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How to work with your insurance to fix leaky roofs

Tips on how to work with your homeowner's insurance if you get a roof leak
Tips on how to work with your homeowner's insurance if you get a roof leak 02:05

Dealing with a roof leak may be unchartered territory for many Southern Californians, but with the recent rain now might be a good time to brush up on these pesky repairs.

Public insurance adjuster Vince Perri said residents should read over their insurance conditions and note exactly when the damage occurred. 

"When did you first notice it?" asked Perri, president of Elite Resolutions. "If she noticed it years ago, and didn't do anything about it then the agent is right — it's not a covered loss."

Let's say you noticed a leak in your roof after the rainstorm this week. First, Perri recommends you take out your camera and call your insurance or an adjuster.

"The first thing is you have to take photos and document every single thing as soon as it happens," he said. "I always advise people when there is a busted pipe or a storm — take video. Take photos of the wind going on outside or whatever."

He also suggests adding to your arsenal of evidence to the insurance company by doing a little homework. 

"Try to see if you could look up historical weather data, and by historical I mean two to three days ago," Perri said. "If you can prove to the insurance company that there was excess winds in your ZIP code that's going to help you tremendously, proving to the insurance company that this was not something that has been happening over time. That there was a significant event that took place in this area, to my home, and that is the reason why this damage is occurring now."

Next, he said to make sure to finish every necessary repair as soon as possible. 

"You have to mitigate your damages," he said. "Which means you have to put a tarp up and protect the home from further damage."

Do not wait, Perri added. The sooner you file the better chances your claim will go through.

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