The first step is to contact your insurance company and explain what’s going on with your roof. They’ll ask you some basic questions about the damage and, if you’re not sure, they can let you know what types of incidents your policy covers.
Usually, they only cover destruction that happened suddenly or due to a specific event; policies don’t typically include normal wear and tear that happens over time. In most cases, insurance companies cover things like storm or hail damage and other weather-related incidents. If it seems like your policy will cover at least part of the repair expenses, the insurance agent will file your claim and arrange for an insurance adjuster to come out and examine the damage.
After talking with your insurance agent, you should expect to hear from an insurance adjuster in the next one to three days. They will arrange a time to visit your property and inspect the roof. Based on the schedule of the adjuster, it may take one day to a few weeks before they perform the inspection. You can expect the adjuster to closely examine your roof as well as the entire property, so they can get a clear idea of how the damage happened. The adjuster will write up an estimate of what it will cost to make the repairs and will then submit that information back to your insurance company.
While some people choose to do this step after they’ve ironed things out with their insurance company, it can be a smart idea to get in touch with a contractor early, so they can provide you with their own repair cost estimate that you can compare to what your insurance company offers. Some contractors will even help you navigate through the insurance process and make sure you get the best insurance settlement possible. Finding the right contractor is arguably the most important part of this process, since you want someone who will get the job done right and not waste your money as well as the time and effort that it took to file the insurance claim. So, make sure to hire a contractor who’s experienced in metal, commercial or residential roof repairs, has a good reputation, and can show you examples of their work.
Your insurance company should reach out to you within a few days to several weeks after the adjuster sends them his report. They will let you know if the damages are indeed covered by your policy and the amount of money that they plan to give you. At this point, you can challenge the offer or accept it and move on. The amount of money that you receive will vary depending on how much the insurance company thinks the repairs will cost (based on the adjuster’s information) and what percentage of that cost is their responsibility to cover. For instance, they will only send you the cost of the repairs minus your deductible.
After you get your settlement check from the insurance company and agree upon a price with the contractor, the final step is to get the repair job done. The contractor should inform you of all pertinent details of the project, including when he’s going to start, how long it will take, and if there will be any disruptions to your business. The time length of the project will vary depending on the amount of damage sustained, but in some cases, the contractor may offer 24-hour emergency repair services if the roof is unstable and poses a safety hazard. In such emergency situations, make sure to still get in touch with the insurance company first, so they can tell you exactly what steps to follow if you’d like to get the repairs done before the insurance claim is complete.