Having a damaged roof and seeking insurance coverage for it is stressful. You want to get things repaired and handled right away, but there is a proper way to file a claim in order to maximize your chances of a successful application. There are certain things insurance companies want to see–and don’t want to see in order to approve you. Here’s how you can file a homeowner’s insurance claim for roof damage.

Work with Your Roofer to Document Damage

Hopping up on the roof to take photos of the damage yourself is a bad idea, particularly when the roof is damaged. Your roofer can help you document the damage and give you advice about exactly how your insurance claim is likely to go. It may be wiser for you to use their warranty or the manufacturer’s warranty to get the coverage that you need. In which case, your roofer can help you make those claims.

Prevent Further Damage

If you allow your roof’s current state to get worse, your insurance company will not cover it. However, you also don’t want to start the repairs because your insurance company may have terms and conditions for you to follow when you’re approved. So, your roofer can set up a tarp and do only the immediately necessary repairs to prevent damage.

Fill Out an Application

As soon as possible, fill out the online or paper version of your insurance company’s claim form. Some companies even allow you to submit claims over their app. You may benefit from the roofer’s knowledge about exactly what has been damaged when you fill out the form.

Applications often require the following information:

  • What damaged the roof
  • The extent of the damage
  • The location of the damage

Submit it as soon as possible to keep your claim moving quickly.

Insurance Adjuster

It’s not a guarantee, but your insurance company may send out an insurance adjuster in order to assess the damage for themselves. They’ll do their own assessment and may update you as to the likely timeframe for your claim. In many states, the money for the claim has to be sent to you within 30 days of the approval.

In the meantime, you will still need to cover your deductible, so it’s wise to get that money together. There are often additional deductibles for wind and hail damage so it’s good to check over your policy and make sure you have the right amount.

What If You’re Denied?

What happens if your claim is denied? In some circumstances you can apply to be reconsidered. In others, there is nothing you can do but pay for the roof replacement out of pocket.

Getting the Repairs

If you have your insurance company’s approval, then you can move ahead with the repairs. Keep in mind that you and your roofer need to follow any conditions the company sets out. You may need to choose a roofing contractor they prefer, and only repair certain portions of the roof.