Are you sure your insurance will cover wind damage to your commercial roof? Last year’s hurricane season was the most expensive in US history, and there were thousands of reports of tornado damage as well. Increasing incidents of extreme weather have led to billions of dollars in commercial roof repairs caused by everything from wind and hail to flooding and fires.
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When you are the owner of a commercial property or a building manager, problems like leaking roofs and pooling water can cause serious—and seriously costly—issues. If necessary repairs from damage caused by wind aren’t covered by your insurance policy, this could leave your business’s future in jeopardy. To make sure you are protected, do your homework now and make sure you have the coverage you need.
Does Insurance Cover Wind Damage to a Commercial Roof?
Many people make the mistake of assuming their insurance policy will cover their roof if it is damaged by the wind, but the truth is whether or not you are covered will depend on your policy.
It is the underwriter’s job to write certain coverages into your policy. Certain exemptions will be included to help the company they work for to get out of paying, such as a stipulation of getting ongoing commercial roofing maintenance (otherwise the policy is void).
- When the policy was first written, was it clear?
- Are you sure you are meeting the terms as they are laid out by your policy?
Because if you aren’t positive, you may learn you were mistaken after the damage is already done.
Your Warranty Is Not the Same Thing as Insurance
If you own a business, understanding the difference between a roofing warranty and commercial insurance is essential. While both your warranty and your insurance policy can help cover repairs and replacements, damage caused by wind would be covered by your insurance policy.
Your warranty covers the normal wear and tear that comes along with age and use and other conditions related to the manufacturing. Most new roofs come with a warranty that covers against problems that are within the manufacturer’s control such as manufacturing defects and faulty materials. The manufacturer feels confident enough in their company’s workmanship to guarantee their products in certain conditions. A natural event like wind damage would not fall under this umbrella.
Your commercial roof warranty is the same warranty their other customers received while your insurance policy is tailored to your company’s unique needs. One thing both insurance and warranties have in common is they both have deductibles. Having a clear understanding of what your deductible is and how much it will cost you immediately out of pocket can help you prepare for an emergency.
What to Do If Your Commercial Roof Insurance Claim Is Denied
Has your commercial roof insurance claim been denied? It’s time to take the following steps, and time is of the essence.
Get an Inspection
A roof inspection done by an outside professional who is not a representative of your commercial insurance company is to your benefit, and it is worth the expense. Understanding the scope of the damage and the repairs you’ll need is a necessary first step.
Hire a Lawyer
Even if your insurance company denies your claim, they may still be liable. You pay for your claim, but the unfortunate truth is you still may have to fight to hold the company to their word. Your attorney will let your insurance company know that you mean business and you are getting your money’s worth.
Does your roofing company offer financing? Get on the phone with your company’s rep and find out today, making sure you have a clear understanding of how much help is available and what it will take to qualify. If financing isn’t available, it’s time to make sure you have funds set aside.
Find a Qualified Repair Professional
Make sure you work only with qualified commercial roof repair professionals. Not all damage is immediately apparent, and their expertise will help you to assess the damage. Cutting corners on repairs today will cause problems later on, and it may also nullify the terms of your insurance policy.
We can’t control the forces of nature, and in some cases wind damage will be unavoidable. Your warranty and your insurance will help protect your business in different situations, and savvy business owners make sure they have a thorough understanding of both and a plan-of-action in place. Check your policy and make sure you understand the terms now before it’s too late.