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How do roof insurance claims work?

sol vista roofing colorado roof inspection

At Sol Vista Roofing, we focus on building the best roofs in Colorado. We are experts in roofing materials and construction techniques.

With the amount of hail we receive in Colorado, we have also become experts in the roof insurance claim process. In this article we want to share some of the key information to help you understand that process.

  • To start, here is a summary of Sol Vista’s 6-steps we follow for all roof insurance claim projects.
    1. Sol Vista roof consultant inspects your roof. We will give you an honest assessment.
    2. Insurance claim filed (if damage is significant).
    3. Insurance adjuster will inspect your roof.
    4. Insurance claim approval.
    5. Roofing construction.
    6. Inspection and closing meeting.

As we navigate these steps, we have found questions often arise around the following key areas. Here are the four most common questions we receive about the roof insurance claim process:

  • Should I have my insurance company inspect first, or a roofing contractor? The answer to this can depend on several factors. However, in most cases we suggest having an honest, qualified roofer inspect your roof first. Good roofing contractors are the experts in the technical quality of the roof and are trained to identify any weaknesses in your roof structure (such as storm damage). Many insurance adjusters are also well qualified, but we have found in some cases they are focused on following their inspection booklet and overlook significant damage.
  • Will you send me a roof quote after you inspect and find damage? At Sol Vista we have many customers choose to purchase a new roof, and we gladly provide a quote up-front. However, for insurance claim roofing projects we must first wait until the insurance company approves the roof claim. They will provide an approved scope-of-work that details the specific roofing components to be replaced, which functions as your “quote”. We will receive that quote and build you the best possible roof for the amount the insurance company approved (we also have building code experts who review the insurance scope and make sure no key components are missing… aka “supplementing”).
  • Should I get three quotes for my roof and my insurance claim? Along the same lines as above, we advise first finding a roofing contractor you trust, then obtaining the insurance company’s approved scope-of-work. If you receive multiple quotes and share the lowest-cost option with your insurance company, they may accept it even though they would have authorized even more. Most of our customers prefer their insurance company authorize as much payment as possible so they receive the best possible roof for their storm repair claim. After all, the cost to them (their deductible), does not change whether the insurance company pays $5,000 or $15,000.
  • How do insurance companies pay for roof claims? This has changed in recent years, and may be different than you remember if you have filed a roof claim in the past. Nowadays the insurance company will pay the claim value in two payments. The first payment occurs when they approve the claim and will equal the total claim amount, less your roof’s depreciation, less your deductible. The deductible is subtracted because the insurance company expects the homeowner to pay that amount directly to the contractor at the time of claim approval. After the roof construction is complete, the insurance company will provide the second payment which is equivalent to your roof’s depreciated amount that was subtracted from your first payment. In some cases, your insurer may identify some items as “non-recoverable” depreciation in which case those amounts will not be included in a second payment. Likewise, some policies are “ACV only”, which means none of the depreciated amount is included in the claim (these policies have lower premiums to correlate with the reduced claim settlements). Here are some key terms that come up during some roof claims:
    • Replacement Cost Value (RCV) – the total cost to replace your roof including all the roof components, tax, permit, etc.
    • Depreciation – the amount of value lost over time due to your roof’s age. In RCV policies, this amount is withheld and paid as a 2nd payment upon completion of the roof construction.
    • Actual Cash Value (ACV) – equal to the RCV amount less the depreciation amount, this is the actual value of your existing roof before restoration.

Wondering about the condition of your roof? Contact us to get in touch with a roofing professional that will guide you through the claims process with ease.