“Property owners may not be aware of hail damage to their roofs. In addition, hail exposure also accelerates the aging and weathering of roofs,” says the Insurance Information Institute (III). We were trying to think of some fancy-schmancy introduction, but those two sentences do all the heavy lifting for us. You absolutely must deal with hail and wind damage to your Denver-area or Fort Collins-area home. Here’s how to do it.
As the III indicates, time matters in dealing with hail or wind damage. First, no roof (metal, tile, shingle, low-slope) heals itself. A windstorm or hail storm that tears at, scours, pits, or pulls away your residential roof is a powerful force. Your Denver-area home’s roof is designed to deal with levels of wind (usually up to around 120 miles per hour) and hail smaller than one inch in diameter.
Second, the storm damage ages your roof and accelerates weathering. The tiny cracks and dings from hail on shingles can allow water infiltration. Wind uplift will crease and tear shingles. Extensive damage can mean complete roof replacement just to prevent water damage to your home’s living space.
So what do you need to know about insurance claims for roof hail/wind damage? You need to know time is not on your side. First, your roof is hurting and needs TLC. Second, your local roofer and insurance company will be handling dozens of calls and claims. Make your calls early to stay near the front of the long line.
Your call to your insurance company is not just to ask about your deductible (though that’s a good idea); you need to open a claim to get prompt action from the insurance adjuster. The adjuster is the person who decides what is covered, to what extent, and what the remedy should be. Make the call right away!
Good ol’ III spells it out: many homeowners have no idea their home sustained hail or wind damage. You might head outside after a storm and count yourself lucky, unable to see real damage from your spot in the front yard.
You need the trained eye of a professional residential roofer to examine your roof for four reasons:
- Roofs are inherently dangerous places, so homeowners should not go on their roofs
- Damage can be widespread but slight in any one spot, making identification hard to pinpoint
- A residential roofer’s careful inspection carries tremendous weight with the insurance company’s adjuster
- The residential roofer can affirm in writing that your Fort Collins-area home suffered hail and wind damage
The best way to provide a detailed repair estimate and Scope of Work is to ask your roofer to prepare it, along with documenting the damage in photographs or video. You may have to be the intermediary between adjuster and roofer, but at least you will be providing authoritative information.
In This Together
Three different parties are part of the residential roof repair process after a windstorm or hail storm:
- You, the homeowner, whose job is to make the two calls (roofer and insurer) and file the insurance claim for roof hail/wind damage
- The roofer, whose job is to provide vital information about your roof’s condition, make repairs as needed, and work directly with you on making your house whole
- The insurance company’s adjuster (not your local agent), who will visit your home — ideally when the roofer is available — evaluate the damage and cut a check for repairs (or full roof replacement), less your deductible
The process is quick but not instant. You will need to have patience as your insurance company (your first telephone call) and your roofer (your second telephone call) handle their parts of the process. To them, it is routine; to you, it is an emergency.
The claims process may seem like it moves in fits and starts, but suddenly you will find a roofing crew on your home’s roof, repairing the damage or replacing your entire roof. You pay the deductible and your insurance company usually (but not always) pays the roofer directly.
Remember that your one-time emergency insurance claim, the hail storm or windstorm that battered and bruised your beautiful home, is the daily bread and butter of the roofer and adjuster. They realize you may be a little upset, even a bit worried, but the process will move along as each of them completes their part of the project.
Red Diamond Roofing provides homeowners in the Denver and Fort Collins areas with all types of roofing services, from routine inspections to emergency roof repair. We have years of experience working on insurance claims. Please contact us today to learn how we can help you get your beautiful home back to its pristine shape after a dangerous windstorm or hail storm.