How to Get Insurance to Pay for Roof Replacement: A Step-by-Step Guide for Homeowners

Last updated on March 19, 2024

Understanding the steps to getting your insurance to cover roof replacement costs can save you significant financial stress, and this comprehensive guide walks you through the entire process effectively.

Key takeaways:

  • Understand your insurance policy coverage and limitations.
  • Thoroughly document the damage with photos and videos.
  • Contact your insurance provider immediately after noticing damage.
  • Submit a detailed claim with supporting evidence.
  • Beware of insurance scams and storm chasers.

Read Your Policy

read your policy

Understanding the terms and coverage limitations of your insurance policy is crucial before pursuing a claim for roof replacement. Different policies cover roof damage to varying degrees, influenced by factors such as the age of the roof and the cause of damage.

Coverage Types: Determine whether you have Actual Cash Value (ACV) or Replacement Cost Value (RCV) coverage. ACV policies consider depreciation and can result in lower payouts, while RCV policies fund full replacement costs, disregarding depreciation.

Deductibles: Know your policy’s deductible—the amount you pay out of pocket before insurance covers the remaining costs.

Exclusions: Familiarize yourself with policy exclusions. Some policies may not cover damages from specific events like wind or hail.

Claims Filing Deadline: Note any time limits for filing claims. Waiting too long after damage can lead to a denied claim.

Maintenance Requirements: Policies often require regular roof maintenance. Lack of maintenance can lead to denied claims for what insurers call “preventable” damage.

Collect this information early in the process to streamline your claim and ensure you meet all requirements for a potential payout.

Document the Damage Thoroughly

To ensure a smooth claims process, take clear, high-resolution photos of the entire roof and close-up shots of specific damage. Photograph not just the obvious areas but also those that might appear unharmed, as underlying issues may not be immediately visible. Using a timestamp on these images can validate the timing of the damage. Additionally, if possible, capture videos to provide a comprehensive view of the roof’s condition.

Maintain a detailed log of all damage, including notes on any leaks, missing shingles, or signs of structural compromise. In case of weather-related damage, record the date of the storm and collect reports from reputable sources confirming its occurrence. Gather receipts for any immediate repairs done to mitigate further damage, as these are reimbursable expenses.

Hiring a professional roofing inspector can also be beneficial. Their expert assessment can support your claim by identifying not only evident damage but also any subtle, technical issues. They can provide a written report, which presents an authoritative perspective on your roof’s condition to the insurance company.

Remember, thorough documentation forms the bedrock of a compelling insurance claim for roof replacement.

Contact Your Insurance Provider Immediately

Upon noticing roof damage, prompt communication with your insurer is crucial in starting the claims process. Delays can lead to complications and potentially weakened claims. Here are some key points to consider when reaching out to your insurance provider:

  • Immediate Reporting: Contact the insurer as soon as you identify damage to expedite the claims process and prevent further harm to the roof.
  • Claim Numbers: Secure a claim number during your initial call. This will serve as a reference throughout the process.
  • Point of Contact: Obtain the name and contact details of the insurance adjuster or representative assigned to your case for direct communication.
  • Understanding the Process: Ask for a clear outline of the next steps and any specific requirements or timelines to follow. This ensures you’re aligned with the insurer’s procedure and don’t miss critical deadlines.
  • Document Interaction: Keep a record of all interactions, including dates, times, names, and key points discussed. This documentation will be important if there is any question about the timeliness of your report or follow-ups.

Immediate engagement with your insurer will help in managing the situation effectively and streamline the path towards a potentially successful claim.

Submit a Detailed Claim

Once you have compiled a comprehensive account of the roof damage, it is time to move forward with your insurance claim. Precision is key; ensure every detail is recorded, including the date and cause of damage, and provide supporting photographs or videos.

Attach receipts for any immediate repairs that were necessary to mitigate further damage, such as covering a leak. The inclusion of a professional roofing contractor’s written estimate can strengthen your case by offering an expert’s assessment of the damages and repair costs.

Keep a log of all communications with your insurance company throughout the process. This attention to detail and meticulous record-keeping can be instrumental in securing the coverage you’re entitled to for your roof replacement.

Beware of Insurance Scams and Storm Chasers

In the aftermath of severe weather, unscrupulous individuals often target distressed homeowners promising quick repairs or assistance with insurance claims. Protect yourself by:

1. Verifying Credentials: Always ask for proof of licensing, insurance, and bonding. Legitimate contractors should willingly provide proof.

2. Researching Contractors: Look up reviews and complaints with the Better Business Bureau or local chamber of commerce. Past performance often indicates future behavior.

3. Avoiding Upfront Payment: A common scam involves a request for significant cash deposits or full payment before work begins. It’s reasonable to pay a small deposit, but the balance should be due after satisfactory completion.

4. Getting Multiple Estimates: This helps ensure you’re receiving a fair price and sets a benchmark for insurance adjusters to consider.

5. Refusing High-pressure Tactics: Trustworthy professionals do not pressure you to sign contracts or make immediate decisions.

Awareness and due diligence are key in selecting a legitimate contractor and avoiding the added stress of dealing with insurance scams.


How many shingles need to be missing for insurance?

In most instances, insurance companies are obligated to replace all the shingles on your roof if only one shingle is missing, particularly when the original shingles have been discontinued and are no longer available.

Does replacing roof increase value home?

Yes, replacing a roof increases the value of a home, typically recouping about 68 percent of the investment.

How do I make a successful water leak insurance claim?

To make a successful water leak insurance claim, document the damages, report the claim to your insurance company immediately, provide necessary documentation, and engage a reliable water damage restoration company for assessment and repairs.

How do you know if your roof has wind damage?

Wind damage on your roof can be identified by the presence of lost shingles around your house or yard, indicating the need for a professional to examine possible further issues.

What types of roof damage are typically covered by homeowners insurance?

Homeowners insurance typically covers roof damage caused by unpreventable incidents such as, natural disasters (like hurricanes or tornadoes), fires, vandalism, and falling debris.

How can preventive roof maintenance impact insurance claims?

Preventive roof maintenance can significantly reduce insurance claims by mitigating potential damages, thus safeguarding the structural integrity of the roof.

What steps should be followed when filing a roof replacement claim with an insurance company?

When filing a roof replacement claim with an insurance company, the steps include documenting the damage with photos, contacting the insurance company to report the damage, reviewing the claim with an adjuster, getting repair estimates from contractors, and submitting the claim.