Your home insurance will cover the cost of functional damages to your roof that are caused by storms, vandalism, "neighborhood explosions" (common around the 4th of July) and other sudden or accidental damages that were beyond your control. Functional damages are defined as damages that will decrease the expected life of your roof and/or prevent it from properly shedding water and protecting your home. In most cases insurers will cover ct roof repair associated with:
(image via www.his-inc.com)
damage from fallen trees (including tree removal)
roof collapse due to snow
ice damming in gutters
wind damage, including blow offs and missiles
power outages that lead to broken pipes
How much of the repair cost do Insurers Cover?
Sometimes insurance will pay for full replacement costs. Other times they will pay for your lost value (accounting for depreciation.) This will depend on your plan, so check with your insurer.
What does the Claim Process Involve?
#1) The first step is identifying problems. Please refer to our roof inspection checklist or call us for a free consultation.
#2) The second step is getting estimates. Unless you already have an established relationship with a contractor, you should compare estimates from several roofing contractors in Connecticut. We have more information on understanding roofing contractors and estimates but in general we recommend that you compare ct roofing estimates from three contractors. You should go with whichever contractor you trust the most and think will do the best job. Choosing the cheapest contractor only saves the insurer money. That is not to say that the cheapest estimate cannot be the best, but for something as expensive and important as your roof, your main consideration should be quality.
#3) Once you have selected a contractor, they will give you an estimate, along with necessary paperwork, to submit to your insurer.
#4) Next, you need to submit that claim.
#5) Your insurer will send an adjuster to assess/confirm your claimed damages. You should have your contractor present when the adjuster arrives. Adjusters are experienced licensed inspectors. They come with a standard checklist and are trained to record basic black and white observations. Their profession and expertise is not inferior to one of a full service contractor; it is just different. Since they are not involved with the actual repairs and don't deal with secondary damages, they can overlook major problems that a contractor is more familiar with. Again, there is no harm in getting as many opinions as possible. Many roofing contractors in Connecticut will offer no-obligation estimates.
#6) Once you and your insurer have made an agreement and you have submitted your claim, you will receive a partial payment from your insurer. This payment should cover the cost of building materials and get the project started.
#7) Your contractor will begin work. In terms of payment, you will be responsible only for your deductible. Refer to your insurance paperwork or contact your agent to determine what your deductible is.
#8) Once your ct roof repair has been completed, your insurer may send somone in to do a final inspection to ensure that all repairs claimed 'necessary' have been completed. During this inspection your insurer is not trying to detach from or displace responsibility. The purpose is to ensure that your contractor has completed all necessary repairs to code. Unless your insurer is really trying to scam you, this is a good thing for homeowners because it means you get another set of eyes without cost.
(in the event that your trusted roofer and your insurer cannot come to an agreement, you should contact the Connecticut Department of Insurance. They are there to help you settle disputes and make sure that your insurance company complies with the terms of your policy. Again, having documentation from your roofer will help the claim process run more smoothly. Reports for your roofer as well as 'before and after' pictures will help make your case.)
#9) You finally have your home fixed and a check in the mail. This check should include all costs, minus the initial partial payment and your deductible.
When will insureres deny coverage? If your roof collapses underneath the weight of snow, but was also old and required repair or replacement anyway, your insurer can, and should, deny you coverage. Most responsible insurers require annual roof inspections. This is not unreasonable; experienced roofers recommend a minimum of two roof inspections per year, not including necessary inspections following storms. The most common reason insurers deny coverage is because policy holders neglected to address roofing problems immediately, or neglected to conduct regular roof inspections and complete necessary maintenance. For example, if you notice ceiling stains now, but don't do anything until they have quadrupled next year, your insurer is not responsible. At that point the damage is far beyond what it was initially and it is your responsibility to take care of your most valuable asset. Think about it like this: if your oil change indicator light came on, you didn't get an oil change, and your engine failed a year later, would your warranty cover the repair? Probably not. It is also your responsibility to take action to prevent further damage after a storm event, such as hiring someone to clear your roof of snow, or covering misssing shingles/broken windows with a tarp to prevent water infiltration.
(image via www.minnesotaicedamremoval.com)
Aside from being diligent about regular maintenance, one of the most important things you can do to prove that your claim is legitimate is to keep a file of photographs that document the condition of your roof (prior to damage) and maintenance repairs. If your roof is damaged during a storm event, take pictures immediately!
Are there damages that home insurance will not cover?
Regular home insurance typically does not cover flood damage that is caused by melting snow. They will cover a roof collapse caused by the weight of the snow, but flooding insurance is usually a separate/add-on policy.
If your damages were caused by improper installation of roofing materials or manufacture defects, your insurer may deny coverage. Your roofing warranty will cover manufacture defects, and your roofing contractor should also provide a warranty for the roof system.
Remember to maintain your roof! A roof inspection checklist can help you identify problems and prevent further damage. Always inspect your roof after storms, or call us for a free consultation or Connecticut Roof Estimates.