How to File a Homeowners Insurance Claim for a Roof Leak
Becoming familiar with your homeowners insurance policy can streamline filing a claim. That way, you ’ll already know what your policy does and doesn’t cover with roof replacement or repair. You’ll also understand your insurance coverage, deductible, and potential roadblocks you may encounter.
Filing a Claim for Roof Damage
Filing a claim for roof damage differs from other types of claims. For instance, filing a police report is your first step if someone vandalized your home. It’s not typically necessary to contact the authorities for roof damage.
Filing a claim isn’t too difficult if you follow these steps. Always contact your insurance agent or adjuster if you have questions.
Step one: Take photos to document leaking-roof damage and the source of the leak, such as rusty or cracked roof flashing, missing shingles, or rotten or missing trim around dormers.
Step two: Contact your insurance provider to start the claim. Make note of the names and titles of everyone you correspond with, making special care to record the insurance adjuster’s name and the case number assigned to you.
Step three: Make temporary repairs to prevent more damage. If the roof leak is from an exposed roofing nail or vent, consider covering the area with a tarp.
Should You File a Leaky Roof Claim?
Before you go through the steps to file a claim, you must ask yourself an important question: should you file a claim at all?
The damage from the leak, the size of your deductible, and the number of claims you’ve filed in recent years can help you decide whether to file a claim for a roof leak. Sometimes, it makes more sense not to submit the damages to your insurance company.
For instance, if your deductible is $1,000 and a reputable roofing company gave you a $400 quote to repair your leaky roof, you might skip filing a claim and pay out-of-pocket instead.
The more claims you file, the greater your chances that your premiums will increase or that your policy will be considered for cancellation. Even if the repair estimate is $2,000, you may save more money on reduced premiums over the long term if you choose not to file with your insurance company. The rule of thumb: don’t claim the small stuff.