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Two people negotiating price for a roof that is being built

How To Negotiate a Roof Replacement with Your Insurance Company

On average, roof repair can cost anywhere between $400 and $1,200. If the damage is extensive, the cost can go as high as $15,000. Even though your insurance company might end up covering the expenses, filing a claim can become the ultimate challenge, especially if you don’t know what to expect or where to start. 

Below, you will find helpful tips on how to negotiate roof replacement with the insurance company and an easy-to-follow guide that will assist you in getting the coverage that you need. 

Key Takeaways

  • Roof repairs can cost between $400 and $15,000, with insurance coverage being a potential but challenging option.
  • Helpful tips are provided to negotiate roof replacement with insurance companies, emphasizing the importance of documentation and professional inspections.
  • Understanding what homeowners' insurance typically covers, such as damage from weather conditions, and tips for maximizing insurance payouts.

Negotiating Roof Damage with Insurance 

Not sure if you need a roof replacement? You'll need to get your hands dirty and check things out.

1. Assess Your Roof

Examining the roof from the ground level

  • Look for cracks, holes, damaged or missing shingles
  • Document the areas with any loose materials
  • Inspect the downspouts and gutters (ensure they are free of debris)
  • Take a look at the flashing around the vents and chimney

Looking at the actual roof

  • Take a closer look at all the shingles. Take note of the ones that are curled, cracked, or missing entirely.
  • Check for signs of water damage (staining, leaks, mold, and mildew, etc.).

2. Document Any Damage

Take photos of the roof (you would also want to have a few ‘before’ photos) and write down any signs of damage that you have noticed during the assessment.

You would have to call a professional to conduct a roof inspection if you have discovered:

  • Damaged, missing, or curled shingles
  • Stains on the ceiling
  • Sagging in the roof
  • Leaks in the roof

3. Schedule a Private Roof Inspection

The opinion of a professional would add more weight to your arguments during the insurance claims process.  

4. Get Multiple Bids

Ideally, you would want to have at least 3 or 4 bids from various roofing companies in your area. Those will be provided to the insurance agent to act as a base cost of the required roof repairs.

5. Consult with an Insurance Adjuster

Even if you have hired a professional to inspect the roof, the insurance company will perform its separate inspection. The adjuster will ultimately determine how much the company is willing to cover.

6. File a Roof Insurance Claim

Only after having a chat with your own contractor and insurance adjuster, you can finally proceed to file a claim.

Don’t be afraid to consult your insurance agent – the expert will help you meet the proper requirements and deadlines.

7. Select a Reputable Roofing Company and Begin the Roof Repair

If the claim is approved, you must pay your deductible and find a trustworthy roofing company that can do the job. 

Depending on the type of your insurance policy, you’ll get paid either for what your roof is valued at (the Actual Cash Value policy), or you’ll get what it costs to repair the roof after the work has been done (the Replacement Cost Value policy).

Do bear in mind, however, that even if you have the necessary documents on hand that does not mean you’ll get the exact sum mentioned in the papers. The adjuster has the final say, and the expert will use special software, Xactimate, to determine the amount based on the average price of the materials in your area.

Unfortunately, the chances are high that they will leave off the various markups that businesses often have to add to the final price of the materials. So, even if you do win your insurance claim, you might not get paid enough money to fully cover the roof repair. If you urgently need some extra cash to take care of the issue, you might want to consider taking out a loan offered by Simple Fast Loans.

A roof replacement cost comparison

Damage Covered by Homeowners Insurance 

In a majority of cases, insurance companies will pay only for the damage caused by specific weather conditions. These usually include:

  • Water damage due to hurricanes, rain, etc.
  • Hail damage
  • Wind damage
  • Storm damage
  • Fallen objects (like tree limbs)
  • Events outside of human control
  • Fires and vandalism (in some instances)

Do bear in mind that such natural disasters as floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes typically require separate coverage.

Tips for Getting Your Insurance Company To Pay

When you are preparing your roof, it would be best if your insurance company foot most of the bill. Of course, you could reach out to Simple Fast Loans for an online installment loan to help you cover the cost, but it is always wise to do your due diligence on any home improvements, especially those as vital as the roof over your head.

That said, if you want to get as much money as possible from your carrier, here are the basics.

  • Make sure to meet every deadline and contractual obligation mentioned in the policy.
  • Always ask your insurance agent for clarification, if there are sections in the policy that you do not fully understand.
  • Have a few sets of the necessary documents to ensure that you don’t lose any important papers once you hand them over to the adjuster.
  • Start by bidding for the highest possible payment.
  • You can always ask your insurance company to send over another adjuster if you disagree with the first expert’s verdict.

Make Sure You Have a Legitimate Claim

You should give your policy a thorough read before filing a claim. Look for the section where it mentions the cases that the insurance company does not cover.

Most companies will not take care of the necessary repairs if the damage to the roof  is caused by:

  • General wear and tear
  • Pests and birds
  • Lack of maintenance
  • A contractor who didn’t have his own insurance
  • Earth movement (not all companies cover earthquakes and mudslides, so make sure to check your policy)

Prepare To Negotiate with the Insurance Company

Once you file a claim, the insurance company will send over an adjuster who is going to assess the damage and determine what can be done further.

It would be much easier for you to get the best possible outcome if you have the necessary documentation:

  • Receipts of previous work done on the roof
  • Home inspection reports
  • A copy of your insurance policy
  • Photos of the roof (before the damage and after)

What Do Insurance Companies Look for?

Though the adjuster would certainly be looking for any damages caused by weather-related conditions covered by your insurance, the expert would also try to find a reason to reject your insurance claims.

You might have trouble getting paid if your roof is too old or poorly maintained.

If the adjuster finds granule loss, exposed underlayment, or dark streaks that indicate the presence of algae, you might not be able to get a full reimbursement.

How To File an Insurance Claim for Roof Replacement

So, you are taking the road of filing a claim, let's go over how to get this approved.

Get a Professional Roof Inspection

It would be nearly impossible to file an excellent claim without a professional inspection.

Be cautious about the companies that offer free roof inspections, as scams typically begin with such an unsolicited offer. A physical roof inspection can cost between $75 and $600. If you’d prefer a drone inspection, be prepared to pay $150–$400.

Tip: Double-check your policy, as some insurance companies might cover the cost of the inspection as well.

Review Your Policy

Make sure that the claim that you’re about to make is included in the policy.

Once you have verified that damage caused by a storm, for example, is covered, start looking for any stipulations.

Prepare Your Documents

If you’re the type of person who keeps all his documents in one place, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding records of past repairs and home inspection reports.

In case you do not have these papers on hand, you can try getting a copy from the company that performed the inspection or repair. 

Be Prompt

Most companies would allow you to file a claim within a year of when the damage occurred, but you should bear in mind that the longer you wait, the more factors affecting the condition of the roof the adjuster might be able to find during the inspection.

Record Your Correspondence

It is not something that you must do, but keeping a log of your interactions might prove to be helpful in the long run.

Simply don't forget to write down the names of the individuals you spoke to, the dates, and a summary of the meeting.

4 Tips To Find the Best Roofing Company for Your Home

Here are some helpful tips to secure a greater roofer after you nail that claim. 

  1. Only consider local roofing companies. This will help make sure that the contractor is going to follow all the local codes (furthermore, you’ll easily be able to contact the company, if there’s ever a problem).
  2. Check out the company’s reviews from the last 3–6 months. Use not only Google but also such online sources as the Better Business Bureau, for example.
  3. Don’t limit yourself to just one company. Get quotes from multiple contractors and don’t do business with companies that do not include a fine print, all the line items, or any warranty information or that have hidden fees.
  4. Do not always look for the lowest price. You’re making yourself a target of a bad roofer who might lower the prices just to outbid other contractors. 

How Often Should a Roof Be Replaced?

Roof Type

Recommended Replacement Schedule

Composition shingles

12-20 years

Wood shingles

20-25 years

Asphalt shingles

15-30 years

Rubber roofs

30-50 years

Metal roofs

50-75 years

Remember that if you manage to take proper care of your roof and replace it according to the schedule, you will increase your chances of winning an insurance claim, in case there is ever such a need. 

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