Although we’re protected from softball-sized hail, tornadoes, and hurricanes, Mother Nature can still do a number on Pacific Northwest roofing. One of the main culprits is an accumulation of snow or ice on huge trees that tower over our homes.
Depending on the age of the roof or how strong the structure is, you could be sharing your living room with a large branch. Strong windstorms have also been known to take out a few tree branches and when combined with a lot of rain, entire trees have even been blown over.
Imagine waking in the middle of the night to discover a blown-over tree in your bedroom! Once the shock wears off, and everybody is okay, a thousand thoughts run through your head. How do we get the tree out of here, how will we fix the roof, and how are we going to pay for it all?
Filing An Insurance Claim
Most of us take out a home loan and pay a mortgage when we buy a house, so home insurance is a forgone conclusion. That being said, there are many different insurance companies that offer several different types of coverage. Depending on your policy, the claims process can either be straightforward or a stressful situation.
Was the tree on your property, or did it belong to someone next door? While fences make good neighbors, those relationships can get strained if the fence – and part of a house – is destroyed by a fallen tree. There are a lot of factors at play, such as the health of the tree, if it had been maintained, or if you had made any attempt to have the tree inspected.
At that point, you could be entangled in an insurance company vs. insurance company brouhaha. For our purposes here, we’ll say the tree was on your property. We’ll also assume the tree was in good health, and if not for rain-soaked ground and high winds, it would still be standing. And, finally, the insurance company accepts the claim.
Just how much of a roof replacement are they responsible for? This is where the language of the policy comes into play. When you file a claim, the insurance company will want to take a look at the damage themselves. This is when it pays to be working with an established insurance company.
After all, who wants to leave a tree in their house while waiting for an insurance inspector? Especially during the rainy season. Not only is the structure of the home compromised, but the interior will continue to get more water damage. Find out what kind of response you can expect in the hours or days following a disaster.
After the house is secured and the tree is taken away, the inspector will go to work. They will gather an immense amount of information to determine replacement costs. For example, if your roof was rated for 20 years, and it was 25 years old, that may reduce the amount of the settlement of the roof claim.
The types of roofing materials also come into play when figuring out a final tally. If a slate roof is damaged, it will take more money to cover the cost of repair or replacement than if it were asphalt shingles. Structural damage, damage to the interior of the home, and personal belongings will also affect the final settlement.
This is an extreme example, of course. It’s more likely that a roof replacement will be needed after a few decades of normal wear and tear. Wind or hail may damage shingles over time, leading to a roof leak or two. Left unaddressed, the damage could lead to ripping off the roof, tearing out interior walls, and even taking steps to remove mold spores from the home.
However, don’t expect your insurance company to cover those costs. As a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to keep your home in livable condition. This means normal maintenance on your roof, decaying trees on your lot, and taking care of the little things that could affect your home.
If you are unsure what your homeowner’s insurance will cover – disaster or not – it doesn’t hurt to review your policy. Call your agent if you have any questions, including what kind of deductible you have to work with. It may make more sense to take care of a roofing problem out of your own pocket than getting your insurance involved.
Are you noticing water spots on your ceiling or considering a replacement for a roof that’s well past its prime? Contact Warner Roofing and Construction for a free estimate. We can also provide a roof estimate that will help out with your insurance claim to make sure your home is protected from the elements as quickly as possible.