What does roof insurance do for me?
Roof Damage? Insurance Has Got You Covered
Whether you are a prospective homeowner or are simply interested in caring for your home over the long-term, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that the roof over your head will continue to serve you. From understanding your insurance coverage to working with a roofer in Kerrville to caring for your new roof, protecting your roof takes attention and commitment, not unlike a successful marriage!
Benefits of Roof Insurance
Most homeowner’s insurance companies understand the important role your roof plays for the house: roofs are the first line of defense from the elements in the event of inclement weather. Roofs also offer the structural integrity of the house an opportunity to stand well into the future, thereby preventing an untold number of house-related claims. The good news? Most homeowner’s insurance policies tackle roofing, making it even easier to get a quality roofing replacement should disaster strike.
There are a few benefits of working through an insurer rather than paying for roofing out of pocket. Here are a couple key takeaways:
Working through insurance saves you money. By paying your monthly or annual premiums on time, insurance offers you the opportunity to select the coverage capable of saving you out of pocket costs. Replacing a roof can cost $10,000 or more, so this is a worthy investment!
Insurance saves you time. By simplifying the list of available contractors and eliminating the need to work on your roof yourself, working through your insurer to repair or replace your roof saves you time and hassle.
There is less financial risk. Arguably the primary function of insurance, the transference of risk from homeowner to insurer through a unilateral contract acts as something of a guarantee that the homeowner will not fall into undue financial hardship due to unforeseeable “acts of God” or natural disaster. Working through an insurer also provides a certain standard of quality of repair or replacement and ensures the homeowner will not inadvertently end up with a bad deal.
It’s important to know how old your roof is in order to best guess how effective it might be, as well as when it is time to replace it. For example, roofs older than 20 years may have a compromised roofing membrane, making them less sound—this is especially true for homes located in areas that experience a higher degree of damp or windy weather conditions, such as Florida. In fact, some insurers won’t cover homes with older roofs, as the liability becomes too great.
For folks who live in Colorado, in comparison, roofing material plays a role. Wood shake roofs are often covered at the actual cash value of the worth of the roof at the time, due to their high fire danger; metal roofs are more likely to not only boost the value of the house but be smiled upon by insurers. So in the world of roofing, where you live and what your house experiences on a daily basis (or plausibly might experience) really matters.
Limitations on Roof Insurance
It is not uncommon for insurers to require a roof inspection before they cover a house, especially on homes older than 20 years of age. If roofs fail to pass an inspection, the insurer will not renew the policy. Some insurers will not even write policy for roofs over 20 years old.
While some insurers offer coverage for wind and hail, others do not. For example, most insurers do not cover normal wear and tear associated with the weather. For unpredictable accidents such as a tree falling on your home, or natural disasters, however, regular homeowner’s insurance should protect your roof.
Most insurers do not cover what are considered “cosmetic” damages. For instance, if your house weathers a hailstorm which leaves dents in the metal roofing, the dents are considered cosmetic as they do not affect the overall ability of the roof to perform.
How To File a Claim
When it comes to filing a claim with your roof insurance, it’s best to file as soon as possible. Here’s the quick and dirty shortlist of steps you need to take should you encounter roofing damages:
Contact your insurance provider as soon as possible and determine what is covered by your policy.
Hunt down pictures of your roof before the accident and snap a few “after” photos as well. This helps your insurance provider to assess the damages and align you with the best option for repairs covered by your policy.
Connect with an insurance claims examiner and find a time in the immediate future for them to come and see the damage.
Working With a Professional Roofer
If you don’t have the time, knowledge, or physical ability to fix your roof yourself, going through a professional roofer can be your best bet at procuring a quality roofing replacement. Here are some things to consider when selecting your roofer:
Timing: Roofers tend to be busiest at the end of summer through fall. Check with your local roofers in Kerrville, Texas to see if they offer discounts in the off-season.
Quotes: The best way to select a quality roofer for the job is to hunt around and procure multiple quotes before you make a decision. Have a conversation with multiple contractors to see if they are a good fit for the job. The lowest bid isn’t always the right option, however—ask for a portfolio to ensure a contractor’s work is quality and designed to last. Don’t forget to ask about a warranty!
Know your roof: Do some research about what materials your roof is made of, and what you’d like to see replaced. Understanding the complexity of your roofing damage will make conversations with your contractor easier, with less room for miscommunication.
Consider doing some of the work yourself: If you have the time, physical ability, and proper tools, doing some of the repair work yourself could yield a lower price from the contractor.
In short, the more information you can glean about your roof through research and acquiring multiple quotes, the better your chances at communicating what you’d like fixed to a contractor.
It’s possible you may consider an overlay. This is when new shingles are installed on top of the old ones, requiring fewer hours of hard labor and a lower cost than a full roof replacement. While this may seem like a better deal at first, keep in mind overlays may void the manufacturer’s warranty on roofing materials as well as increase the price of any future repairs. Look at the long-term gains through multiple means of repairing your roof and make sure you are not sacrificing your roof’s integrity for the short-term advantage of a lower price.
Basic Roof Maintenance Tips
Your roof works tirelessly to protect you from the elements, so why not protect it in turn? Here are a few simple ways you can equip yourself with the best options for long-term roof health:
Take regular photos of your roof. When damages occur, providing your insurance with a photo of what your roof should look like gives them invaluable insights into the depth and breadth of the damages. Taking photos of your roof occasionally saves you worry and hassle down the line by taking the guesswork out of the equation for your provider.
Cut back any hazard trees and prune foliage which overhang your roof. Prevention is the best option when it comes to roof repair—stop damages before they occur!
Know the age of your roof. For roofs over 10 years old, it may be prudent to hire a roof inspector. Think of it like an annual checkup at the doctor!
Keep your roof free from debris and replace any worn shingles or tiles. Practicing spot-replacement for vulnerable areas of your roof is a good way to stay on top of your roof’s well-being. Remember, insurance inspectors can observe any damages from the street, so it’s in your best interest to keep it clean and watertight.
Whether you know your home’s likelihood of enduring disaster due to its location or not, the more you know about your roof, the materials it’s made of, its age, and a basic understanding of the repairs necessary to fix it, the better your chances of finding a quality roofing replacement. While it is possible to patch repair your roof yourself, make sure you get quotes from multiple contractors to ensure your time, labor, and cost of materials are worth expending on your own. The more quotes you accumulate from contractors, the more options you have for finding the right fit for the job.
Your roof plays an important role in protecting your home—in fact, most homeowner’s insurance providers consider the roof’s integrity before quoting a house for coverage. Know your policy in the event of roofing damage and contact your insurer immediately upon discovery. Don’t be shy about snapping photos of your roof!
Whether you decide to work through insurance or not, having a conversation with your contractor is a great way to get a feel for the scope of the project. If you are local to the Kerrville Texas area contact Affordable Roofing of Texas today for a quote on roofing repairs!