How Do Roof Insurance Claims Work?
Updated: Dec 8, 2020
You have roof damage—now what? Dealing with insurance companies can be painful and confusing, but with the right knowledge and a streamlined process, it doesn’t have to be. We’re here to guide you through how insurance claims work and how to file your claim. Let’s get started.
Your Insurance Policy Impacts Your Coverage
If your home’s roof was damaged and you’re looking to file a claim, the first step is to understand what type of insurance policy you have. No policy is exactly the same, but there are two main types of coverage that are popular choices: Replacement Cost Value (RCV) and Actual Cash Value (ACV).
What Is RCV?
Most homeowners have Replacement Cost Value (RCV) coverage which does not factor in depreciation. This means that if you experience roof damage on a roof that is 10 years old, your insurance company will cover the cost to repair or replace the roof, minus your deductible.
What Is ACV?
The difference between RCV and ACV is that Actual Cash Value coverage means that depreciation is factored into the coverage payout. Your insurance company will take the amount needed to replace or repair your roof and subtract out your deductible and any depreciation (if your roof is older).
How Does This Impact Homeowners?
Still a little confused about the difference between these two coverage types? Let’s put it this way—consider you have a roof that is 10 years old. After assessing the damage, your insurance company might determine that a new roof will cost $15,000. With an ACV policy, your insurance company will determine the coverage amount by factoring in how much the roof would depreciate in 10 years. This means that with your ACV policy, your insurer will take the $15,000 cost of the new roof and subtract out your $1,000 deductible minus depreciation of $7,000—leaving you with only $7,000 to cover the cost of the new roof. ACV can leave homeowners with a high bill left for them to cover out of pocket.
While ACV policies aren’t as common as RCV, it depends on where you live. If you live in an area where storm damage is more likely, your insurance policy is likely an Actual Cash Value policy. Before calling your insurance company to file a claim, make sure you have a full understanding of what your policy is.
How to File a Roof Insurance Claim
When dealing with roof damage caused by snow, ice, hail, or wind, it’s best to report it to your insurance company as soon as possible. Doing so will ensure you fall within any timeframe restrictions they might have in place.
Follow these steps if you’re looking to file an insurance claim for roof damage:
Assess the damage on your roof on your own (from the ground). Look for noticeable problems like missing shingles or leaks.
Call a local roofing company to perform an inspection. Not all roof damage can be detected by an untrained eye. They’ll be able to provide you with an estimate of the damage repair costs.
Take photos and videos of the damage. The more evidence of the damage you have, the easier it will be to submit your roof insurance claim.
Review your insurance policy and understand what your policy covers. Then, file your claim with your insurance company.
Following the submission of your claim, your insurer will send out an adjuster to determine the extent of the damage to your roof.
Once the number has been finalized, schedule an appointment with your roofing contractor to perform your roof repair or replacement.