If you take a look at your coverage in July and don’t like what you find, you usually can’t upgrade your coverage and have June’s damage covered. The clock starts over when you change your coverage.
If you find yourself in a situation in which your roof is damaged but you can’t afford your deductible, let HOMEfix know. We can patch up the existing damage to prevent further damage. You can then adjust your coverage and wait for the next event to replace your roof. It probably won’t be long.