Keep a Roof Over Your Head and Money in Your Wallet
Roofing Insurance in Arizona
There are many reasons people love living in Arizona. For most of the year, the weather is one of them. But the Arizona climate can be damaging to your roof. The hot summer weather shortens the life of tiles and shingles. According to the experts at Mohave Roofing, a residential roofing contractor in Lake Havasu City, hot weather can cause shingles to warp and blister. For tile roofs, prolonged heat exposure can cause the underlying tar paper to crack and degrade.
When the monsoon season hits, the effects of the sun may have left your roof vulnerable. High winds and sudden downpours are common from June to September. Making sure your roof is in good condition before the monsoon hits can save you from headaches — and from costly repair bills. Leaks, damaged shingles or tile, and airborne objects from the monsoon can be your home’s — and your wallet’s — worst enemy.
Insurance carriers have exclusions against wear and tear and pre-existing damage. If your roof is sun damaged and water leaks into your home when it rains, you might not be covered. To avoid this, it’s best to periodically check your roof for missing tiles, debris build-up, or other signs of wear and tear that could cause big trouble later on. Shingles have a lifespan of about 20 years, so if you have an older home, regular maintenance is particularly vital.
It’s also important to have a licensed roofing contractor perform maintenance, repairs, and evaluate your roof if you have storm-related damage. Often, opportunistic contractors who may not be licensed or insured will go door to door after a storm, soliciting work and encouraging homeowners to make claims against their insurance. This could hurt you in the long run. They may be unqualified to do the work and if you make a claim that isn't covered due to a pre-existing condition, this could cause your insurance company to not renew your policy.
That’s because all claims against your insurance policy are reported to a central database such as the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) or the Insurance Services Office (ISO). When you renew your policy, the carrier will check for prior claims, which could result in non-renewal of your policy. The most important thing is to know what's covered under your policy so you're prepared when bad weather strikes.
Even when you're prepared, Arizona weather can be unpredictable. If you suspect storm damage, inspect the roof as soon as the storm has passed. Check to see if any tiles or shingles are out of place, or if there appear to be any leaks inside your home. Then take pictures of any damage so that you can provide a detailed claim to your insurance provider. Call your insurance company immediately for the adjuster to inspect the damage and explain your coverage.
Lastly, choose a licensed contractor to perform the repairs. Often, your insurance company can make a recommendation. Beware of roofing contractors who want you to sign a contingency agreement, offering a free estimate in exchange for a guarantee that you will hire them once your claim is approved. You’ll also want to work with someone who has experience working with insurance companies so the repair and claims process will be smooth for everyone involved.
Insurance is one of those things we don’t think about until we really need it. But there are ways to make sure that your home is adequately protected, and that you're taking advantage of all the available discounts to make your money stretch further. Bundling your home and auto policies, choosing a higher deductible, maintaining a good credit rating, and installing an alarm system are just a few ways you can save.
Commonwealth Casualty, an Arizona-based insurance company, offers additional discounts to its policyholders. These include new home, new purchase, secured community or building, paid-in-full, claims-free, water-detection, and water-heater discounts. Find out more at www.commonwealthcasualty.com.