Should You File An Insurance Claim For Your Roof?
Recently, I filed a claim on my home. Man, navigating the world of homeowner’s insurance claims was like trying to weave my way through the forest at night in a blizzard with wolves growling on all sides.
If you’re like most homeowners, you’ve never needed to file a claim on your property before. Here’s a list of my thoughts, struggles and temptations on the process that might help you on your journey.
1. Temptation: Don’t file a claim. I didn’t want a negative mark on my insurance record and I sure didn‘t want my rates going up. Surely this means I shouldn’t file the claim right?
Wrong. While my reasoning is sound, I was mistaken on a couple key points. Insurance companies can’t target individuals for filing a claim. Unlike auto insurance where your rates go up if you are a terrible driver (we’ve all seen them around the Springs!), homeowners aren’t punished for weather caused claims. You should file a claim because the large number of hail claims in Colorado Springs and Denver are driving up insurance rates for our entire region!
2. Temptation: Pocket the money. Let’s face it. I’m human. When I see the insurance money in my account, I‘m tempted to think, “That‘s my money. Maybe I’ll do something else with it.” After all, I don‘t see our roof every day and it isn’t leaking. As the saying goes, “If it’s not broke, don‘t fix it.”
Wrong again. The reason the insurance company paid the claim is because the roof is broken. Insurance companies have fought long, hard, expensive battles on not paying damages that are purely cosmetic. By paying you, the insurance company is saying you have functional damage that needs to be addressed. If you don’t address it, your roof will no longer be insured, and any future damages, inside or out, won’t be covered due to your negligence. You’ll also find that if you need/want to sell your house, you’ll have difficulty when the inspector flags your roof as damaged.
While putting in that new lawn, paying off medical bills, or taking that vacation might be tempting, it’s not worth the risks.
3. Thought: Delay the work. Not necessarily a temptation, just a timing issue. I didn‘t want to risk another hail storm, and I was too busy to deal with it all. Here’s the problem. With insurance claims, time is not your friend. I only have a limited amount of time to recover the depreciation on my claim and I don’t want cash coming out of my pocket. (Side note: if you have an ACV only policy, you won’t get depreciation paid to you. Talk to your insurance company. You don’t want an ACV policy in the Springs!)
For the sake of my home’s interior, my pocketbook, and my peace of mind, I got the work done. This also eliminated Temptation #2 above. This spring will be crammed with everyone who waited to get their work done and is facing an insurance deadline!
After deciding to get the work done, I had to hire trustworthy companies. At Petrali Roofing my goal is to make that search as painless as possible for you. Our company is locally owned, veteran operated, experienced, and ready to help. In the next post, I’ll highlight some of my criteria for selecting contractors.