Whether you decided you should call your insurance company and file a claim, or you were told to do so by someone who inspected your roof, if your claim has been denied, do you know what the repercussions of that will be and what you should do now?
Here are some different scenarios that we see that cause roofing claims to be denied.
- Calling Your Insurance Company Too Soon
By far the most common reason for denied claims is when a hailstorm occurs in a city or a neighborhood and a homeowner thinks he should call his insurance company to "check out" his roof. IMPORTANT! - It's not your insurance company's or insurance adjuster's job to "check out" your roof to see if it's damaged. As soon as you call your insurance company and ask to have an "inspector" sent out, you have filed a claim. The "inspector" who is coming out is an adjuster and his job is to assess the damage and assign an estimated value to the repairs of that damage.
If you have no damage, guess what? You still have a claim on your insurance record.
Your insurance record is like your credit report. It should be protected from having bad things on it, and claims are bad things for your insurance record.
Just because there's been a hailstorm in your area - unless it's a huge one and you have damage to your house you can see - do not call your insurance company.
- Real Estate Sales
Probably the next most common reason for denied claims is due to home inspectors during a real estate sale. Home inspectors are not normally trained to know what hail damage looks like, so many times, if they see any damage on a roof, they'll report it as hail damage. This prompts the homeowner to file a claim. If the home inspector was wrong, however, and there is no storm damage, that will result in a denied claim
- Over-Zealous Roofing Salesmen/Inspectors
The 3rd most common reason for denied claims is due to "roofers" (most of the time, door-to-door roofing salesmen) who are eager for a commission and who take a "throw-it-against-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks" attitude. They're hoping that if they can convince homeowners to file claims that even if some of them get denied, they'll still get several signed contracts out of it.
IMPORTANT! - It's your insurance record and it's your responsibility to protect it.
- Poorly Trained Adjusters
We see this fairly commonly, too, especially if there's been a lot of hail. When there's a huge need for adjusters, the insurance companies begin hiring and oftentimes they don't hire people with experience. They give them a little bit of training and then send them out on the streets.
What Should You Do If Your Insurance Claim For Your Roof Gets Denied?
Call a trustworthy roofing contractor to re-inspect your roof. If there really is damage that should be covered by your insurance company, your roofer will know how to handle it with the insurance company. Normally you, as the homeowner, can request a re-inspection from the insurance company and ask for a different adjuster. If there really is damage on the roof, we've seen those rejected claims get overruled many times.
The bottom line is - there's no need to worry. If you really do have damage, the right roofing contractor will know how to help you get your claim approved.