Discover 10 New Ways to Negotiate Roof Replacement with Insurance

roof replacement - Bizcviral
roof replacement - Bizcviral

Dealing with roof damage and negotiating a full replacement from your insurance company can be frustrating. But with the right strategies and techniques, you can maximise your claim and get your desired roof.

This comprehensive guide reveals 10 insider tips to help you successfully negotiate roof replacement coverage. Whether you’ve filed a claim or are just starting the process, these proven methods will increase your chances of getting your insurer to pay for a new roof.

1. Understand Your Policy and Coverage

The first key is knowing what your policy covers. Carefully read through the fine print to find the details on roof replacement. Many policies have specific wording on “full replacement cost” vs “actual cash value.”

Full replacement covers the complete cost of a new roof. Actual cash value only pays for the depreciated value, leaving you to cover the difference. If your policy only has ACV, negotiate an upgrade to replacement cost.

You also need to understand variables like:

  • The roof age limits – policies often cap replacement at 10-15 years
  • Type of damage covered – wear/tear vs storm damage
  • Any dollar limits – capped payouts per claim

Equipped with this knowledge, you can push for what’s owed.

2. Have Documentation Ready

Insurers will lowball offers unless you have documentation to prove your roof’s value. That includes:

  • The original roof receipt – proves the year installed and the original cost.
  • Contractor repair estimates – multiple bids strengthen your case.
  • Photos of damage – showing issues like wind damage, leaks, and worn materials.

Present this upfront to justify the amount you’re requesting. It also shows you’ve done due diligence.

3. Highlight Severe Weather Damage

Insurers often claim ageing and deterioration as reasons to deny full replacement. But you may qualify if there’s been hail, fierce winds, falling debris, heavy snow, etc.

Point out these storm-related damages in your claim. Send weather reports from the dates of the incidents. The goal is to prove the roof needs replacement from external damage, not just regular wear.

4. Say It’s a Safety Hazard

If leaks, mould, buckling, or holes exist, emphasise these defect risks. Leaky roofs can lead to mould overgrowth and respiratory issues. Holes or loose tiles are falling hazards.

Tell your insurer that repairing only the individual problems would leave safety issues and not fully protect the structure. Using the hazard angle can help justify complete replacement.

5. Negotiate RCV Over ACV

As mentioned, Actual Cash Value policies shortchange you by only paying depreciated costs. It’s crucial to get Replacement Cost Value instead.

If an adjuster only offers ACV, you can negotiate. Explain why a patch job will lead to more damage and why new materials are needed. Have your contractor back this up in their repair estimate.

Being persistent and showing the need for RCV is key to getting a fair settlement. Don’t let adjusters brush you off quickly.

6. Use Local Building Codes as Leverage

Local building codes and standards can work in your favour here. Many require roofs to be up to the current code when replaced. That may involve full tear-off, new materials, and increased storm resistance.

Point out these mandatory regulations to show that repairs alone won’t suffice. You need a whole new roof. Insurers ultimately have to abide by local codes too.

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7. Don’t Let Age Be an Excuse

Insurers try using age limits to avoid replacement costs. But there are ways to dispute this:

  • Get an inspection showing useful life left despite age.
  • Point out superior materials like slate lasting 80+ years.
  • Note careful maintenance – repairs extend roof life.

If the roof has no major issues beyond age, challenge the insurer’s limit. Provide evidence it has not exceeded its usable lifespan.

8. Shop Around for Better Contractor Estimates

The contractor quote is key evidence for your claim. So get several written estimates for full replacement to send to insurers.

Ideally, find contractors familiar with haggling insurance. They can write persuasive estimates documenting all damage sources, safety hazards, and the need for new materials.

Multiple repair bids also prevent insurers from arguing over a single contractor’s price. With several estimates, they can’t easily dismiss the costs.

9. Avoid Letting Insurers Send Their Adjusters

Some insurers try sending their own “preferred” adjusters to inspect and create repair estimates. But these assessors often lowball to save their employers money.

Insist on having truly independent adjusters evaluate your roof instead. Or have the insurer accept your contractor estimates. Don’t let them force you into using their cost-cutting inspectors.

10. Be Ready to Escalate Your Complaint

If an adjuster refuses to budge, take your case to a supervisor. You’ve documented the need for full replacement, but the adjuster denies your claim incorrectly.

As a last resort, contact your state’s insurance commissioner if the company won’t negotiate fairly. They can intervene on your behalf for a suitable settlement.

Know your rights, and don’t fear going over people’s heads when warranted. Always appeal to unfair denials through higher channels.

Key Takeaways on Negotiating Roof Replacement

  • Thoroughly understand your policy’s coverage limits on roof replacement. Look for “replacement cost” over “actual cash value.”
  • Have documentation, like original receipts, contractor estimates, and damage photos. Prove why new materials are needed.
  • Emphasise external damage factors like severe weather over just age and deterioration.
  • Use safety issues like leaks and buckling as reasons to warrant full replacement over just repairs.
  • Negotiate for Replacement Cost Value payouts instead of lower Actual Cash Value.
  • Leverage local building codes that require new roofs to meet the latest standards.
  • Shop around for multiple contractor estimates to strengthen your negotiating position.
  • Avoid using the insurer’s inspectors – insist on independent adjusters.
  • Persistently appeal unfair denials up the chain of command to get a suitable settlement.

With the right approach, you can successfully negotiate with insurers to get your roof replaced. Do your homework, stand firm, and don’t settle for less than you deserve. What negotiation tips have worked for you? Let us know in the comments!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the first thing I should do before negotiating roof replacement?

The first step is to thoroughly review your insurance policy and understand what coverage it provides for roof replacement. Know the details like age limits, qualifying damage causes, and actual cash value vs replacement cost value. This gives you a firm basis for negotiating.

How many contractor estimates should I get for insurance negotiation?

Get 3-4 written contractor estimates to bolster your negotiating position. Having multiple quotes prevents insurers from picking apart a single contractor’s bid. With several estimates, it’s harder for them to claim the inflated price.

Can I negotiate with my insurer without hiring a contractor first?

You can try negotiating on your own initially, but having contractor estimates makes your case much stronger. Their documentation of damage, code requirements, and replacement costs add crucial evidence to your claim. Send your photographs if negotiating before hiring contractors.

What is the best way to prove storm damage versus deterioration?

Provide local weather data showing dates and severity of storms that caused roof damage over time. Also, highlight any damage patterns – wind frequently causes lifted/torn shingles on the edges first. Photos documenting the evolution of damage help too.

What if my insurer only offers Actual Cash Value instead of Replacement Cost?

Firmly but politely advocate for Receiving Replacement Cost instead. Explain that materials matching your existing roof are no longer made, so that repairs will leave you with mismatched pieces. Provide contractor estimates backing this up. Don’t take no for an answer.


Dealing with roof damage is stressful enough without fighting your insurer over repairs. But these proven negotiation tips can help you successfully argue your case and get the necessary coverage. Know your rights, document issues properly, and don’t back down! With persistence and the right approach, you can win your desired roof replacement.

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