How to Make an Insurance Claim for Roof Damage in Marin

Winter storms are finally on the way in Marin, Sonoma and Napa. While you may welcome the rain, storms can mean damage to your roof. What is the best path forward if a storm brings destructive winds, hail, flying debris or falling trees? What will your insurance company cover through a claim?

5 Things To Know Before You Do Anything

Let’s review a few steps you can take to be ready for a winter mishap to your roof. Naturally, staying ahead of a problem is the best approach, so getting your roof inspected every other year (depending on its age) and keeping it maintained, is highly recommended. The older the roof, the more maintenance it may require.

Another thing to keep in mind, the older the roof, the more depreciation your insurance coverage may factor into a claim, unless you have coverage like full replacement costs. If you don’t know, check with your insurance agent and see what type of coverage you have. Also, if your roof was replaced any time in the last five, or so years, but you didn’t mention it to your agent, do it now.

In the Bay Area, severe weather is not very common. Still, strong winds and heavy rains can tear shingles and cause tree damage. Most insurance plans will not cover all types of roof damage, so it is best to check. In fact, if you follow these steps, your damage experience could be less stressful.

Document the Damage and Make Emergency Repairs

If your roof is damaged, document the damage through photos, if you can do it safely. Then make sure that someone takes steps to ensure your rooms beneath the damaged area are protected. Quick tips can help with emergency repairs to prevent leaks and further damage. A tarp to cover the area may work, or you may have to actually put a pan out if the water is seeping in and dripping down onto the floor.

Bonus content: Tips and Tricks to Handle Emergency Roofing Repairs


Call Your Agent

Next, call your insurance agent, not necessarily the claims department, to determine if the type of damage is covered, based on your policy. Your agent should be able to tell you what is covered and what is not, as well as give you tips on how to walk through the claims process.

Get Estimates

Contact at least two or three professional roofers to get estimates for the repairs. Be sure the estimates detail the same kind of repairs and materials, so you can compare the estimates fairly. If you want to make the choice of which roofer you work with submit that bid to your insurance company.

Bonus content: What To Watch Out For When Getting a Roofing Estimate

Apples to Apples

Even if you have a policy that provides replacement costs for your roof, it will be based on your current roofing material, not upgrades. That means if you now want a roof that is more fire-resistant or one that is environmentally friendly, or you want to go from asphalt shingles to a metal roof, you will pay the difference.

Partial or Full Replacement

In some instances, if a portion of your roof is damaged, and the rest of the roof is not damaged, but close to the end of its usefulness, the insurer may insist on a full replacement.

After a large storm or weather event, no matter where you live, it may be difficult to find a qualified roofer right away. Be sure you work with someone who is reputable, insured and willing to provide references.

Need to Speak to a Roofing Specialist in Marin or Sonoma Counties?

One of our professional roofers would be glad to talk with you about any questions or concerns you may have about how to prepare your roof for winter storms.