What to do if your Insurance Company Will Only Pay for Half of Your Roof
It happens all of the time, and we get how frustrating it is. Storm damage or hail damage rips up your roof, and you need a replacement.
An insurance adjuster comes out…and he tells you that the insurance agency is only going to replace half of your roof. What’s going on? What should you do? Are you doomed to have a leaky roof?
If you're wondering, "Does insurance cover roof replacement?" please read on as there are a few things going on here.
It’s Possible That You Don’t Need a Full Roof Replacement
Often, storm damage or hail damage takes out a single roof slope instead of the entire roof. If that’s the case, the shingles on that single slope usually need to be replaced—and that is all.
Many homeowners aren’t satisfied with that answer because it can be difficult to provide an exact color match to the shingles that are on the roof. Your roof may already be 15 years old by this point, and the manufacturer might not make shingles in that specific color any more. Additionally, shingles fade over the years. Homeowners feel that this gives their home a “patchwork” look that devalues it.
This may or may not be true. People generally don’t stand, stare, and try to decide whether the exact shades of black or grey match up on a roof. They tend to pay more attention to what it looks like on the inside, and whether or not the siding looks nice. Given the replacement would all happen on one slope and the color shift would happen on another it would be difficult to notice a change in the first place. More often than not we can usually get a “close enough” color that won’t make a big difference.
In any case, unless you have a specific clause in your policy, the insurance company is only really required to fix “damage,” which means fixing your roof with a like material. They are not concerned with the shingles being an exact match. Similarly, they aren’t required to pay for roof upgrades, and they aren’t required to pay for damage to your roof that wasn’t caused by a weather related activity.
You can choose to pay for upgrades and additional repairs on your own because it is unlikely that your insurance company will budge. It’s worth understanding this when you buy your homeowner’s policy, and if you’re worried about this happening in the future you might speak to your agent about taking on coverage which might prevent this from being an issue in the future.
It’s Possible the Adjuster Didn’t Understand the Extent of the Damage
Adjusters can be good at what they do, but they are not roofers. We can walk with the adjuster and point out the full extent of the work that must be done.
If the storm damage has created a problem that really does require a full roof replacement then we can help the adjuster understand this, and the adjuster will occasionally re-evaluate the claim in your favor. Getting us out there for an estimate can be helpful, even if you feel like the insurance company won’t pay for everything you want done.
However, we don’t want you to have unrealistic expectations. Experienced adjusters are usually quite accurate in their assessments. They use satellite photographs and a couple of different computer programs to assess the prices at industry standard.
The insurance adjuster’s report will, in fact, often act as a limiter on our bid—and the bid of every other roofer that you might call. At that point, you just want to go with the highest quality and most trustworthy roofer that you can find (obviously we hope you’ll choose us) because going to multiple roofers won’t influence the insurance company’s decision.
Some roofers won’t tell you that your insurance company will pay you only for those items outlined in their adjustment. Any additional work that you wish the insurance company to pay for must be approved prior to the roof installation. We will be honest with you and inform you in advance for any additional repairs that you will be responsible for.
We will help you navigate the insurance process to get you the best deal that we can. But at the end of the day, you’re going to have to fix the roof one way or another—we advise you not to delay moving forward with getting a new roof simply because you’re not getting everything you want from your homeowner’s policy.