Top Mistakes Homeowners Make with Insurance Claims After Roof Damage

May 29, 2024

Denied Roof Damage Insurance Claims And Mistakes Dallas Fort Worth Homeowners Make Duting Insurance Claim Process

From Roof Damage to Recovery: Steering Clear of Insurance Claim Blunders After a Storm

Essential Advice for Dallas-Fort Worth Homeowners to Secure a Fair Settlement

Imagine this: a powerful hailstorm or fierce high winds sweep through the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, leaving behind a trail of destruction. You step outside to inspect your property and your worst fears are confirmed—your roof has sustained significant damage. Now, you’re faced with the daunting task of filing an insurance claim. But wait! Before you dive in, let’s discuss the top mistakes homeowners often make during this process and how you can avoid them. Understanding these pitfalls can mean the difference between a smooth claims process and a costly denial. Are you ready to secure your home and peace of mind? Let’s dive in.

The Biggest Mistakes to Avoid After Your Home Sustained Roof Damage

Mistake#1: Delaying the Claim

Procrastination is a common enemy. After a storm, it’s easy to put off filing an insurance claim. Maybe you’re overwhelmed, or perhaps you think the damage isn’t severe. However, delaying can complicate your claim. Insurance companies often have strict deadlines for filing claims after an event. Missing these deadlines could lead to a denial. So, take action promptly!

Mistake #2: Inadequate Documentation

Picture this: you submit a claim for roof damage but it gets denied because of insufficient evidence. It’s a frustrating scenario, but one that’s entirely avoidable. Taking comprehensive photos and videos of the damage immediately after the storm is crucial. Document every detail, from damaged shingles to water stains inside your home. This evidence will be essential when proving your claim.

Mistake #3: Failing to Protect the Property from Further Damage

Once the storm has passed and the initial damage is done, your responsibility isn’t over yet. One critical mistake homeowners make is neglecting to take steps to prevent further damage to their homes. This is known as “mitigating your losses.” Failing to cover broken windows, tarp a leaking roof, or address any immediate threats could result in additional damage that your insurance may not cover. By taking these preventative actions, you not only protect your home but also strengthen your insurance claim. Remember, the goal is to maintain the integrity of your property to the best of your ability until permanent repairs can be made by professionals.

Mistake #4: Not Understanding Your Policy

How well do you know your insurance policy? Many homeowners skip the fine print, leading to misunderstandings about what’s covered and what isn’t. Familiarize yourself with your policy’s specifics. Know the extent of your coverage, your deductible, and any exclusions. This knowledge is your best defense against unexpected surprises.

Mistake #5: Failing to Get an Independent Inspection

Relying solely on the insurance company’s adjuster can be a mistake. While they are professionals, their priority is the insurance company, not you. Hiring a professional roofing company to conduct an independent inspection ensures you get an unbiased assessment of the roof damage. This second opinion can be invaluable when negotiating with your insurer.

Mistake #6: Accepting the First Settlement Offer

The first offer from your insurance company might not always be the best. Sometimes, it’s lower than what you deserve. Don’t hesitate to negotiate. Provide your documentation, and if needed, seek assistance from a roofing professional who can help you argue your case effectively.

Responsibilities of Insurance Companies

Homeowners should take the initiative to thoroughly check their insurance policy to understand their insurer’s responsibilities regarding roof damage claims. Understanding these details can empower you, ensuring you hold the insurer accountable while also streamlining communications and expectations. Typically, the home insurer has the following key duties:

  • Prompt Response: Insurers must respond promptly to a claim filed by a homeowner. According to the Texas Department of Insurance, an insurance company must acknowledge the receipt of a claim, begin an investigation, and request any necessary items, statements, or forms from the policyholder within 15 days of receiving the claim.
  • Investigation of Claim: The insurer is required to investigate the claim thoroughly. This includes assessing the damage to the roof to determine the extent of repairs needed and whether the damage is covered under the policy terms.
  • Fair Evaluation and Decision: After investigating, the insurer must inform the homeowner in writing of the acceptance or rejection of the claim within 15 business days after receiving all necessary information and statements from the policyholder. If more time is needed to make a decision, the insurer can extend this period by up to 45 days, but they must notify the homeowner of the delay and the reasons for it.
  • Timely Payment: If the claim is approved, the insurer must pay the claim within five business days after notifying the policyholder of the approval. If payment is delayed, the insurer may owe the policyholder interest on the amount of the claim.
  • Explanation of Denial: If the claim is denied, the insurer must provide a clear and comprehensive explanation of the reasons for the denial. This explanation must be based on the terms and conditions of the homeowner’s policy.
  • Dispute Resolution: In case of a disagreement between the insurer and the homeowner regarding the amount of the loss or coverage, the policyholder has the right to request mediation or arbitration, as specified in the camera settings. Additionally, the homeowner can file a complaint with the Texas Department of Insurance.
  • Good Faith and Fair Dealing: Insurers are legally obligated to deal with policyholders in good faith. This means they cannot deny a claim without a reasonable basis or fail to investigate a claim adequately.

Responsibilities of Homeowners

When a homeowner in Texas experiences roof damage, there are several responsibilities they must fulfill as part of the insurance claim process:

  • Timely Report of the Claim: Notifying the insurance company promptly helps to initiate the claims process quickly and ensures compliance with policy terms that might specify reporting deadlines.
  • Take Rational, Reasonable Steps to Protect the Property from Additional Damage: This duty is crucial because insurance policies generally require policyholders to prevent additional losses and prevent the current damage from worsening.
  • Make Reasonable Temporary Repairs: Temporary repairs are meant to protect the property from further damage. It’s important that these repairs are reasonable and necessary; extravagant or permanent fixes might not be covered without prior approval from the insurer.
  • Provide Requested Information: The insurance company may require specific information to process the claim, including details of the damage, documentation of loss, and historical records of the property and its contents.
  • Provide Access to the Property: Insurers often need to inspect the damage firsthand to assess the claim. Granting timely access can facilitate a smoother claim process.
  • Keep Receipts for Repair Expenses, Hotel Bills, and Food: Maintaining records of all expenditures related to the loss can help ensure full reimbursement under the terms of the policy for additional living expenses and repairs.
  • Provide an Inventory of Contents Damaged: An itemized list of damaged personal property with descriptions and the value of each item can aid in accurately processing the personal property portion of the claim.
  • Reasonably Cooperate with the Investigation: Cooperation might include providing statements, completing paperwork, and participating in interviews with claims adjusters.

How Phillips Home Improvements Can Help

Navigating the insurance claim process can feel like walking through a maze. This is where a professional roofing company like Phillips Home Improvements can make all the difference. Our expertise in storm restoration, roof repair, and roof replacement ensures that you receive the support you need from start to finish. At Phillips Home Improvements, we:

  • Conduct thorough roof inspections to document the full extent of the damage.
  • Provide detailed reports and photographic evidence to support your claim.
  • Provide the necessary assistance as you work with your insurance company to ensure that you receive a fair settlement.
  • Offer professional advice on the best repair or replacement options for your roof. Our team stands by you every step of the way, making the claims process as smooth and stress-free as possible.

By addressing the common mistakes and understanding your responsibilities as a homeowner, you can navigate the insurance claim process with confidence and get your roof restored promptly. If you have any questions or need assistance, don’t hesitate to contact the team of experts at Phillips Home Improvements. We’re here to help.

Remember, the difference between a denied claim and a successful one often comes down to knowledge and preparedness. Stay informed, act quickly, and lean on professionals like Phillips Home Improvements to guide you through the process. Learn more about our storm and hail damage services.

Ready to Protect Your Home?

Don’t leave your home’s future to chance. Schedule a free roof damage inspection with our team at Phillips Home Improvements today. We’re here to help you navigate the complexities of insurance claims and ensure your home stands strong through every storm. Your home deserves the best.

Let’s make sure it gets the care and attention it needs!