What and What Not to Do When Dealing With a Roof Leak
It’s a chilly fall night; you and your family are gathered, enjoying a nice warm dinner around the table. Water drops fall from the ceiling into the mashed potatoes, green beans, and all over the table. This wasn’t part of your plan for the evening but it’s something that needs to be handled immediately.
What do you do now?
Join us as we go through the process of dealing with roof damage and how to approach and handle the roof damage claim with your insurance company.
What Roof Damage Will My Insurance Cover?
Insurance Policies are very particular, and each company has specific language in its policies. Still, in general, they say, “Roof leaks are mostly covered if it’s from an opening in the roof caused by a covered cause of loss.” Some of the most common examples of these would be:
- Storm Damage
- Hail Damage
- Wind damage
- Falling objects (we had a client who had a coconut fall out of a tree and make a hole in their roof).
My Roof is Leaking Now What?
The first thing you should do when there is a leak in your house is to move all objects out of the way of the leak. Next, contain the water in buckets or whatever else you have that can hold water. Lastly, but honestly, this could be the first to get proper documentation of the damage and leaks as it’s occurring. This will be very helpful when you file your claim with your insurance company down the road a little. Take as many pictures and videos of the damage as you can.
If you notice a bulge or pooling water in the ceiling, one of the best things you can do is take a screwdriver or other sharp object and poke a hole so it drains into one of your buckets below. This will help to reduce damage to drywall, beams, and joists. We recommend putting up a tarp yourself or having a company put a tarp over the leak to help minimize damage, which is known as mitigating loss and will make you look better with the insurance company when filing your claim.
Dealing With an Insurance Adjuster.
There is an important thing to note here with the insurance adjuster. It is essential to be kind to the adjuster and not be rude, but remember the insurance adjuster is not your friend. Their job is to evaluate the risk for the insurance company and determine if there are ways that the insurance company can minimize their risk with your loss.
Don’t let the insurance adjuster go anywhere without you – this includes the roof. If you cannot go everywhere with them, we recommend sending someone who can go with them. We have had instances where the adjuster will go on a roof and break tiles – which the insurance company is now responsible for repairing.
Must Do’s With Your Insurance Adjuster
- Walk through every area affected– Make sure they are documenting the places affected by the damage and recording it. Ensure you let the insurance adjuster know every area affected by the damage.
- List the facts– We get the question a lot. Should I be vague in my answers? Let them know the facts and what is damaged. Be specific, but you don’t need to admit fault or anything like that.
- Document the early signs of damage– If you are starting to see water spots, bowing of the ceiling, or any other signs of damage, get on the roof and document what you see. You can use all this evidence in your insurance claim. The more info you have, the better your case will be.
- If they refuse to document something- If they refuse to record or document any specific areas, you need to take out your phone and record them declining to note the damage in a particular area.
Our Most Complicated Roof Damage Case to Date
One of the most complicated roof damage cases we have covered in our over 20 years of experience came recently when our customer suffered roof damage from the wind. Now the beginning of the complications came with they have two different roof systems; a shingle roof and a combo flat roof. There were obvious signs of wind damage on the shingle roof. There was damage to both sets of roofs as well as the inside of the house had damage as well where it had leaked.
The insurance adjuster said they would cover the roof’s shingle portion of the roof, but the flat roof claim would be denied because it was just standard wear and tear. However, they also said they would not cover the associated water damage under the shingle portion of the roof because it didn’t seem related.
Luckily our team of experts can go in and document and show evidence that both of these were caused by the same thing and that we can get our client proper restitution.
Your First Call After You Notice Roof Damage
We get calls at every stage of the claims process. Typically, they come at the beginning, where we go and handle inspections and then walk the claim through the entire process, acting as your voice to the insurance company. Some prefer to see the claims process through on their own – which is fine.
As public adjusters, we are here to serve you at any point during the claims process. Even if the insurance carrier has already denied your claim, we can still help. Since we specialize in handling these types of claims on a day-in and day-out basis, we firmly believe that it’s better to let a public adjuster handle both the insurance claim and the adjuster.
Calling a public adjuster is 100% free. We will come out to inspect your property and insurance policy and let you know if you have a claim. Let us go to work for you and get you every penny you deserve for your home insurance claim.