The Ultimate Guide to Documenting Roof Damage for Insurance Claims

The Ultimate Guide to Documenting Roof Damage for Insurance Claims
Aug 16, 2023Roofing USAShare

As a homeowner in Charleston, SC, you know the roof over your head is one of your most valuable assets. However, when the unpredictable forces of nature, such as hailstorms, unleash their fury, it might cause unexpected damage to the shelter that protects the things and people you love most.When the unfortunate happens, filing a roofing insurance claim becomes inevitable. At Roofing USA, we understand that providing strong visual evidence of the damages is pivotal to maximizing your payout. With our wealth of experience, we’ve compiled some proven strategies to guide you through the process.Keep reading for our “picture perfect” ultimate guide to documenting roof damage for insurance claims.

The Importance of Thoroughly Documenting Roofing Damage

Roof damage is not just an aesthetic issue; it can threaten the structural integrity of your home and lead to more serious problems if not addressed promptly. Additionally, your family isn’t safe until the roof is restored.Homeowner’s insurance can be a saving grace in such situations. Still, to ensure your claim is not downplayed or denied, you must provide clear evidence that your policy should cover your roof repair or replacement.

Photos Speak Louder Than Words

The old adage that a picture is compensation for your damages worth a thousand words couldn’t be truer regarding insurance claims. Providing visual evidence of hail damage or any other type of damage to your roof is crucial.

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Photos not only give a snapshot of the severity of the damage but also present a timestamp, which could be pivotal in insurance discussions. Timely pictures also document dates and times that damage occurred to your roof following a recent storm.
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The Role of Videos

While photos can be quite revealing, videos capture a continuous view of the damage.A walkthrough video of your roof’s condition can provide context to the damage, show areas where leaks might occur, and convey the scale of the damage better than isolated photos.However, before taking photos or walking near (or on) your damaged roof, make sure it’s safe to do so. Adding an injury to your need for emergency roof repair can create more stress and financial burden for you.

Depth, Angles, and Close-Ups

Avoiding simply taking a single photo from a distance and expect it to do the job of providing the evidence your insurance adjuster needs to process your claim successfully.Capture the damage from multiple angles, ensuring you also take close-up shots of the affected areas. The more comprehensive your visual documentation, the harder it becomes for insurance adjusters to dismiss the severity of the damage.If you don’t feel comfortable getting on a ladder or on your roof to take photos and videos, anexperienced roofingcontractor in Charleston can help

Capture High-Quality Evidence

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In the age of smartphones, almost everyone has a camera in their pocket. However, not all cameras are created equal.While many smartphone cameras could do the job, the clarity and quality of your photos and videos can make a difference. If your phone isn’t up to the task, find a camera that can clearly capture the damage to your roof.

Choose a Quality Camera

, it might offer better resolution and clarity.While most modern smartphones have capable cameras, if you have access to aDSLR or a digital camera

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Good clarity makes smaller damages, such as hairline cracks or minor hail damage, more evident. If you don’t own one of these cameras, ask a friend to borrow theirs or a roofing company to take the photos for you.

Daylight is Your Friend

Always aim to document the damage in natural light. Using artificial light (like a flashlight) or trying to brighten photos later using an app can cause adjusters to feel like you’re providing manipulated evidence.Shadows or poor lighting can obscure the damage or make it seem less severe than it is. Overcast days are perfect as they offer even lighting without harsh shadows.

Take Photos From Multiple Perspectives

As long as it’s safe to do so, capture photos and videos from different heights and angles. This not only helps to provide a comprehensive view of the damaged and impacted areas of your roof but also helps in contrasting the damaged areas against undamaged sections of the roof.

Store Your Photos and Videos Securely

After going through the effort of capturing the evidence, losing it due to technical glitches or mishaps would be a nightmare. Here’s how to keep your visual evidence safe.

Use Cloud Storage

Upload your photos and videos to reliable cloud storage platforms like Dropbox or Google Drive. These platforms not only keep your data safe but also allow easy sharing, which can be invaluable when liaising with insurance companies or roofing contractors.Keeping the photos only on your camera or phone puts them at risk of losing them or accidentally deleting a crucial photo that could help your claim’s success.

Consider Physical Backups

While cloud storage is great, having a physical backup on external hard drives or USB sticks can be an added assurance.USB storage is low-cost and is another quick and simple way to give your photos to your roofing contractor or insurance adjuster. Just be sure to store external drives or storage disks in a safe place.

Organize Photos for Easy Retrieval and Review

Ensure your files are labeled appropriately. This will make it much easier when you’re sifting through dozens of files to find the ones you need.Doing this also helps your adjuster review photos and understand the extent of your roof’s storm damage . Anything you can do to make their life easier can expedite your claim and increase the chances of a good payout.

Submit Your Evidence with Your Insurance Claim

You’ve meticulously documented your roof damage. While this is a significant achievement, it’s only half the battle.The real test comes when presenting this evidence to your insurance company. This step is the bridge between you and the rightful compensation for your damages. Here are a few expert tips to keep in mind.

Include All Visual Evidence

Your photographs and videos are tangible evidence of your roof’s damage.Avoid the temptation to send only the ‘best’ shots. Including all visual evidence, even if some damages seem minor, paints a comprehensive story. The insurance company can see the scale, nature, and location of each damage, making your claim harder to refute.Additionally, annotations can help. This provides context and clarity, especially for subtle damages that may not be immediately evident.

Written Documentation is Key

While photographs and videos are dynamic, written documentation provides technical details and expert opinions that boost your claim’s credibility.Before you even reach out to your insurance, consider getting a professional evaluation from a Charleston, SC, roofing expert. Such assessments often come with terminologies and technical details that resonate with insurance adjusters.Along with professional assessments, get an estimate of the repair or replacement costs from local roofing contractors. This not only shows the financial implications of the damages but also helps to ensure that the payout you receive is adequate for the repairs.

Stay Proactive

The insurance world can be a labyrinth of processes and bureaucracies. Staying proactive can help your claim move the process more smoothly.Once you’ve collated all your evidence, reach out to your insurance company promptly. The quicker you get the ball rolling, the faster you can get to a resolution.Typically, insurance adjusters might ask for specific pieces of evidence or further clarifications. By anticipating such requests and being ready with the necessary documentation, you can expedite the claims process.After submitting your evidence, ensure you actively follow up on your claim’s status. This not only shows your keen interest but also ensures that your claim doesn’t fall through the cracks or get endlessly delayed.

Roofing USA Helps Homeowners File Successful Insurance Claims
The success of your insurance claim often hinges on the quality and comprehensiveness of your documentation. While the process might seem never-ending, with the right approach and guidance, you can navigate it smoothly.Remember, if you ever need assistance documenting storm damage or working with your insurance company in Charleston, SC, Roofing USA is always here to help. We provide Free Roof Inspections and will document what we find with photos and notes to help you pursue a successful insurance claim!

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