When a storm is fierce enough to take a chunk out of your roof, you cannot wait forever to have the roof repaired. However, your insurance company may not be in a hurry to help.

What can you do to address the insurance issues and speed up the claims process?

Working with professionals

Any time there is a significant storm or hurricane in Florida and lots of property damage, contractors seem to come out of the woodwork. That hole in your roof may not be the only problem; there could be underlying damage. You want to save money, everyone does, but do not rely on a contractor who has just driven in from Georgia and has less than sound credentials. Choose a local roof repair specialist licensed by the state who can provide referrals. You should be equally selective when it comes to the legal assistance you might need in filing your insurance claim.

Addressing the claims process

As to the insurance claim itself, begin the process by taking notes about the damage to your roof. Include all the visible damage and the date it occurred. Take pictures of the damage from different angles, then meet with roofing contractors to obtain estimates for repairs. Ask the one you select to be present when the insurance adjuster comes out. The contractor can make sure that the adjuster does not miss anything that will require repair or replacement.

Being prepared

Once the adjuster begins his or her work, be sure you understand the terms of your policy so that the insurer will not take advantage of you. Remember that the insurance company is in business to make money for itself—at your expense, if necessary. If the company tries to deny your claim, offers an unacceptable low-ball figure for the repairs or attempts to drag the claim process out in an effort to make you agree to their settlement, it may be time to explore your legal options.

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