Published on March 19th, 2023 | by Dr. Jerry Doby0
Houston Roofing Experts BuildAligned Reveal the Top 5 Mistakes by Property Owners When Filing a Claim for a New Roof
There are dozens of storms each year that can be causing damage to your roof. No matter the season in Texas, there’s a storm brewing: ice storms, hailstorms, foreign objects or hurricane-force wind and rain are all culprits. Once your roof is damaged, you’re at risk for leaks that can only lead to worse problems: interior damage and possibly even affecting the structural integrity of your property.
No one really likes to deal with their insurance company, but sometimes there’s no getting around it. If your roof has been damaged by a storm, you’ll need to call them in order to file a claim and receive the compensation required to repair or replace it. But many property owners are unfamiliar with the process, the correct steps to take, and their options if they don’t get the answer they’re looking for. Here are the top 5 mistakes made by property owners when they’re working with insurance to get a new roof:
- They call their insurance company first.
After speaking with the experts at BuildAligned, who have been replacing and repairing roofs in Texas for over 20 years, it’s clear that you should call a contractor before you reach out to your insurance company:
“We will always recommend choosing your contractor before calling your insurance company. Not all damage warrants filing a claim and a good contractor will be honest about the damage and will not recommend speaking to your insurance company if enough damage is not present. Also, having your contractor lined up before your insurance company comes out, will give them the opportunity to meet your insurance adjuster and show them all the damage they found. After a storm, many insurance adjusters are very busy. Without an extra set of eyes, even the best will miss things. Since that adjustment is so important, we always recommend hiring your contractor first.”
- They schedule their adjuster without having their contractor present.
Having your contractor on-site while the adjuster is inspecting your roof is critical; many times the damage from storms is “hidden damage” and does not show up immediately. It is important that a qualified contractor who works exclusively with damage resulting in insurance claims inspects the roof and property. You’ll want someone there to advocate on your behalf.
“Most of the time we recommend that we be there at the time of the adjustment. It is important that you have someone on your side acting as another set of eyes and ears during these meetings.”
- If their claim is denied, that’s the end of the story.
If your claim is denied, many property owners are unaware that there are other options they can pursue, including Reinspection, Engineers Report, Hiring a Public Adjuster, and Appraisal. BuildAligned experts can make recommendations for when each is appropriate and can advise you on how to proceed.
- They figure it’s ok to wait to file their claim.
In many cases, damaged roofs can go unnoticed because leaks are not immediately detected by property owners. But claims must be filed 6 months to 1 year after damage has occurred, so it’s incredibly important to have your roof for damage assessed right away. BuildAligned offers free in-person inspections to determine if you should file a claim.
- They wait until more damage occurs to file their claim.
Failing to replace or repair your roof in a timely manner can cause your insurance company to deny future claims because of your negligence in avoiding replacement. Waiting is not the answer.
“If you live in Guymon, Oklahoma; the Austin metro area; the Houston metro area; the Dallas metro area; the San Antonio metro area; or Salado, TX and surrounding areas, and have questions about roof repair or replacement due to a severe storm, the experts at BuildAligned are ready to help,” says owner Phil Stodola. Waiting for further damage, or too long after a storm, can cost you money and result in unnecessary headaches.
Remember, filing a claim should never cause your insurance premium to go up. Most claims are considered an “act of God” and it would be illegal to raise an individual premium because of such. Rather, insurance companies will usually raise premiums for an entire zip code based on “higher risk” after a storm hits.
A simple phone call and a quick and painless inspection are all that’s standing between you and filing a claim for your roof. Once you select a contractor to work with, they should help you with the entire process, from calling your insurance company to selecting shingle colors. Experienced contractors like BuildAligned make the claims process seamless for their clients, so don’t delay making that call.