Read this and avoid these common roofing insurance claim mistakes when it’s time to repair your roof.
Keep good documentation.
One of the most common and costliest mistakes homeowners make when it comes to filing roofing related insurance claims is failing to provide adequate documentation. If a roofing problem has led to significant damage that you’re looking to cover under your home insurance policy, it is generally your responsibility to demonstrate beyond a doubt that the issue was not caused by your own negligence.
To this end, home insurance experts recommend that you regularly document the condition of your home. It is a good idea to update this documentation on an annual basis, and to collect evidence that shows you are making a good faith effort to keep your home in good condition. Specific to roofing, it is a good idea to take photographs that show the condition of the roof, as well as the condition of connected and underlying structural elements. If a problem occurs, you should also document the damage in photographs so the claims adjuster has a visual point of comparison that shows the condition of your home both before and after the problem.
Be proactive with roof issues.
It is also important that you take prompt corrective action if you detect a minor roofing problem that could lead to damage down the road. Leaks and cracks should be repaired immediately. If you choose to do DIY repairs, keep receipts that prove you purchased repair products, and take before-and-after photos to show the work. If you hire a contractor, keep a copy of the invoice on hand, and be sure it details all work the professional performed.
Another common mistake arises from incomplete understandings of product warranties. Sometimes, homeowners file insurance claims after learning that product warranties had expired or did not cover the nature of the problem that arose. Always be sure you completely understand the coverage provided by product warranties, as well as their limitations, exclusions and exceptions. Your home insurance provider may not cover you if an unexpected warranty coverage shortfall resulted in damage that could have been prevented.
Finally, ask any roofing contractor you hire about their own insurance coverage, and find out whether or not there is any possibility that you might be liable for injuries, accidents or property damage that occurs during the execution of a roofing project. Most contractors carry comprehensive insurance, but some professionals offering unusually low rates are able to offer their rock-bottom prices by going light on things like insurance coverage.