Roof Insurance Claim Frequently Asked Questions

Roof Insurance Claim Process and Questions

asphalt shingle roof with hail damage
asphalt shingle roof with hail damage

Below is the information you will find in this article.

If a hail storm has recently passed through your neighborhood, you’re probably wondering if your roof has been damaged and if you should file a roof insurance claim.

In this article, we answer popular roof insurance claim questions such as “What is the insurance roof replacement process?” and “When will I receive my first roof insurance claim check?

We also define common roof insurance terms so when you contact your insurance company, you’re a little more prepared.

Will my premium increase if I file a roof insurance claim?

If you weren’t negligent, then probably not.

Since hail damage is not caused by you being negligent, most insurance companies will not raise your premium if you file a claim. It’s not like you moved your house into the hail storm. By comparison, if you backed your car into your garage door, that’s negligence – you didn’t open the door, or make sure it was open before you backed-up. So, your premium will probably go up, in that case.

What is the insurer looking for?

When the inspector from your insurance company comes over to inspect your roof, they are usually looking for prominent hail damage or other weather-related damage to your roof. The inspector looks for ‘bruising’ or dark spot on your shingles where granules are missing, exposing the underlayment or fiberglass. New hail damage usually has a shiny appearance while older damage can appear duller due to weather exposure.

Prominent hail damage on a relatively new asphalt shingle roof.

asphalt shingle roof with hail damage

one way to tell that your roof has hail damage is if it has these black spots on it

Damage from small hail on an old asphalt shingle roof.

aged asphalt shingle roof with hail damage

aged asphalt shingle roof with hail damage

Although hail damage doesn’t pose an immediate threat to the structural integrity of the roof, it will eventually lead to problems. Also, many insurance companies have a statute of limitations of how long a hail claim is viable. Therefore, it is usually a good idea to contact your insurance company soon after a major hail storm.

When your roof has hail damage, this causes several things;

  • accelerated granule loss
  • accelerated shingle aging
  • voids manufacturer’s warranties
  • leads to other associated problems

What is the insurer’s payment process?

First check

The first insurance check for your roof replacement should be sent to the policyholder from the insurance company as soon as the insurance adjuster has completed their roof damage assessment.

Second check (recoverable depreciation)

The second check is held back until the repairs to your roof are completed. This second check is generally 10% to 40% of the total settlement and is usually referred to as “recoverable depreciation” or “withheld depreciation”. It is sent to the homeowner when the insurance company receives an invoice for final payment.

When you receive our invoice, immediately forward it to your insurance company. This will speed-up the depreciation payment. Please be aware that most settlement checks are valid for 180 days. If the homeowner allows this check to expire, the bank will not honor it and a rather lengthy process begins to have this check re-issued.

Furthermore, it is important to remember that the settlement is based on the cost to repair the roof with materials of “like kind and quality.” However, sometimes there is a discrepancy in the adjustment in cost, size of roof, or scope of damage between the homeowner and their insurance adjuster. In this case, your sales representative has the experience necessary to resolve these differences directly with your insurance adjuster. Everyone here at Bob Behrends Roofing and Gutters wants to make this entire process as easy for you as possible.

What if my insurance company is not paying enough to cover the amount estimated by the roofer?

If you are going with a reputable roofing company they should be able to review your insurance papers and let you know if there is anything missing from your insurance quote. At that point, and with your permission, your roofing contractor should be able to reach out to your adjuster and let them know any discrepancies along with any code requirements that may be missing from their original adjustment. These code requirements will require documentation from the municipality where your home is located which your contractor should be able to provide.

Why do insurance companies withhold depreciation?

It is not unusual for insurance companies to withhold depreciation – that is, the second check or balance for the roof replacement or repair. They do this because of fraudsters. The insurance company wants to ensure you’re going to spend that money on actually replacing or repairing your roof and no more. By withholding funds until they receive the final invoice from the roofing company, they can make sure they don’t overpay.

What are the major types of residential insurance policies?

There are two major types of residential insurance policies;

  • Actual Cash Value (ACV)
  • Replacement Cost (RC)

Actual Cash Value

With an ACV policy, your roof will depreciate in value each year for 10 years. As a result, if your roof has sustained any damages, you will only receive a check for the depreciated value of your roof.

Replacement Cost

If you carry a RC policy, your insurance company will cover the cost to replace your roof, minus your deductible. In addition, home insurance policies that are “replacement cost” will generally pay two installments for a new roof.

How to calculate Actual Cash Value and Recoverable Depreciation

Actual Cash Value example and formula

Chart showing Actual Cash Value and Recoverable Depreciation of an asphalt shingle roof

Let’s say you put a new $10,000 roof on your house 5 years ago and your roof was just destroyed by a hail storm. Let’s also assume your 5 year old roof was average asphalt roofing shingles, which lasts about 20 years. Because your roof was only 5 years old when the hail storm hit, the Actual Cash Value would be $7,500. Accordingly, the recoverable depreciation would be $2,500. This is the difference between the $10,000 replacement cost and the actual cash value.

Here’s the formula:

R x (E – C) / E = ACV

10,000 x (20 – 5) / 20 = 7,500 R = $10,000 (Replacement cost or purchase price of the roof)
E = 20 years (Expected life of the roof)
C = 5 years (Current life of the roof)

Actual Cash Value is calculated by subtracting the current age of your roof from the expected life of the roof (e.g. 20 – 5, which = 15), times the replacement cost or purchase price of the roof (15 x $10,000, which = 150,000), divided by the expected life of the roof (150,000 / 20, which = 7,500.

How will you invoice me?

First of all, we will never ask for any money upfront. Upon the completion of your new roof, you will receive an invoice from us for the full amount due. Please send this invoice directly to your insurance company as they will start processing your second check.

Do you accept payments?

Yes. We will accept a partial payment, or your first check, upon completion of your roof. The balance is expected when you receive the second check. Please make arrangements with the insurance company, bank, and mortgage company so funds will be available to you at this time.

However, if payment in full is not made within 30 days of completion, there will be a 1.5% penalty per month until the balance is fully paid. In addition, a lien may be filed on your property to protect us for the work performed.

Do I need to get multiple estimates?

If you have a roofing company you’ve been working with for years and you trust them, then there’s no need to waste your time and other’s getting multiple estimates.

If you don’t have a roofing company that you trust, however, then you should get a few estimates. When you’re shopping around for a roofing contractor, however, don’t just pick the least expensive one. In addition to their price, you should also choose one that’s licensed and insured, has a lot of experience, is qualified and professional, warranties their work, communicates well, etc. Most roofing companies offer no obligation, free esimates and inspections. We are no exception.

Is my new roof warrantied?

Yes. Your new roof will be covered by two warranties:

  • Workmanship – This is our warranty. It covers workmanship, labor, installation, but not materials. This warranty is valid for 5 years.
  • Manufacturer – This warranty is issued by the shingle manufacturer and covers the materials used. These warranties vary based on 25, 30, 40, 50, and lifetime years, depending on the product you install.

However, please remember that these warranties are not valid until your account is paid in full.

Will my roof be replaced or repaired?

Whether the insurance company replaces or repairs your roof depends upon what they find. It comes down to which is the least expensive – an entire roof replacement or repairing a small portion of your roof. Most hail storms are large. Large enough that they do damage to multiple houses, if not entire communities. Therefore, hail storms often damage entire roofs. As a result, most insurance companies will replace the entire roof.

Do insurers offer a rebate for an impact resistant roof?

The number of roofing products available continues to expand every year. As roofing technology continues to increase, so does the search for the perfect roof:

  • one which looks beautiful
  • maintains high property value
  • is cost effective
  • very durable
  • resistant to hail
  • most importantly, maintenance free

Some insurance companies will give a discount for a hail-resistant roof. This is usually defined by roofing material that undergoes an Underwriters Laboratory test called UL 2218. In this test, steel balls of different diameters and weights are dropped from different heights onto roofing material and then the damage incurred is assessed. Based on the damage made by the steel balls, each material is given a rating that the material manufacture must agree with for the insurance company to participate in their discount program.

Unfortunately, the majority of manufacturers have chosen not to participate in these discounts programs.

However, we work with some manufacturers that have produced the following Impact Resistant shingles and also offer these discounts.

The links below will take you to the manufacturer websites and their respective warranties.

Malarkey, Alaskan3-Tab35yr Warranty
CertainTeed, Landmark IRDimensionalLifetime Limited Warranty
Owens Corning, Duration StormDimensionalLifetime Limited Warranty
Malarkey, LegacyDimensional50yr Warranty
DaVinci Synthetic Shake & SlateSynthetic Shake/Slate50yr Warranty
Decra, Stone Coated SteelMetalLifetime Limited Warranty
Westlake Royal Roofing Tile (Monier Lifetile)Tile50yr Warranty
WestileTile50yr Warranty

What is the mortgage company’s procedure?

Most insurance companies will usually include both the homeowner’s and the mortgage company’s name on the first, and sometimes the second, check. Mortgage companies require the homeowner to endorse this check and send it to them. However, each mortgage company has its own procedures for releasing funds back to the homeowner. Normally this is only after repairs have been done. The best thing to do is ask your mortgage company what documentation they require to release these funds.

Please be aware that most settlement checks are valid for 180 days. If the homeowner allows this check to expire, the mortgage company will not honor it. Therefore, please ensure the mortgage company receives this check before it expires.

Some mortgage companies will require extensive documentation, and possibly an inspection by one of their representatives. Because we have assisted many homeowners with this process, we are familiar with the requirements. Your sales representative will be happy to assist you however possible. We have found that faxing documentation directly to your mortgage company can be a big time saver to homeowners. We want to help your project move along quickly and efficiently and are willing to help in whatever way we can during this confusing process.

How to file a roof damage insurance claim


31 responses to “Roof Insurance Claim Frequently Asked Questions”


    i recieved and deposited a check in my banking account for what seem to be the whole amount from my insurance company to pay for replacing my roof. what percentage of the check am i obligated to give the roofing company to start the job?

    1. Bob Behrends Roofing Avatar
      Bob Behrends Roofing

      Every company is different, we don’t require any money down – or during the process – just when the roof is complete.

  2. Sidney Avatar

    I have signed with a roofing contractor just after the hail storm and before the insurance inspection. Now the insurance accepted the claim. Does it main the roofing company gets paid directly by the insurance? What leeway do I have now ?

    1. Bob Behrends Roofing Avatar
      Bob Behrends Roofing

      Insurance won’t ever work with the contractor directly unless the insurance company is told to by the insured. Regardless, the checks will be written directly to the insured, not the contractor.

  3. Adriana Delgado Avatar
    Adriana Delgado

    My contractor was not able to receive full payment of job from the insurance company. Now my contractor wants to get an appraisal and to hire out to have them negotiate the final settlement for the difference. He says he will pay the appraisal fee but I am reluctant to sign to get an appraisal made. The contractor had the allowed amount before starting the job but went over 50% more than approved. What is your advice or experience with this?

    1. Bob Behrends Roofing Avatar
      Bob Behrends Roofing

      We always make sure our pricing fits within what insurance has allowed PRIOR to doing any work. We haven’t had an instance where we have had to go back to insurance after the fact for additional funds.

  4. Lawrence E Trembath Avatar
    Lawrence E Trembath

    We have received a check, but the roofers we have had come look at the roof said they want more than the check, what should we do??

    1. Bob Behrends Roofing Avatar
      Bob Behrends Roofing

      The contractor should be in agreement with the insurance paperwork, and proceeds prior to starting work.

  5. Roofing Contractor Fargo ND Avatar
    Roofing Contractor Fargo ND

    Companies are not the same, they have their different contracts.

  6. May Avatar

    Does the total cost of a roof include both the ACV & depreciated amount determined by the insurance company?

    1. Bob Behrends Roofing Avatar
      Bob Behrends Roofing

      Yes, those two figures combined should equal the RCV (Replacement Cost Value).

  7. Gigi Avatar

    I received a check for the repair of my roof but it’s in my and the mortgage company name what do I do?

    1. Bob Behrends Roofing Avatar
      Bob Behrends Roofing

      Pretty typical with insurance claims on a home with a mortgage. Need to be sent off to mortgage company to endorse, sometimes they will want to release money as work is completed, other times they allow insured to cash check. Each mortgage company is different in their procedure.


    My contractor says she will do the roof for the insurance payout plus my deductible. The insurance said a new roof is $5070.71, so they paid me $4070.71, because of my $1000. deductible. now my contractor is stating that i need to pay $6070.71. that has me paying a $2000 deductible. Any help is appreciated.

    1. Bob Behrends Roofing Avatar
      Bob Behrends Roofing

      Hello, Jennifer.
      Your bill for the roof should be the RCV (Replacement Cost Value) of the insurance claim. That value will include whatever you are required to pay out of pocket for the deductible as your insurance company will short pay your claim to force you to pay out of pocket.

  9. Chithira S Avatar
    Chithira S

    My insurance sent me check of 6000$ for roof replacement and my contractor asked me to handover the check so that they can deposit it. I handed it over to them but now Iam worries if they would scam me.
    Please help!

    1. Bob Seo Avatar
      Bob Seo

      If you’re working with a new roofing company, you should always vet them first. See our article on how to avoid roofing scams.

  10. Linda Tyler Avatar
    Linda Tyler

    How long after I make a claim do I have to get my roof repaired? Is there a statute of limitations on getting repairs done?

    1. Bob Seo Avatar
      Bob Seo

      Hello, Linda.
      It varies from state to state, and each insurance company is different. Please consult with your insurance company.

  11. Angela Avatar

    Hi,I had a roof recently replaced.the insurance check was made out to me and the contractor so we signed it and gave it to them. There was a some money left over,does the contractor have to give that back to me?

    1. Bob Seo Avatar
      Bob Seo

      Hi, Angela.
      I’m not aware of a situation where the insurance company would write a check to both the insured and contractor. In my experience they always cut the check to the insured, so unsure how to advise you.

  12. Walter Avatar

    Hi, I have a check from insurance which is $6000, my deductible is $1500, but the depreciation is non-recoverable which is $4500, my questions is
    1. since I have to pay depreciation myself to contractor, can I negotiate with contractor to cut the payment to him to 6000+1500+2000? and is it legal?
    2. does the contractor still need to send invoice to insurance since we don’t need the second check from insurance?
    3. will the insurance company send people to inspect the work the contractor does?


    1. Bob Seo Avatar
      Bob Seo

      1 – gray area, but yeah.
      2 – Insurance company may or may not ask for invoice to prove work was complete.
      3 – Insurance will likely need some sort of proof the roof was replaced, whether it be inspection or invoice.

  13. Carmen Peebles Avatar
    Carmen Peebles

    Hi – we signed a contract with a roofing company and the insurance company has already paid us. We asked for an updated contract – showing the work that the insurance is paying for and that the roof company is agreeing to do. We haven’t received an updated contract and they aren’t getting back to us with an updated contract. Are roofing companies required to perform the work within a certain amount of time after payout?

    1. Bob Seo Avatar
      Bob Seo

      Payout shouldn’t happen until the work is complete.

  14. Carmen Peebles Avatar
    Carmen Peebles

    Sorry – I wasn’t clear. The insurance company paid us – we haven’t paid the roofer yet. They aren’t getting back with us after we asked for an updated contract showing they would do everything the insurance company is paying for. Is there a law or insurance guideline that states they need or must do the work within a given time after we’ve been paid the insurance money? We’d like to move on to someone else, but we aren’t sure how binding this contract is. Thanks!

    1. Bob Seo Avatar
      Bob Seo

      I’m afraid you should probably consult with a your attorney and/or insurance company at this point.

  15. Fillipe Qox Avatar
    Fillipe Qox

    I had my roof inspected because I’m selling my house. I’m actually in escrow now and buyer requested a new roof. Called insurance and they will pay for it. Question is: can I keep the check and give buyers a credit so they can replace the roof or do I have to fix it before escrow closes?

    1. Bob Seo Avatar
      Bob Seo

      Negotiate with the buyer. We have seen the money get put into escrow for the new buyer to replace in the future.

      1. Fillipe Qox Avatar
        Fillipe Qox

        Is that insurance fraud?

        1. Bob Seo Avatar
          Bob Seo

          I wouldn’t think it would matter. He won’t be able to collect the entire RCV of the claim unless the work is done.