You did everything right – paid your insurance premiums on time, maintained your roof, filed claims promptly. But your claim still got denied? Ugh. Dealing with insurance can be frustrating. But don’t pull your hair out yet! With the right approach, you can successfully negotiate with your insurer to cover a full roof replacement. This comprehensive guide will walk you through exactly how to make that happen.
Do You Actually Have A Legitimate Claim?
Before you go accusing your insurance company of acting in bad faith, make sure you take an objective look at whether you have a valid claim to begin with.
Review Those Policy Provisions
Check what type of coverage you have. An Actual Cash Value (ACV) policy only pays the depreciated value, not the full replacement cost. So if your 25-year-old roof gets damaged, don’t expect enough money to replace the whole thing.
With a Replacement Cost Value (RCV) policy, you’ll get reimbursement for the current cost to replace your roof. But coverage still hinges on other provisions…
Many policies exclude damage from wear and tear, lack of maintenance, mold, mildew, pests, or contractor negligence. Review the fine print so you know what will invalidate a claim.
Get a Professional Roof Inspection
Before accusing your insurer of anything, get photo documentation from a pro roofing contractor showing clear storm, wind, or hail damage. Missing shingles, hail marks, and curled edges help prove your case.
File Claims Promptly
Insurers can deny coverage if too much time lapses after the damage event. File ASAP so the issues don’t worsen.
Prepare Yourself To Negotiate
You’ve got a valid claim? Great! Now begin gathering ammunition for those negotiations.
Pull out those roof inspection reports, maintenance receipts, and before & after photos or damage. Organized records make insurers more likely to cooperate.
Know What Roof Inspectors Hunt For
When the insurance sends an adjuster, they’ll scour for hail marks, missing or curled shingles, and exposed underlayment. Understanding what they look for helps you dispute any lowball estimates.
Brush Up On Roof Lifespans
Insurers consider age and condition when assessing claims. Asphalt shingles last around 25 years, but robust concrete tiles go for 50-100 years. If your roof’s lifespan is almost up, be prepared for resistance.
Submit Your Insurance Claim
Once prepped, it’s go time! Follow these steps for air-tight insurance claims.
Secure Professional Roof Inspection
Work with your roofing contractor to thoroughly document all damage. Clear evidence is key to prompt approvals.
Review The Nitty Gritty Policy Details
Verify what coverage provisions apply and ensure you meet all requirements. Re-read exclusions too so you know what could invalidate the claim.
Prepare Your Documents
Compile those inspection reports, maintenance records, before & after photos etc. Organize them by date and incident.
File That Claim Pronto
Seriously, don’t drag your heels here! File ASAP before secondary damage occurs. Most policies require action within days to weeks after incidents.
Record All Claim Communication
Save phone logs, emails, and written correspondence. These records can support disputes if your claim gets denied or the estimate seems unfairly low.
Pro Claim Negotiation Tips
Got your claim filed but need the insurer to cover more? Use these key strategies to master claim negotiations.
Know Your Policy’s Ins and Outs
In-depth comprehension of your exclusions, extensions, and limits helps massively when negotiating. You’ll know precisely what you’re entitled to.
Follow Every Instruction
Insurers pounce on any breach of deadlines or rules to invalidate claims. So read all that fine print! Jumping through every hoop raises approval odds.
Clarify Ambiguous Language
Standard policies often contain purposefully confusing clauses. Don’t hesitate to ask your agent to explain sections in plain speak so you completely understand.
Save every piece of communication exchanged over your claim – physical letters, call logs, emails, text messages. Records protect you if disputes arise over what was said.
Bid High, Provide Proof
Insurers start with the lowest reasonable number. But you should counter-offer the maximum defensible value supported by documentation. Meet somewhere in the middle.
Can the same negotiation tactics be used for window replacements as well?
Matching Laws & ITEL Can Cover Complete Replacement
Insurers often balk at replacing an entire roof, wanting to only repair sections instead. But homeowners in some states have powerful tools to compel full reimbursement…
Matching Laws Even The Playing Field
These laws require insurers to replace siding, roofing, or floors damaged in sections IF materials that match the originals are unavailable. So if your 25 year old shingles are discontinued, they must pay to redo the whole roof!
The ITEL Matching Process
This lab analyzesroof samplesto ID the brand and color. If matching shingles don’t exist anymore, matching laws kick in. ITEL also helps determine if repairs are realistic or if full replacement is needed to restore uniform appearance.
Check if your state has matching provisions. If so, pursue ITEL analysis to show whether intact sections of your roof still (un)reasonably blend with repaired patches. This evidence can justify replacing the entire thing.
Get An Ally In Your Roofer
A reputable roofing contractor acts as your guide through the confusing claims process – helping facilitate approvals through every stage.
They know how to compile documentation that proves your case, can accurately estimate full repair/replacement costs to push back on insurer lowballs, and will directly negotiate with claims managers on your behalf.
Having an experienced roofer as an advocate by your side can make ALL the difference between claim denial and coming out way ahead.
So there you have it – the inside tips for getting your insurance provider to fully cover roof replacement costs. I know, at first glance, their denial seems ruthless and unfair. But approach negotiations calmly and come equipped with the facts. There’s a good chance you walk away with a nice new roof!