During these winter months, snow, ice, and other inclement weather are known to cause severe damage to our roofs. With the arrival of this winter weather in Georgia, it’s important to be mindful of the effect Mother Nature can have on our roofs.

Strong windstorms have also been known to take out a few tree branches and when combined with a lot of rain, entire trees have even been blown over.

In the unfortunate case that your home is damaged during the winter months, it’s important to know your options when it comes to paying for repair or replacement.

Filing An Insurance Claim

It’s common to take out a home loan and pay a mortgage when buying a house, so home insurance is a forgone conclusion. That being said, there are many different insurance companies that offer several different types of coverage. Depending on the policy, the difficulty of the claims process can vary.

Was the tree on your property, or did it belong to someone next door? Many elements come into play, such as the health of the tree, whether or not it had been maintained, and/or if you’d made an attempt to have said tree inspected by a professional.

At that point, you could be entangled in a situation where two different insurance companies are arguing. For our purposes here, we’ll say the tree was on your property. We’ll also assume the tree was in good health, and if not for rain-soaked ground and high winds, the tree would still be standing. We will also assume that the insurance company has accepted the claim.

Just how much of a roof replacement is the insurance company responsible for? This is where the language of the policy comes into play. When you file a claim, the insurance company will want to take a look at the damage themselves. So as to not wait too long for an inspection, find out what kind of response you can expect in the hours or days following a disaster.

Inspection

After the house is secured and the tree is taken away, the inspector will begin their work. They will gather an immense amount of information to determine the cost of replacement.

The types of roofing materials also come into play when figuring out a final tally. If a slate roof is damaged, it will take more money to cover the cost of repair or replacement than if it were asphalt shingles. Structural damage, damage to the interior of the home, and personal belongings will also affect the final settlement.

Aside from extreme examples, it’s more likely that a roof replacement will be needed after a few decades of normal wear and tear. Wind or hail may damage shingles over time, leading to a roof leak or two. Left unaddressed, the damage could lead to ripping off the roof, tearing out interior walls, and even taking steps to remove mold spores from the home.

However, don’t expect your insurance company to cover those costs. As a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to keep your home in livable condition. This means normal maintenance on your roof, decaying trees on your lot, and taking care of the little things that could affect your home. For more on roof maintenance, see our previous blog.

If you are unsure what your homeowner’s insurance will cover, inclement winter weather or not, it’s best to review your policy. Call your agent if you have any questions, including what kind of deductible you have to work with. It may make more sense to take care of a roofing problem out of your own pocket than getting your insurance involved.

If you have any immediate needs, please never hesitate to contact us. Call us at 770-445-1290 or visit our website

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