Blog / Complete Guide to the Roof Replacement Insurance Process
Complete Guide to the Roof Replacement Insurance Process
Your roof protects you from all kinds of weather, from heatwaves to hurricanes.
Roofs take a beating, though, and in the past 20 years, extreme weather events have increased significantly. For example, 2020 experienced more than 4,600 major hailstorms. So, what happens when harsh weather or accidents damage the roof of your home or business?
If you’ve insured your roof, you can take advantage of your coverage and file a roof insurance claim.
Learn how to navigate the roof insurance claim process, from assessing your damage to getting your roof fixed, with this guide to roof replacement and insurance coverage. Plus, get information on the unique advantages Florida businesses and homeowners have when it comes to the roof replacement insurance process.
Roof Insurance Claims in Florida
Florida is unique when it comes to roof insurance claims.
The state’s building code requires an entire roof replacement if a storm — or another covered event — damages more than 25% of your roof and your roof is less than 10 years old. In this situation, you pay your insurance deductible, and your insurance company covers the remaining cost for replacing your roof.
Whether you’re a homeowner or business owner, this code helps protect your investment in your roof and maximizes your insurance investment.
It’s important to note that the building code behind this specification can also divide a roof into sections.
In a scenario with divided roof sections, each section gets graded on the 25% scale. If a section receives 25% or more damage, that section qualifies for a full replacement instead of the complete roof. Again, you pay your insurance deductible, and your insurance company pays the rest.
For roofs 10 years or older, repair, replacement, or installation depends on the roof’s age and type, with Florida mandating the following minimum reimbursement amounts:
Metal roofs: 70%
Concrete tile and clay tile roofs: 40%
Wood shake and wood shingle roofs: 40%
All other roofs: 25%
Businesses and homeowners also have a two-year period for filing a roof insurance claim in Florida.
Insurance Types That Cover Roof Repair
You can protect your roof with two types of insurance:
Commercial Property Insurance
Commercial property insurance typically covers roof damage caused by a fire event, a weather event or an accident that you — as a business owner — could not prevent.
In the U.S., the average cost of commercial property insurance per month is $63.
Homeowner’s insurance typically covers roof damage caused by weather events or accidents that you — as a homeowner — could not prevent. Keep in mind, if regular maintenance could have prevented your roof’s damage, your homeowner’s insurance will not typically cover the costs of repairing or replacing your roof.
The cost of homeowner’s insurance per month in the U.S. is $109.
How to File a Roof Insurance Claim
Filing a roof insurance claim involves five steps, though these might vary based on your insurance provider:
1. Analyze and Document Roof Damage
The first step to filing a roof insurance claim is to look at the damage done to your roof once it’s safe to do so.
If you don’t feel comfortable inspecting your roof, think about hiring a roofing contractor to assess the damage.
If you’re assessing your roof on your own, you’ll want to look for the following:
Go ahead and take photos of the damage. If your roof’s damage caused damage to the inside of your home or business, document this damage with photos as well.
You’ll want to keep these images for when you file your insurance claim, as well as any photos of your roof or interior from before the damage took place. Document the date the damage took place and the believed cause of the damage.
Depending on the cause of the damage, like a hurricane, you can also collect supporting documentation, like news stories from reputable sources, that documented the event.
2. Check Your Insurance Policy
Next, check your insurance policy to confirm coverage — depending on the damage type, your insurance may not cover the damage.
Some insurance companies might require you to contact them within a certain period after the damage to your roof occurs. Agencies maintain periods for filing a roof insurance claim to prevent fraud and stop the damage from becoming worse — and more expensive.
In Florida, for example, the timeframe for starting the roof replacement insurance process is two years. This two-year period includes filing a:
Property insurance claim
Remember, if your roof is less than 10 years old, you could qualify for a full roof replacement, so make contacting your insurance company a priority.
While talking with your insurance agent, ask about the company’s process for evaluating a claim, making repairs, and more. Take notes, too.
3. File a Roofing Claim
After contacting your insurance agent about the roof insurance claim process, your insurance company will likely have you fill out a form to file your claim.
Make sure you have all the information regarding your roof’s damage before you start the form — here is where you’ll reference your photos and other documentation.
In cases of severe roof damage, your home or business might have to relocate.
For example, your family may need to stay in a hotel. If you need to make these changes during the roof replacement insurance process, document these relocations and log the costs associated with them as part of your claim.
4. Schedule a Meeting With an Insurance Adjuster
Depending on your insurance policy, you might have to schedule an insurance adjuster to come to your home or business to assess your roof damage.
You can choose to have a roofing contractor present at this roof assessment as well.
Bringing along a roofing contractor can help with getting an idea of what kind of repair and replacement your insurance policy will cover. Experienced roof contractors will have no problem working with and navigating the required processes of your insurance company.
5. Contact a Roof Contractor
If you didn’t have a roofing contractor present when documenting your roof damage or when having your insurance adjuster out to your property, complete the final step of filing a roof insurance claim: Hire a roofing contractor.
Before you hire a roofing contractor, make sure you still have the photos of your roof damage and the information from your insurance company about what roof repair and replacement services they cover.
You’ll want to give this information to your roofing contractor so they can give you an accurate estimate of what the roof repair or roof replacement will cost.
It’s also a good idea in this phase of the roof replacement insurance process to research different roofing contractors before you choose one.
You want to work with a credible roofing contractor. Credible roofing contractors are licensed and knowledgeable about filing roof insurance claims. They’re also willing to help you navigate the entire process of getting your roof repaired or replaced.
7 Things You Need to Know About Insurance Restoration Claims
Filing a roof insurance claim is a daunting process, especially if you aren’t familiar with your insurance policy’s fine print. However, experienced roofing contractors are often familiar with different insurance policies and what they require from you during the claims process.
Below are some topics your roofing contractor should help you navigate:
1. Roof Restoration
Filing a claim as soon as possible for your roof damage is critical.
Your roof keeps your home or business safe from the sun, rain, and any other turbulent weather, like hurricanes, hail storms, and more.
Plus, if you neglect your roof damage for too long, the damage to your roof will become more extensive over time. For example, if you have cracks in your roof that lead to leaks, the cracks will get larger over time, which will worsen the leaks.
2. Insurance Premiums
You might wonder if your insurance premium will increase after you file a roof insurance claim.
Unless your neglect caused the damage to your roof, you will likely not see an increase in your insurance premium after you file your claim.
For example, if a hail storm causes leaks in your roof, you would not carry responsibility for the damage to your roof. In this scenario, your insurance company would not classify you as being negligent in maintaining your roof.
Another example is if strong winds caused a tree to fall on your roof and create a hole.
Your insurance company might find you negligible — after you filed your roof insurance claim — if you didn’t book an appointment to fix the hole in your 25-year-old roof, and then a severe rainstorm with strong winds caused water to leak through your already compromised roof and damage your home’s interior months later.
Just because the roof is older doesn’t mean your insurance provider would find you negligent.
Your insurance company, however, might find you negligent because you failed to fix the initial hole caused by the strong winds. If you had fixed that damage, you would have likely prevented the damage to your home’s interior.
3. Insurance Checks
You should receive two checks from your insurance company after you file your claim:
First check: Your first check will get sent as soon as an insurance adjuster assesses your roof and you file your claim.
Second check: Your second check will come after your roofing contractor finishes the repairs to your roof, and you send your insurance company the invoice given to you by your roofing contractor.
The second check you receive from your insurance company is your withheld depreciation.
Your withheld depreciation is typically 10-40% of the total settlement your insurance policy agreed upon once you filed your claim.
If the cost of your roof repair or restoration ends up costing more than your total settlement, your roof contractor should have the skills necessary to speak with your insurance company to explain the additional costs.
5. Mortgage Companies
Some mortgage companies require both your checks to be made out to them as well as yourself.
Typically, these checks would go straight to your mortgage company before getting released to you. Different mortgage companies have different steps you’re required to take before the checks get released to you.
Your insurance company will likely provide guidance here. Depending on a roofing contractor’s experience, they might also offer some helpful information.
6. Roof Warranties
Whether your new roof receives a warranty depends on what roofing contractors you hire to repair or replace your roof.
Typically, roofing contractors will provide a warranty for the materials used to repair your roof, as well as a separate warranty for labor and installation.
7. Replacement Cost Value vs. Actual Cash Value
Sometimes insurance companies will allow you to choose between the replacement cost value and the actual cash value when it comes to the money you’ll receive to cover the damages of your roof repair or replacement.
If you have a roof in poor condition, you may want to opt for actual cash value. If you choose actual cash value, your insurance company will pay you the value of your roof in its damaged state.
The replacement cost value is the cost of replacing your roof with a roof as similar as possible to your pre-damaged roof. If you or your insurance company decides on replacement cost value, the total cost of your roof repair may exceed the actual cash value of your roof.
How to Prevent Roof Damage
Preventing roof damage might seem like a lot, whether you’re a new homeowner or seasoned business owner.
While you can’t prevent hurricanes, you can take proactive steps that maintain your roof and reduce your risk of needing to file a roof insurance claim that could get denied — like when your insurance company finds you at fault for the damage.
The following steps can help prevent your roof from getting damaged:
Schedule regular roof inspections
Clear excess debris from your roof after stormy or windy weather
Check for roof damage after major weather events, like a hurricane
Look for trees on your property that could damage your roof if they broke or fell
Ensure your roof is up to date and safe before buying your home or a commercial lot
Have your roof inspected to check if its construction will cause water collection
Hire a credible and experienced roofing contractor to install the roof on your new home or business
Difference Between Roof Damage and Wear and Tear
It’s not always easy to tell the difference between roof damage versus regular wear and tear.
Roof damage will typically occur after a major accident or weather event takes place. When roof damage happens, remember to:
Document the accident or weather event
Catalog the damage to your roof
File a roof insurance claim
Get repairs completed
Roof wear and tear is a bit more difficult to spot, but common signs include:
Leaks: If you notice water dripping from your roofsuddenly without reason, you might have a crack in your roof.
Shingle curling: If the shingles on your roof curl upwards, your shingles likely have water damage and need a better sealant.
Bent shingles: If you live in an area prone to strong winds, you might notice some of your shingles becoming bent. Bent shingles may eventually come off your roof.
Dimpled shingles: Hail can cause your shingles to become dimpled. These dimples can become holes if not repaired, which can lead to extensive damage.
Blistered shingles: Blistered shingles usually happen when heated gas escapes through them. While blistered shingles don’t cause immediate problems, they’re less resistant to weather, which can lead to more expensive issues.
Shingle cupping: Cupping happens when the edges of a shingle curl down into the roof. Cupping is often a sign that the shingles on your roof need replaced.
Granule loss: Granules come off of shingles over time. However, if most of the shingles on your roof appear bald from granule loss, you may need a roof replacement.
Sagging roof trusses or decking: A roofing contractor or an inspector may have to come and look at your roof if you notice sagging trusses or decking because the support system of your roof may be compromised. If you notice sagging roof trusses or decking, don’t wait to contact your insurance company or a roofing company.
Mold, moss or lichen: Mold, moss and lichen can damage your roof over time. Wash your roof gently — avoid a pressure washer — to help prevent mold, moss or lichen damage.
Flaking asphalt layer: You will typically see a flaking asphalt layer on old roofs, which is a sign your roof needs replaced. Whether your roof classifies as old depends on a few factors, including its material.
With a proactive approach to monitoring and maintaining your roof, you can help your roof last longer — and also take action with filing a roof insurance claim faster when issues appear.
Contact Roof RX to Receive a Free Roof Inspection
At Roof RX we’re here to help you with the replacement, installation or repair of your commercial or residential roof. Have roof damage and not sure how to assess it? Contact us for a free roof inspection, and if you like how we do business, we’re happy to help you with any of your roofing needs.
There’s a reason we’re the region’s trusted commercial roofing contractor.
We provide straightforward and cost-effective roofing services for different roof types, such as:
We work with businesses of all sizes and countless roofing materials, too.
You’ll also receive:
Accurate project timelines and estimates
High-quality Owens Corning shingles
Friendly and knowledgeable technicians
Outstanding customer service
At Roof RX, your home’s structural integrity and safety matter to our team.
We want to make sure a reliable roof protects you and your family. Again, we work on metal roofs, tile roofs and shingle roofs. With our wide range of roof repair services and high-quality roof replacement methods for residential homes, you can trust Roof RX for your roofing needs.
We don’t just do reparative services at Roof RX.
We’re also happy to help you figure out the safest, most cost-effective and most attractive roofing options for your new business or home.
Not sure what you want your new roof to look like? No problem.
Once we learn your personal style and needs, we can help you pick out roofing options that will fit the ultimate image you have for your home or business.
While projects of a different scale than roof installations and roof replacements, roof repairs typically involve insurance companies.
As experts in all things roofing, we’re happy to help you with:
Documenting insurance restoration claims
Filing roof insurance claims
Completing roof repairs after submitting a claim
Unfortunately, there are times when you might need your entire roof replaced.
Reasons that you might need your roof replaced include an old roof, a roof that shows extensive evidence of wear and tear or a roof damaged by an accident or the environment.
If your roof needs replaced, we want you to feel secure in knowing that we’ll help you find the best roofing option for you.