Strong winds and flying debris during storms can damage your home’s roof in several different ways, including leaks, missing or damaged shingles, and gutter problems. Wherever the damage occurs, it is important to get it repaired as soon as possible to avoid further damage to your home.
Most homeowners expect that their insurance policies will cover the damage, and this may be true. However, far too often, Florida homeowners are unpleasantly surprised and disappointed when their roof damage claims are denied.
If this has happened to you, keep in mind that you do not have to immediately accept your insurance company’s decision. You have the right to appeal it, and you can fight it. The experienced wind damage insurance claim attorneys of Malik Law have helped numerous Florida homeowners fight claim denials and win. We are committed to helping you collect all that is rightfully yours.
Understanding Why Your Roof Damage Claim Was Denied
A first step in appealing or fighting a denial is to understand why it occurred. Typically, wind damage is covered by homeowners’ insurance policies. However, roof replacement is very costly, so insurance companies have written limits and/or exclusions into policies so they can deny claims if:
Your Roof Is Old
If your roof is approaching 20 years old, your insurance company may deny your claim by saying normal wear, tear, and aging led to the damage. Depending on your policy, the company may offer to pay for repair but not replacement or pay for replacement at actual cash value, given depreciation, rather than replacement value. Some companies have, in fact, decreased their liability for roof damage by setting age limits on roofs for insurance purposes.
Your Roof Is Deficient
If your insurance company’s inspection of the damage reveals pre-existing deficiencies in your roof, they can deny your claim. Their inspection might, for example, have found that the materials, installation, or some previous repairs were substandard. Perhaps you tried to repair a leak or loose shingles and made the situation worse, or the roofing company that made a repair used poor quality materials. In cases such as these, your insurance company will most likely claim that deficiencies in materials and/or workmanship (and possibly, your neglect) led to the damage.
The Damage Isn’t Significant
Some insurance carriers deny claims by saying that the damage is only cosmetic, not structural. However, judging roof damage in this way is subjective, and the inspection could very well have missed underlying damage. This could also be the case with claims denied because the supposed repair cost is less than your deductible. Many policies have a different deductible for wind claims, which can be higher than that for other claims.
Disputing a Roof Damage Insurance Claim Denial
If your insurance company denies your roof damage claim and you don’t understand or agree with the adjustor’s evaluation or decision, you can file an appeal with the insurance company. Request a re-inspection of the damage, since it’s possible some damage was overlooked the first time around, and make sure you have a reputable roof contractor there, assessing the damage along with the adjuster.
In addition, when you submit your appeal to the insurance company, ask for a resolution date. The appeals process can get drawn out, and your roof damage could lead to additional damage to your property while you wait to get it repaired or replaced. If the resolution date passes and you haven’t heard from your insurance company, follow up with them. If they are not responsive or if your appeal is denied, you can contact the company’s managers, file a complaint with Florida Financial Department’s Division of Consumer Services, and contact an experienced Florida insurance claim attorney.
The attorneys at Malik Law have the experience and expertise you need to build a case for your claim and help you get the roof repair or replacement paid for. We understand how insurance companies, policies, and the law work and will fight for your rights. Call us today at 407-500-1000 or submit the “Tell Us What Happened” form on our website for a free consultation with one of our expert Orlando insurance claim attorneys.