Does Filing a Roof-Damage Insurance Claim Affect My Premiums?
The unthinkable has happened. Whether the damage was caused by a falling tree, high winds or a barrage of hail, your roof needs some TLC. If you’re like many homeowners, you might be reluctant to file a roof-damage insurance claim to help defray the cost of the repairs due to the fear of sparking a rate increase from filing a claim.
Thankfully, there’s no evidence that filing one claim for substantial damage will cause your premiums to soar. Understanding how roof insurance works and the link between making claims and spikes in annual premiums is the key to assuaging those concerns. Read on to discover more about the effect filing a roof-damage insurance claim has on homeowners insurance rates.
The Link Between Making a Claim and Rising Premiums
While filing one roof-damage insurance claim won’t raise your premiums. Filing multiple claims over a few years could very likely cause rates to increase. Independent Insurance Agent, David Shaffer notes that most homeowners file a claim every 10 years. Those who file more frequently raise flags with underwriters. If you file multiple claims, you could be slapped with surcharges or a policy cancellation. Try to avoid filing a claim for a small repair that you can handle yourself.
Common Reasons for Rate Increases
As mentioned earlier, filing multiple claims over a few years could increase your rates. However, that isn’t the only factor that affects your rates. Other common factors include:
- A dip in your credit score
- Rising crime in your region
- Increased likelihood of natural disasters
- Changing your policy to opt for increased coverage
Tips for Filing a Roof Damage Insurance Claim
Before filing a roofing insurance claim, the number one thing you should do is check your homeowners insurance policy. Understanding what is and isn’t covered will help you avoid unexpected costs. Understanding your policy will also help you judge whether the it is better to file a claim or handle the repair on your own. Use these tips to guide you:
- Check out your policy exclusions: Policies typically exclude specific items and repairs from coverage. For example, they might not cover damage caused by improper roof maintenance, damage to certain roofing materials, or roofs over a certain age.
- Note whether you have repair-only coverage: Some insurance policies only cover repairs to damaged roofs. If the damage to your roof is so expensive you need to replace the entire roof, you may have to pay for it yourself.
- Weigh the cost vs. your deductible: The deductible is the amount of money that you need to pay on any homeowners insurance claim. If you have a $500 deductible and $5,000 worth of damage, filing a claim may well be worthwhile. On the other hand, if you have a $1,500 deductible and $1,000 of damage, it wouldn’t make sense to file a claim.
- Talk to your agent first: Before you schedule any repairs, call and talk to your insurance agent. You can make sure the necessary work is covered and determine if you need to work with a specific roofing contractor. Every policy includes different coverage and exclusions, making it necessary to work with your insurer to avoid unexpected costs now and policy rate hikes later.
Whether you file a claim or deal with the repairs out of pocket, having a roofing contractor you can trust on your side can make all the difference. Make sure the work is done efficiently and correctly by choosing trusted, expert Orlando roofing contractors like Carroll Bradford, Florida’s premier family-owned construction solutions provider.