How to File a Storm Damage Insurance Claim in 2023
6 minutes Read
Level Edge Construction
The average roof is designed to last up to 25 years — sometimes even longer, depending on the materials used. However, severe storms causing hail damage, wind damage, or even water damage can easily cut your roof’s lifespan short.
When your home sustains roof damage after a bad storm, it’s essential that you file a storm damage insurance claim with your homeowners insurance company right away. Of course, the process can be a bit challenging as insurance companies aren’t exactly known for offering quick and complete payouts for roof repairs or complete roof replacements.
To ensure the best possible outcome with your insurance company, we’ll walk you through the steps of filing a storm damage insurance claim below.
Filing a Storm Damage Insurance Claim 101
If you’re anything like the average homeowner, you’re not a roofing expert — nor are you an expert on insurance coverage limits. This can make it difficult to know where to start with your roof storm damage or how to deal with the insurance agent or insurance company when the time comes.
If you follow these steps, you’ll likely see success when it comes to filing a claim for storm damage:
Get to Know Your Insurance Policy
You may have a percentage in your head as to how much your insurance policy will cover, but you’re going to need to know exactly what your coverage limits are and how the payout works.
For example, you may only be eligible to receive up to 25% of your dwelling coverage for your roof. You’ll also need to know whether your insurance policy offers an actual cash value or overall replacement value — both of which are paid out at different times.
The best thing to do here is to get in touch with your insurance company and review your policy with an agent so you can ask questions and get the specific details you need to make a comprehensive claim.
You’ll also want to verify which insurance claim you’ll need to file as well as how to access it and submit it.
Evaluate and Document the Roof Damage
After a major storm, you’re going to want to take a look at any damages and take clear photos as you go. You may have multiple signs of damage, such as wind and hail damage at the same time — but you don’t have to worry about determining which is hail damage and which is wind damage or water damage.
All you have to do is look for things like:
Broken, cracked, or fractured shingles
Impact marks, including dents and holes
Missing shingle granules
Damage to roofing components
Collections of large objects or debris
Water stains and leakage
Keep in mind that it’s never recommended for you to climb up on your roof at any time, especially after a storm (the next step will take care of that). Essentially, you want to walk the perimeter of your home and check your top level ceilings and walls for visible signs of storm damage.
Call a Reliable Roofing Contractor
The single most important thing you can do when there’s roof damage after a storm is to call a trustworthy and reliable roofing contractor to come out and do an inspection. Most roofing companies offer emergency storm damage services where they’ll come out within 24-48 hours to assess the damage and perform emergency repairs.
More importantly, they’ll provide you with a detailed written report regarding the damages they find. You’ll need this to fill out your insurance claim — and you’ll want to ensure that you submit the report along with your insurance claim.
Additionally, most reputable roofing companies will also offer insurance claim support to help you do everything you can to turn the odds in your favor. This includes scheduling the same roofing contractor that carried out your inspection to meet with the insurance adjuster to ensure no mistakes are made.
There are a few dos and don’ts, however, when it comes to finding a roofer you can trust:
Do hire someone with a significant number of years in the industry
Do ensure they’re licensed and insured and offer insurance claims support
Do check out their reputation via Google reviews
Don’t waste time shopping around for the “best” quote
Don’t hire storm chasers — unqualified contractors who knock on your door and use scare tactics to get you to sign a contract and pay upfront for the work
Fill Out the Claim Completely
Once you have the written report from your roofing contractor, you can finish filling out the storm damage claim. Be sure that you’re filling out the right form and that you’re including the correct information, such as:
Details about the storm damage
Clear photos of the damages
Pre storm condition photos (if possible)
A copy of the report provided by your roofer
You’ll want to submit your insurance claim as soon as possible. However, it can take anywhere between 15 and 40 days for your homeowners insurance company to approve or deny the claim.
In some cases, your insurance company may try and intentionally drag their feet on your claim. If you feel this is happening to you, you’ll want to get in touch with an insurance claim lawyer right away.
Have Your Contractor Meet With the Insurance Adjuster
As mentioned earlier, you’ll want to schedule your roofing contractor to come out and meet with the insurance claims adjuster when the time comes.
Insurance adjusters are the only people who can approve or deny your claim. However, they are not professional contractors and they’re also there to work within the insurance company’s best interests rather than yours. Having an experienced roofer by your side can ensure that the adjuster doesn’t make any “mistakes” as they can point out the damage and what’s needed for the repairs.