Once an insurance claim is filed for hail damage to your roof, the process to repairing your home begins. Too often, what also begins are a few misunderstandings about how the actual process works; bringing it to a grinding halt. There are 3 common insurance hail claim myths that tend to cause a lot of confusion with homeowners, but can easily be remedied with this article.
In general, once the claim is filed, the insurance companies send out an adjuster to verify all the hail damage to your property. At this time they provide you with paperwork and an initial check to get started on fixing all your damaged property. The insurance adjuster will often tell homeowners to get 3 “roof estimates” from roofers to fix the hail damage. This is not completely accurate. They typically
say this because they work for the insurance company. They could possibly be trying to save the insurance company money if you go with the lowest bid (read about this further down). What they really should say is get 3 “roofer interviews” with roofing companies.
When an insurance company pays to have your property repaired, the original paperwork amount from the insurance adjuster provided is what they pay. If you get 3 roof estimates you could end up with one lower, one equal and one higher. What to do now? It’s completely safe to let the roofer see your insurance paperwork. Because the insurance company pays what they pay. And how they pay is the key!
$20,000 = Total claim
$19,000 New total
-$8,000 Recoverable Depreciation
$11,000 Actual Cash Value (initial check)
+$8,000 Final payment when claim is complete
After your insurance deductible is subtracted you have $19,000 to work with from your insurance company. But they withhold $8,000 to be paid once the work is complete. Any difference from the $19,000 original total will be dealt with within the $8,000 balance.
Therefore getting 3 estimates doesn’t matter because they pay what they pay. Get 3 interviews not estimates. It will save all parties a lot of time and get you started on your roof replacement or roof repairs much sooner.
When interviewing roofing contractors, you want to make sure you feel comfortable with the residential roofing company you choose. Make sure they are local, have proper licenses and insurance with at least a 1-year workmanship warranty. Also, a clean and understandable contract with matching figures that verifies that they will do exactly what is on your insurance claim paperwork. Check their credentials on places like the BBB, Angie’s List, and Google for lots of 5 star reviews! Never fall to high pressure sales tactics. Take your time.
Insurance claims are different than if you go to buy something on your own like an AC unit, new deck or room addition. In this case, by all means get 3 or more quotes and go with the company that makes the most sense for you. With an insurance claim, there is a deductible which is all you pay. Some deductibles are $500, $1000 or a certain percentage of the value of the home. If your deductible is $1000, that’s all you pay.
If you have a $20,000 insurance claim, you are really getting a great deal for your $1000. $19,000 worth of work for free. Most AC units alone cost $4000 or more and that’s all out of your pocket. You can get your entire property restored back to the condition it was in, or better, for just your $1000 deductible.
Another way to look at it is that home insurance claims are much like medical insurance claims. If you need a surgery, you don’t get 3 quotes from 3 different surgeons. The surgery costs what the surgery costs and your insurance company will cover most of the costs. You do however, want to interview surgeons and get a 2cd or even a 3rd opinion on their skills, reputation etc. Still, all you pay for your medical treatment is your co-pay, and your deductible is the same with a home insurance claim as a co-pay is with a medical claim.
Similarly, a roofing company typically doesn’t need to provide you with a bid for a home insurance claim because they do it for the total of the insurance claim. All you pay is your deductible and the insurance company takes care of the rest of the expenses.
First, whenever there is a hail storm, roofing companies come out of the wood work. Many of them are fly by night, AKA “storm chasers”. Most of these companies are from out of state, not properly insured, have no warranties and often take your first ACV insurance check and skip town. Beware!
Other roofing contractors are from your state and do a good job replacing your roof, but even some of them may not be properly insured, have no warranties and often take your first insurance check and skip town. Beware!
All of them are wanting your business. So, selecting a roofing contractor can become a difficult process. We tend to want to get estimates for our roof insurance hail claim. Hopefully you’re getting interviews and not estimates by now! However, many out of state roofers will want to give you an estimate. They often come in low and that looks very appealing. But…
Most times our tendency is get free roof estimates AND to go with the lowest bid. Remember, the insurance company pays what they pay. If the insurance roof claim in our previous example is $19,000 ($20k-$1k deductible) and the lower bid for some reason is $18,000 there is a $1,000 surplus. The homeowner does NOT get to keep the difference. The insurance company keeps the extra $1,000. And you probably ended up with cheap materials and labor, leaving you with many roof issues in the near future.
Remember the withheld $8,000 recoverable depreciation? The insurance company will not pay the owed $8,000 in this scenario. They will only pay $7,000. Exactly the $1,000 that the roofer had with his lower bid. And you’re not saving your insurance company $1,000 if you go with a lower bid. The insurance amount is the going rate for materials and labor. That roofer is using a sales tactic just to get your business.
Again, they have probably left off material or went with a lesser quality material than is currently on your property. When that roofer turns in their final invoice to the insurance company, the insurance company will just keep the left over money.
The insurance amount is the going rate for materials and labor.
As a side note: If the roofer’s estimate is higher, they will have to prove why to the insurance company and the roofer will keep any additional supplement monies IF approved.
So, the roofer that has the bid with the same amount as your insurance claim paperwork is more than likely using the same software that the insurance companies use and will be just as accurate. In the end, roofing companies will typically complete your hail claim for the insurance amount (excluding supplements), just to keep it clean and simple. The roofer invoices for the insurance amount and everything runs smoothly. This is typically your best option. Just make sure you interview them using these Top 10 Tips.
We at RCC Roofing work with all insurance companies. We speak their language, are familiar with the same Xactimate roofing software for pricing and know how to navigate you through your insurance claim. Not only that, but we have contractor skills and contacts as well and can assist you with your entire claim, not just your roof. You may have stucco damage, damage to your gutters, windows/ screens, fencing, deck, paint, play sets as well as other items. This is extremely important to you as the homeowner, because you could deal with just one contractor instead of dealing with 6 or more individual companies.
We know how to inspect your property for roof hail damage, help you file a claim with your insurance company, meet with your insurance adjuster to make sure they document ALL hail damage on your entire property and get that put in your claim. Because you’re going to have pay your deductible, you might as well get your money’s worth of damage repaired.
Let RCC Roofing share our insurance claims expertise with you. We offer a free inspection and consultation and will restore your home to back to new!
If you are looking for a trustworthy A+ rand 5 star rated roofing company in Houston, that provides professional roof inspections, roof replacements, roof certifications and roof repairs, call 832-253-4889 or visit us RCC Roofing.