Should You File A Roof Insurance Claim?

Recently we replaced a roof damaged by hail in August 2018 in Colorado.  The homeowner was eager to have the work completed as the one year anniversary was approaching, and they didn’t want to lose the depreciation value benefit.  However, her neighbor had a roof that was in far worse shape.  One didn’t need to even bother getting on the roof to determine this neighbor’s roof was in trouble.

Yet remarkably, when approached by our project manager, the homeowner, who was very nice and cordial, declined our offer to take pictures of the roof to show her the damage.  She was fully aware that her 20 year old roof was in need of repair, and that her insurance company would cover it with roof insurance in Denver.

She argued that if she filed a roof insurance claim, she might get dropped by her carrier, and even she wasn’t dropped, then her premiums would go way up anyway.

Both objections are common to a homeowners’ refusal to file an insurance claim for a damaged roof.  And both are flat wrong.

First, an insurance company cannot, by law, raise your premiums because you suffered a loss under an “Act of God” occurrence, which is what a hail storm is.  Of course, an insurance company can increase premiums for a hail storm that occurred in a neighborhood – regardless if you filed a claim or not.  So think about it – if a hail storm damaged roofs in your neighborhood, and you didn’t file a roof insurance claim in Colorado, you are still paying higher premiums, and are therefore helping the insurance company pay for everyone else’s new roof!  

                Second, maybe it is possible she will get dropped by her carrier – although that is far rare than people think.  Why? Because having just paid for a new roof, the insurance wants to collect some money back, which it can only do be collecting future monthly premiums.  Further, if you are dropped, then you simply get a new roof insurance policy, with a decent premium since your roof is brand new and less likely to be replaced.