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Insurance Claims Simplified: Do You Really Need 3 Roof Estimates?

February , 2024 | 10 min. read

By Nicole Corson

Roofers placing a tarp on a storm damaged roof

Great question.

So, did your insurance agent or adjuster tell you to go out and get 3 roof estimates?

If a severe storm has just hit your home and your roof has suffered storm damage, you may be filing an insurance claim to get the roof repaired or replaced.

No one wants to have to deal with repairing their home after getting damaged by a storm. Especially the roof that protects everything else inside the home. 

Whether you’ve filed an insurance claim prior or not, dealing with an insurance claim for roof damage at a time like this can be a bit overwhelming.

We get it.

No worries, many of our clients here at RoofCrafters came to us asking this same question. Our family has 30 years of experience repairing storm-damaged roofs, so, we know a thing or two about roof claims. We'll do our best to answer the question here so that you can move on with your life without all the stress and worry!

In this article, we’re going to demystify the insurance claim process and provide actionable advice to assist you with your insurance claim. 

You'll learn the following:

  • First steps to filing an insurance claim for roof damage

  • What happens once you file a claim

  • Why you do NOT have to provide 3 estimates

Hopefully, by the end, you’ll be able to make well-informed decisions about getting your storm-damaged roof repaired.

Let’s dive right in.

First Steps to Filing an Insurance Claim for Roof Storm Damage


If your home was just hit by a major wind or hail storm, tornado, or hurricane, do not rush to call in a claim. We’ll explain this shortly. Two things need to happen before you file an insurance claim. 

roofing estimator inspecting a cornice return on a ladder

First, you’ll need to have someone come out to make sure it is safe to be in and around the house. Second, you’ll need to secure the house. As a policyholder, we must mitigate any further damage to our property. In most cases, this means protecting the home's inside from water intrusion. 

Having a licensed roofing contractor come out and perform an inspection will end both steps. The contractor should take photographs and document any damage before covering these areas with a tarp. This will prevent the adjuster from needing to remove the coverings to see the damage. Keeping your house secure until the roof can be repaired is a priority.

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You’ll want to have your homeowners' policy handy when the contractor is onsite. Here's why…

Roofing contractors will get called out to look at storm damage roof repairs. Only to find out that the repairs needed to fix the damaged roof do not meet their deductible. Then they learned the homeowner already called their insurance company and filed a claim. We need to avoid this to help you keep your insurance rates down.

roofer checking the flashing on a wall

When you file a claim, keep in mind, it starts the entire process. Filing a claim that doesn't meet your deductible will still count against your policy as a claim filed. But, you don't receive any insurance benefits. The insurance company assigns you a claims adjuster. Then a lot of work happens behind the scenes. Insurance policies are there for us when we need financial benefits. 

By having a professional contractor inspect the damage, you’ll be off to a great start getting the damage repaired. With or without the insurance company. Make sense so far? 

Ok, let’s discuss what happens once you start your roof insurance claim process.

Navigating the Insurance Claim Process: What to Expect


Here’s what happens once the call is made to report that you have storm damage and would like to file a claim. 

  1. Your insurance carrier will assign you a field adjuster

  2. The field adjuster will contact you within 72 hours to confirm a date for an onsite inspection.

  3. The field adjuster will arrive on the confirmed date and perform an onsite inspection

  4. The field adjuster will take measurements, and photos and document all damage.

  5. The field adjuster will then return to their office and write the claim using an estimating program called Xactimate. 

  6. The field adjuster will turn the written estimate over to their superior(desk adjuster) for final review.

  7. The desk adjuster will approve or deny the claim based on the photos and recommendations. 

  8. Once the claim is approved the desk adjuster will return the Xactimate estimate to the field adjuster.

  9. The field adjuster will then send you the approved Xactimate estimate.

Up to this point, all the above items are pretty standard stuff.  For most insurance carriers. Ok, but maybe they all don’t have a 72-hour policy in place to make initial contact. But you get the point. This is all pretty standard for a roof damage insurance claim. And from years of experience, we can say that the majority of insurance companies will operate this way. 

Now you're choosing a roofing contractor for insurance claims repair work.

But this is where it gets interesting.

Let’s say you didn't call a professional roofing contractor out to inspect the damage and assist you with the claim. Now you get the estimate back from the adjuster to replace your storm-damaged roof, it’s $20,000. What do you do?

You have to start playing general contractor and call around town to find a reputable roofing contractor to replace the roof for $20,000. This may work if the Xactimate estimate the adjuster wrote is accurate. Keep in mind, that adjuster works for the insurance company.

It’s reported that over 85% of storm damage-related insurance claims are underfunded. Now, we can’t confirm if that number is accurate or if the underfunding is done intentionally.

Can we agree the adjuster may not be a trained roofing expert? In this case, they may have left items off the estimate. Components that need to be included to build the roof

Let me ask you this…

Is it possible that you’re calling around town trying to find a reputable roofing contractor to install a $25,000 roof for $20,000? 

Let me also ask you… Is the insurance company paying you for your time calling around and meeting and interviewing all of these roofing contractors?

Would you agree that it takes a lot of your valuable time? 

In one more scenario, your insurance provider or adjuster tells you to go ahead and get 3 estimates to make the repairs. So you begin calling roofing contractors to get 3 estimates. By the way, both of these scenarios happen every day, we didn't make these up. 

Now we’ll discuss getting these 3 estimates "requested" by the adjuster or insurance carrier.

Why You Do NOT Have to Provide Your Insurance Company 3 Estimates


Let’s say you got the 3 estimates the adjuster or insurance carrier told you to get.

One estimate was $26,000.

The next estimate was $21,000.

The third estimate was $17,500.

Which one do you think the insurance company will write the claim for?

Of course, it'll be the cheapest estimate. You’ll get $17,500 minus your deductible. 

But does that mean you’ll get the best job? 

Does that mean that your storm-damaged roof will be replaced to pre-storm condition? 

Because that’s what your insurance company owes you if you have an RCV policy(replacement cost value). 

Does it mean all the correct materials will be installed per state and local building codes? Does it mean they’ll perform all the work per the manufacturer's written installation specifications?

This also is what the insurance carrier owes you.

Do you see where we’re going here?

Your insurance company owes you for a roof, exactly like the roof you had. Before it got damaged by the storm. Plus they owe you for all local or state building code upgrades that may have occurred since the roof was installed. And, yes all the work must be performed to meet the roofing manufacturer's written installation specification.

This is all cut and dry. Black and white. No grey area.

So, why do you need to go out and get 3 estimates?  Let me answer this one.  You don't!

One professional roofing contractor that knows the local and state codes. One roofing contractor can install the roof per the manufacturer's specifications. One contractor who also has experience navigating the insurance claim procedures is all you need.

Find ONE roofing contractor that you feel comfortable with. A contractor that you believe will do the best job. Don’t worry about the price. 

Here’s why…

Once you find a professional roofing contractor with storm-damage experience, they’ll be able to take the stress off of you. They’ll be able to walk you through the entire process. They’ll write the estimate using the same software that the insurance company uses to build your estimate. By using the same estimating software the insurance company uses(Xactimate), you’ll only be responsible for paying your deductible. 

Can you see why you do NOT have to get 3 estimates?  Also why getting 3 estimates is NOT in your favor?

So, we would highly recommend you find a reputable local roofing company with storm damage insurance experience. One that you trust. Then, when your insurance company or adjuster asks you to get 3 estimates, you can kindly say, "No thanks."  and  "I already have the contractor that will be doing my roof repair."

They can not make you choose a low estimate or a substandard company to work on your home!

Find a reputable, local roofer, one that you trust, and is an experienced insurance claim roofing contractor, and you'll be in great hands.  

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Ready to Hire a Roofing Company Experienced with Insurance Claims? 


Now that you know the steps to file an insurance claim. You know what happens once you file the claim. You also know that you do not want to provide the insurance company with 3 estimates. You’re probably ready to hire an experienced storm damage roofing contractor.

We’ve put together a hiring checklist to help you when interviewing roofing companies. We’ve also included some important frequently asked questions. Along with the answers so you’ll be able to better qualify your next roofing contractor. Download the checklist below.

image call to action, download the top 10 checklist

If you live in one of our service areas and would like to save time and stress. We’d be glad to schedule one of our expert storm damage estimators here at RoofCrafters to come out and inspect your property. They’ll go over the entire process and explain the steps in detail.

Schedule an Inspection

Nicole Corson

At RoofCrafters, our mission is to provide job opportunities for others to thrive and grow while making a meaningful impact within our communities.