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My roof is leaking! Do I file a claim or fix it myself?

Home & Contents Insurance Discussion

My roof is leaking! Do I file a claim or fix it myself?

Postby hoat40 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:06 am

I am a 60 year old widow. I bought this house 2 years ago. The roof is 3 years old. Inspection showed no leaks. Today is a crazy day with downpours and wind gusts. I have had no problems in the 2 years I have owned it, but today water is running down the outside of the chimney from the attic to the main floor.
Should I called my home owners insurance and file a claim or should I try to hire someone to fix it?
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My roof is leaking! Do I file a claim or fix it myself?

Postby storm81 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:08 am

Call homeowners insurance first.
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My roof is leaking! Do I file a claim or fix it myself?

Postby kendric » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:25 am

What is the decutible in your home?
Some people only have $500, others can have as much as 12% of the value of their home as a deductible.
If you come close to breaking even, consider that any claims are likely to raise your insurance costs for the next year.
Get someone to give you an estimate.
Do not mention insurance. Say you are getting 3 estimates and you are paying out of pocket. If they hear the word insurance, they will charge more.
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My roof is leaking! Do I file a claim or fix it myself?

Postby ruben » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:31 am

You can do either. If you have a couple grand available, I would probably pay for this relatively minor claim out of pocket. If you have another claim in the next couple of years, you would get dropped and end up with a high risk carrier. Their products are not only more expensive, but they are less comprehensive.

What you should do immediately is contact a restoration company and/or a contractor you know. You should get someone in there with fans to dry out whatever can be dried and remove drywall that cannot be dried. I am not endorsing any of them (all of the ones I know are solid, I just don't endorse anything on YA!), just look for the ones in your area that can respond TODAY. The faster you get them in, the less damage you will have.

Insurance, assuming that your coverage is standard and valid, would pay for the water damage but you will need to pay to the damage to the roof.

I would contact the builder/contractor who installed this roof along with the manufacturer of the roof material. 3 years old and you are having these problems, sounds like a material defect or negligent installation.

Good Luck.
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My roof is leaking! Do I file a claim or fix it myself?

Postby cadabyr » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:33 am

You can do either. If you have a couple grand available, I would probably pay for this relatively minor claim out of pocket. If you have another claim in the next couple of years, you would get dropped and end up with a high risk carrier. Their products are not only more expensive, but they are less comprehensive.

What you should do immediately is contact a restoration company and/or a contractor you know. You should get someone in there with fans to dry out whatever can be dried and remove drywall that cannot be dried. I am not endorsing any of them (all of the ones I know are solid, I just don't endorse anything on YA!), just look for the ones in your area that can respond TODAY. The faster you get them in, the less damage you will have.

Insurance, assuming that your coverage is standard and valid, would pay for the water damage but you will need to pay to the damage to the roof.

I would contact the builder/contractor who installed this roof along with the manufacturer of the roof material. 3 years old and you are having these problems, sounds like a material defect or negligent installation.

Good Luck.
The rule of thumb is if the repairs will cost more than 2 times your deductible, you should have your homeowners insurance pay for it. However - your homeowners insurance premiums will go up, possibly for a number of years, depending on the amount of the claim. That's why it's not worth it to file a homeowners insurance claim if the repair is small - you'll end up paying for your deductible, plus you will pay increased premiums.

If at all possible, if you have a knowledgeable friend or relative who can look at the damage first before getting an estimate, you can avoid getting ripped off by a roofer as well. They will try to sell you a tear-off, which may or may not be needed. However, if the roof really is 3 years old, you probably just have a little wind damage and shingles are lifted up and letting rain in from a certain angle.
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My roof is leaking! Do I file a claim or fix it myself?

Postby fernand » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:41 am

First you call a roofer, to see what's wrong.

Sounds to me like it's quite possible that the flashing around the chimney was improperly installed, or not installed at all - and if that's the problem, well, that's not covered.

You'll want a roofer to tell you how much it's going to cost to fix this, BEFORE you submit the claim. You'll compare that cost to the deductible on your policy, to see if it's even worth trying to file.
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