Florida is a state notorious for being at higher risk than others to experience the impacts of a hurricane. Since Florida is 1350 miles of ocean-side coastlines, most of its borders are all exposed to the Atlantic sea. As hurricanes develop over water, the Sunshine State has always been at the receiving end of its punches.
After a major hurricane rips through the area, wind-damaged roofs are often a sight you’d see in Florida. It’s why homeowners must have home insurance that covers roof damage sustained from hurricanes, especially if they’re residents of Southwest Florida cities like Fort Myers and Naples.
Since major hurricanes are more likely to hit, residents of these cities should at least be familiar with the filing process.
Under Florida Statute 627.70132, titled “Notice of Windstorm or Hurricane Claim,” insurers must file a claim within three years of the date the hurricane made landfall or cause damage to the property. However, some insurance companies have policies with deadlines to file within one to two years of the hurricane to receive your benefits.
The process of filing a claim can be a bit different for each insurance company. This can make navigating through the process difficult for many homeowners. Fortunately, there are a few steps that are generally identical.
Find out Your Coverage
Rarely anyone reads the fine print on their insurance policies until something goes wrong, but homeowners need to check their policy documents to ensure that the damage on their roof is covered.
Home insurance policies include roofs in their coverage, but not the same in all policies. Some insurers take into account the age of your roof. Depending on your policy, an older roof would mean receiving a percentage or portion of your roof repair or replacement costs. This is because the overall value of your roof would have depreciated over the years.
In most cases, an inspector will be sent out by your insurance company to investigate and verify your roof insurance claim. If the inspector determines the roofs receive damages from aging, poor condition, and wear and tear, it will usually be considered to need normal maintenance, and it’s highly unlikely your policy will have this covered.
However, many policies are willing to cover the full cost of repairs or replacements at the time of your claim, no matter the age of your roof.
Look for Damage
A disaster such as a storm and a hurricane can lead to delivering catastrophic damages to your roof. The combination of high winds and storms can blow off shingles and other coverings that can cause leaks or damage to the underlying membranes. At worse, these powerful winds can lead to the total destruction of the entire roof structure.
It’s detrimental to the health of your roof and interior to wait to take action against roof damage. These problems will only get worse the longer it’s left unaddressed. Property insurances will likely have specific policies that require an immediate report and mitigation of the roof damage after a natural disaster.
Once the hurricane has passed, you should inspect your roof for any damages it sustained. However, it’ nearly impossible to assess roof damage without professional assistance. A reliable and trustworthy contractor can inspect your roof and determine the exact amount of damage you have.
Evidence is essential in every property damage claims, including for roof damage caused by hurricanes. Besides all relevant financial records and documentation, images and videos would be helpful for your claim.
After the hurricane, you must document how it affected the state of your roof. As soon as it is deemed safe to enter the property, take pictures and videos of everything but particularly any visible damage or weak spots.
It would be best if you also took extensive photographs of your roof as a professional makes a comprehensive roof inspection, as this could show any damages that you may not have seen at first glance.
Most professional roofers would be able to find any weak spots and issues that may potentially develop into bigger problems. They will be able to assist you with getting a thorough documentation of the damages, determine its extent, and even establish the potential costs of repairs.
Make sure that you continue taking pictures while any maintenance or repair is undertaking. Additionally, you should include detailed photos and videos of when you first bought it, and when you made significant renovations and keep them in multiple storage places, upload them to the cloud and save a few copies on a hard drive or USB.
All of this information on your file will ensure that the insurance claim process will be fast, smooth, and hassle-free.
Universal Contracting FL handles all types of roofing projects, from start to finish. Our team of professionals in Florida is equipped with the necessary experience and skills to ensure that every shingle to your roof will provide top performance and maximum protection. Visit our website or to learn more.