Storm damage to your roof comes in a lot of different shapes and sizes. There are extreme cases, like a tree falling on your roof or sections of shingles missing.
And then there are a little less noticeable cases, like hail. But no matter what kind of storm damage your roof has, it’s hard to know what to do or where to start.
For over 30 years, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided guidance and advice to homeowners who are experiencing storm damage to their roofs. Now we want to do the same thing for you during this stressful time.
To start this article, we’ll cover the first thing you need to do as soon as you suspect your roof has storm damage. After that, we’ll get into the 5 main things homeowners need to know about the insurance claim process for a storm-damaged roof.
And at the very end, get the Storm Damage checklist that helps you spot storm damage from the safety of the ground.
What should you do if your roof has storm damage?
The first thing you should do is call your homeowners insurance company if you think or notice you have roof damage. After contacting them and giving them the information, the next steps depend on your area and your specific insurance company.
There are two scenarios you’ll fall under after talking to your insurance company.
1. The insurance company sends out an adjuster to inspect your roof for storm damage
The first scenario is when an insurance company schedules an adjuster to come out and inspect the damage. Once they complete their inspection, they’ll approve your claim or tell you there are no signs of storm damage to your roof.
(Roof chalked up showing hail damage)
If your claim is approved, then it’ll be time to start researching to find a great roofing contractor that has experience working with insurance claims. But if your claim isn’t approved, it doesn’t mean you’ve exhausted your options.
There are ways to double or triple-check your roof for storm damage. But we’ll get to that in a little bit.
2. You’ll find a local roofing contractor to inspect your roof for storm damage
The second scenario is when an insurance company tells you to contact a local roofing contractor to inspect your roof for storm damage. They’ll take pictures of any suspected damage and submit them to the insurance company.
(Pictures taken of hail damage to roof)
If the pictures show signs of storm damage, the insurance company will then send out an adjuster to do an inspection. This is pretty common in the Middle Tennessee area, but your area could be different.
However, you won’t know to do this until reaching out to your homeowner’s insurance. No matter which of the above scenarios you fall under, the first thing you should always do if you suspect storm damage to your roof is to call your insurance company.
5 things to know about the insurance claim process for storm damage to your roof
After contacting your homeowners insurance company when you think your roof has storm damage, you’re starting the insurance claim process. This is the beginning of a long and sometimes frustrating process.
That’s why there are some things you need to know about the process. Let’s get to the 5 things you need to know about the storm damage claim process.
1. The insurance claim process for storm damage is muddy and confusing
Unfortunately, there are a lot of roofing and insurance companies who don't always have your best interest in mind. That’s why we like to say the insurance process can be muddy and confusing.
All we’re trying to do is let you know that there are people on both sides who try to take advantage of homeowners in a stressful situation. Understanding this before starting the process helps ensure something like this doesn’t happen to you.
2. Don’t sign any paperwork until your storm damage claim is approved
Some roofing companies try to strong-arm homeowners into signing something before they’ll get on the roof for an inspection. When this happens, they're trying to lock you into a contract that gives them the right to your roof before your claim is approved.
This is a clear sign that the roofing company doesn't have your best interest in mind. A reputable roofing contractor will walk you through the insurance process and give you an honest assessment of if your roof has storm damage without any guarantees from you.
If you're stressed or worried about storm damage, don’t sign any paperwork from a roofing company before your insurance claim is actually approved.
3. Insurance adjusters have to approve your storm damage claim
We already discussed the scenarios that happen after reaching out to your insurance company to start this article. No matter what your insurance company says, the insurance adjuster is the only one who can approve your claim.
A roofing contractor can inspect for storm damage and advocate for you if they think you have it. They can even provide pictures with explanations of what they found and why it’s storm damage.
An insurance adjuster will spot storm damage most of the time. But they’re human, and they sometimes make a mistake that leads to your storm damage claim being denied.
When this happens, there’s no reason to panic. There are ways to double and triple-check your roof for storm damage.
The best way is to ask for a second insurance adjuster to come out and inspect your roof. If they approve your claim, great, but sometimes the second adjuster will insist that that roof is still not viable for a claim.
If you’re still sure your roof has storm damage after the second adjuster says no, you can have an engineer come out to your home. They’ll inspect the roof and then offer proof (if they have any) to your insurance company that the roof needs to be replaced because of storm damage.
5. You get to choose your own roofing contractor for your storm-damaged roof
However, you should still do your research and talk to multiple roofing companies to find the right one for you. But when looking for the right one, you need to make sure they provide high-quality workmanship and a willingness to fight for you during the insurance process.
Get this free checklist to see if your roof has storm damage from the safety of the ground
Now you know 5 things about the insurance claim process for storm damage. Remember, as soon as you suspect storm damage to your roof, you need to call your homeowners insurance company.
But how do you know if your roof has storm damage, besides obvious signs like roof leaks and shingles missing? That’s where this Storm Damage checklist comes in.
This checklist helps you determine if you have an insurance claim by looking at things that are a little harder to spot from the safety of the ground. You’ll still need to call your insurance company, but this checklist helps determine if it’s even worth it to file a claim.
The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has helped homeowners in Nashville and surrounding Middle Tennessee areas deal with storm damage to their roof since 1990. We advocate and fight for you to ensure your insurance company covers everything your roof needs.
If you’re local to Nashville, Franklin, Brentwood, or surrounding Middle Tennessee areas, don’t hesitate to contact us to take care of your storm-damaged roof.