Originally Posted by frugalmama
would it mess up a claim with the insurance if we had a local estimate done first to make sure it's over the cost of the deductible?
No, it won't. I would not inform the insurance until you have had a couple estimates done to see what you are really looking at in terms of repairs needed etc. Also consider that in some areas, roofs are covered with replacement cost coverage, and in other areas, they are covered at Actual Cash Value- meaning your coverage will have depreciated on the roof, so while the house may be covered for $200,000 of replacement cost in the event of a fire, if you have a claim to submit for a roof that is 15 years old- if the claim is for $10000, they may only cover say $5000, and you would still have the deductible- so with a $10000 repair claim, they may only pay $2500. (IMO, a $2500 deductible when you don't have that in savings is probably too high a deductible.)
On the flip side, a couple years ago a whole lot of people around here got brand new roofs after a storm- the insurance companies were pretty quick to approve entire new roofs instead of simple repair, and that made the whole equation work out to their favor- especially as many did the work themselves, so they paid the deductible in sweat equity- so to speak.
You will want to know what coverage you have, and what the estimated cost of repair is before you do anything else. Filing a claim is likely to make your rates rise, and it also may to make it harder for you to insure in the near future if you want to change companies. These are all things you need to consider.