When selling a house, homeowners are usually required to tackle a laundry list of home repairs. These can be inexpensive to extremely costly but are vital when prepping the house for a financially favorable sale.
One of the most common and important items is fixing or replacing the roof. While this project is often costly, we're here to tell you that you may be able to get a monetary kickback or complete reimbursement from your homeowner's insurance. Read on to find out how.
Review your Policy
First and foremost, check your homeowner's policy to ensure that coverage for roof repair or replacement is available. Usually, if the roof is under 10 years old, there's a good chance the claim will be accepted. However, no matter the age of your roof, the adjuster will require extensive documentation and proof that your roof is indeed damaged to the point of needing repair.
Assess the Damage
Chances are, if your roof needs repairs or replacement, you'll be able to tell from a visual inspection. Look for damages like missing singles, cracked tiles, or corroded flashing around the chimney and vents. Pay careful attention to darkened shingles or sagging as this can signify water and structural damage.
Take pictures of exterior and interior damage. If damages were caused by a natural occurrence, such as a hail storm, snowstorm, hurricane, or tornado, pull any corresponding news articles related to the storm to prove time and date of the incident.
If a potential home buyer can see visible damage, neglect, or wear-and-tear on your roof, they will likely look elsewhere. In addition, your home inspection will likely suss out any additional repairs needed on the roof. Repairing and replacing a damaged or aging roof is a vital aspect of selling your home for a good price and avoiding any legal trouble after the home is sold.
Contact your Insurance Agent
Reach out to your agent and ask if the carrier has specific requirements for filing roof replacement claims. Some carriers will only pay for a claim if it's filed within a certain amount of time after the damage occurred. Your agent will also know if your policy coverage will reimburse for the replacement cost, regardless of the roof's age or only cover the depreciated value of the roof — leaving you, the homeowner, to pick up the difference.
Contact Roofing Companies
Gather estimates from various roofing companies to determine whether your roof needs specific repairs or total replacement. This will help you get a better sense of associated costs of roof replacement. A knowledgeable real estate agent will be able to recommend well-vetted roofing companies that have experience evaluating roofs for insurance claims.
File a Claim
Once you and your agent have decided to file a claim, submit all relevant documentation — photos of the roof prior to damage, photos of current damage, estimates, and news articles related to the damaging incident (if applicable). Submitting high-quality evidence is essential to expedite and ensure claim coverage. Make sure to take extensive photos or videos of all damage to the exterior and interior of the roof. Many claims end up being denied or under-estimated based on lack of quality evidence.
Once the claim has been submitted, the insurance carrier will most likely send their own estimator out to assess the damage and provide the cost of fixing or replacing the roof. The estimate might be provided immediately after the assessment or sent to you days later.
The claims process can be arduous and time-consuming. It's important to stay on top of communication and provide the adjuster with as much information as possible from the start. If the estimate from the insurance company is too low or if the claim gets denied, you can file an appeal.
If you've decided to sell your home, assessing the structural integrity of the house is a great place to start. Ensuring the home is aesthetically appealing and structurally sound are vital steps on the road to a beneficial sale.
Clever Partner Agents are experienced and knowledgeable in this department and can help sellers prepare their home for sale, advise on pertinent repairs, and market the house to showcase these upgrades, garnering a higher price for your home. Call Clever today and start this important journey with the help of an expert agent.