Greetings from sunny Colorado, Washington home owners and roof shoppers! I’ve come to the excellent Chase Construction blog today to help you deal with the sometimes confusing process of roof insurance claims. If you experience roof damage, you should know a bit about the claims process for Washington roof damage.
There are many myths and inaccuracies about roof damage and insurance claims. The first thing you should do if you believe your roof has damage is schedule a roof inspection. Your roof can be damaged by wind, storms, hail, tree branches, and more. Even if you don’t see any missing shingles, a local roof contractor can tell you if you have a possible claim.
The biggest myth about roof insurance claims is that your insurance company will raise your rates if you file one. This is simply not true! Insurance companies are used to dealing with roof claims and, especially if your area suffered from a recent storm, your neighbors are likely making similar claims.
Your roofer will work with your insurance agent to determine several key factors for your roof claim:
RCV (Replacement Cost Value): This is the estimated cost for repairs, determined by your insurance company.
If your roof condition has deteriorated, it will result in Depreciation. Depreciation means your roof is worth less than it used to be due to wear and tear over time. Your insurance agent will deduct the Depreciation from the RCV to create the Actual Cash Value (ACV). This is how much your roof is currently worth.
Deductible: The deductible is simply the amount of the claim that you, the homeowner, are responsible for. Your deductible should be predetermined in your homeowner’s insurance policy.
To figure out your final claim, your insurance agent will subtract your deductible and any depreciation from the Replacement Cost Value. They then add the Base Service Charges, which are extra costs reimbursed to your construction company for travel time and setup.
In the end, you only have to worry about paying your deductible. You will sign over your insurance checks to the contractor to pay for the total cost of your new roof.
You should also check your policy for exclusions and other roof related items. Your insurance might exclude certain coverage toavoid taking on extra expenses. Common roof exclusions are:
Complete replacement. You can almost always get your roof repairs covered, but sometimes full replacement is refused. Usually damage from neglect or poor maintenance leads to denied coverage, but storm damage or other damage from external elements, like trees, will be OK.
Material restrictions. Some insurance companies will deny claims for new wood shake, slate, stone and/or tile roofs. Wood shake is denied most often because it isn’t as durable and can be pricey. New and “green” roofing materials can be denied because insurance companies don’t know what to expect from them in the future. Your best bet for a roof claim is to replace your roof with asphalt shingles or metal roofing.
Roof age. The older your roof is, the less likely it is to be covered by insurance. Old age makes it hard to tell where damage came from. If you buy a new home, you should make sure there aren’t shingle layers stacked on top of each other. Sometimes roofers install shingles on top of the old ones. This saves on labor but is likely to result in denied insurance claims down the road.
It can seem like a big pain when your roof is damaged, especially in the case of severe damage. But with this knowledge under your belt, you’ll be better prepared to deal with your insurance claim process!
This guest post was written by Metro Construction, a Denver roofer and general contractor that serves Colorado and Wyoming. Metro offers roofing, insulation, siding, gutters, windows and painting. One of only 120 Platinum Preferred contractors with Owens Corning in the United States, Metro is dedicated to top of the line service and customer satisfaction.