Home roof insurance for your Indianapolis home, just like auto insurance is essential. When buying a home, you need to show proof of your assets being protected. While we all have insurance, it can be tricky when the time comes and there is an accident and its time to submit a report. While car insurances deal with who is at fault of the accident and things like that, homeowner’s insurance is different.

The goal of having homeowners insurance is to protect yourself from harsh weather conditions that may bring damage to your home. From strong hail storms, windstorms, tree branches falling down, there are many different things to be wary of. This is why having the right insurance for your home is the best way to be cautious and prepare for anything.

The end goal of your policy and roof insurance company is to fix or replace your roof after an accident occurs. They work with your chosen general contractor in order to get this done as soon as possible. Both for your protection and the protection of your home. In this article, we are highlighting some tips to know when dealing with homeowners insurance.

Roof Insurance: The Basics

Within your selected homeowners insurance bundle is your roofing insurance. Take a closer look and read what they cover and in what instances you are insured. As the tallest and therefore, the most exposed part of the home, the roof takes a lot of damage over the years. This causes the roof replacements every few years, depending on the weather in your area.

There are around 8 types of home insurances, examples of these are the HO-1, HO-2, all the way to HO-8. Picking any of these insurances depend on your type of home, preferences and budget. Typically, a homeowners insurance will cover a roof replacement but with stipulations, such as, an act of nature like severe weather causes damage unexpectedly. If, for example, your roof needs a replacement because its old and its time for a change, then your standard insurance will not cover for this reason.

home insurance guide


What is not covered

One of the factors insurance companies use to measure if your roof meets the coverage standards is to take a look at the roof. The average lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof is 20-25 years. If you have better quality shingles, then it can be 30 years. Your insurance company will most likely send out an adjuster(person who is knowledgeable in roofs and roof damages, basically a type of roof inspector) to determine if the cause of damage is from weather related issues or if its normal wear and tear.

Wear and tear can include leaks, blown off or missing shingles. When the cause is due to old shingles not being able to do their job properly, then the insurance would determine that the home is not under warranty. If, for example, the cause of the leak is due to hail or storm damage, then its under the insured umbrella and will be fully covered.

While there are a lot circumstances that depend on whether or not your roof coverage is valid, its extremely important to know some basic facts about your roof. Knowing the age, material warranty and doing yearly or even twice a year inspections(by yourself or calling a roofing contractor) is a must. Knowing that there are no issues or if any are found is essential. Fixing these issues will save you money and time down the road. This also shows your insurance company that you are a serious and responsible homeowner.

In the event of a weather related damage, and we cannot stress this enough, depending on your insurance type, the insurance can decide to replace the whole roof, cover half or just one part of the roof. It really depends on the adjuster and person handling the claim. Some insurances can deny any coverage altogether.

What to Look Out for Damage-Wise

Some things that come to mind when looking for roof damage and what we have heard from homeowners are:

  • What does roof damage look like?
  • How will I know if its something small or if its affecting my whole roof
  • Can I fix it on my own without having to call a contractor or my insurance
  • Do I have to contact my insurance if I make a small fix

What does roof damage look like?

Roof damage can show up any time, in different looks. From missing or curled shingles, chimney or regular leaks, to even mold, roof damage takes on different forms. While many of these can be seen by standing in front of your house and looking up. Others can be harder to spot. An easy diagnosis means that the repair costs less and is superficial.

However, with mold, soft spots on the roof and leaks, it can be harder to determine the source of damage. Call your roofing contractor to make an inspection. A knowledgeable contractor will be able to determine the source of damage and provide a sensible solution. Even if you’re not sure that there’s any damage, it does not hurt to call and get a second opinion. Safety is first.


chalk circling hail damage on home

How will I know if its something small or if its affecting my whole roof

Again, this is where your roofing contractor comes in. Call them and have them take a look at your roof, they will be able to determine if the damage is small and easy to fix. Additionally, a roofing contractor will be able to suggest contacting your insurance company if the damage found is substantial and requires a complete replacement. Due from hail or storm damage, of course. The inspector can even vouch for you and meet with the adjuster on the inspection date and explain their findings. Many homeowners prefer this since the roofer is providing backup to sustain the damage claim.

Can I fix it on my own without having to call a contractor or my insurance

We suggest that if there is damage, call your local roofing company. An expert is able to determine the extent of the damage better than anyone else. As stated above, they can determine if there was damage due to hail or storms and might suggest you file an insurance claim. Its the roofers job to distinguish between different source of damages. Besides, filing a claim does not raise your rates or impact your insurance in any way. If in any case, your roof claim is denied, then it just goes on your records but you can always make another claim if other acts of god or weather related accidents occur.

Do I have to contact my insurance if I make a small fix

Typically no. If its a small leak or section of your roof, the insurance company does not cover this. The coverage starts if the damage found is on 50% of the roof for partial coverage. Every insurance company differs slightly on their standard rules and how much damage is considered substantial in order to cover the whole roof. For example, some might see 15-18 hail damage spots on the roof and its components and determine a roof replacement is the best solution.

Another example is if a tree falls on part of your roof and the insurance company decides to pay for that section of damage. It really depends on the circumstances.


Filing an Insurance Claim

Below are some steps we recommend homeowners take into action after a big storm or damage occurs:

  1. Document everything. After the storm has passed and everyone is safe, its important to document the damages in and around your home. Take as many photos and videos of your home and your surrounding, write out any details you might want the insurance to know. It can take a few days to even weeks for your insurance to send someone to inspect the damage so its imperative that you record everything right away.
  2. Call your local Indianapolis contractor. If you suspect that there’s any damage, they will be able to clarify any questions you may have. Furthermore, since a large part of their job consists of working with insurance companies, they can help you with your claim and answer any questions you may have before starting the process. When having doubts if you should contact your insurance, its crucial to contact a roofing company first.
  3. Know the history of your property. Before filing a claim, gather all the paperwork and information you have regarding your home. If minor repairs or adjustments were done in the past and you have receipts, gather these as well.
  4. Wait. Being in contact with your insurance company, and filing out all the necessary information can take a while. If you have to make any necessary repairs or payments, keep all the receipts on hand and explain the situation to your claim processor. If there’s a giant hole on your roof, at the very least you will want a roofing contractor to tarp it if it can wait. While this process can take a while due to multiple homes being affected, make sure your home is secure for you and your family.
  5. Meet with the insurance adjuster. The insurance company will send out their assigned adjuster to inspect the damage. They will take photos, circle any damage points and document the necessary findings for your claim. Keep in mind that the adjuster is not the one that decides if your claim is approved or not. This comes down to another person in the company who reviews everything the adjuster has found.
  6. What happens if my claim is denied. You know your home better than anyone else and what goes around it. When, after a strong hailstorm, your insurance denies your claim; its important to know that you can appeal this decision. By hiring a public adjuster, as a third party, they are able to determine if there is enough damage and overturn the decision. However, if they side with your insurance and found no substantial damage, then you might have to pay the repairs out of pocket.
  7. Installing your new roof. After receiving approval on your claim, you can begin to repair your roof. The homeowner is in charge of calling their roofing contractor, let them know what’s going on and provide them with the essential information given by the insurance company. Always tell your contractor that your insurance is covering the roof replacement and provide the given information. The roofer will be able to determine what is being paid, what type of materials to use for installation and determine all the coverage.

Common Questions Indianapolis Homeowners Might Have about roof insurance:

Should I pay an Indianapolis roofing contractor up front or wait until the project is complete?

Most roofing contractors will require a small percentage of the job as a deposit. Usually 25%-50% down will work, depending on the scope of the project. This is in part so that the roofers can order the materials and start the repairs.

What are the homeowner insurance rules in  Indiana regarding roof damage?

Depending on the type of homeowners insurance that you have, they will be able to cover your roof replacement as long as the damage was due to an act of nature. Remember, an old roof that has damage due to regular tear and wear does not fall in this category. Review your policy if you need further details and see all that it includes. Keep in mind to note of particular requirements you may need. For example, Indiana does have a time frame of 12-24 months to file an insurance claim.

How do I get payment from the insurance?

Typically, the insurance company will mail a check for a portion of the roof. This can be half or more. After the roof replacement or partial replacement is complete, they will require an invoice from the roofing contractor. Once this is sent, they reach out to the homeowners to make sure everything is in order and mail the remaining portion of the payment. These checks are then given from the homeowner to the roofing contractor.

Your Indianapolis Roofer specializing in roof insurance

Oscar Roofing handles all types of roof repairs and replacements, for both commercial and residential buildings. We are experts when dealing with all type of insurance companies and are able to meet with the adjusters and help you with your claim.

No job is too small or too big for us. Give us a call at (812)545-1381 or (317)358-6625. Or contact us on our online form here.