Take note of these points and avoid undue stress and costly lessons the next time you are faced with a roofing insurance claim or having your roof replaced.
#1 – Before filing a claim, always contact your roofing contractor to assess the damage and provide guidance.
The #1 mistake homeowners make when their roof is damaged is calling the insurance company first. Yes we know, they all say they are 100% on your side but do you really believe that? You don’t have to look hard to find countless examples of bad insurance practices. You need someone who is going to look out for your interest first and not cooperate profits. Homeowners should always call their roofing contractor first and have them assess the damage. Their contractor should then create a thorough estimate that details every bit of damage and how much it will cost to repair it. Professional contractors will utilize the same estimation software that the insurance companies use. This will make it difficult for the insurance companies to ignore you. Armed with this professional assessment of the damage, you can then file a claim to get your repairs covered.
Most insurance policies have a certain period for filing a claim, so make sure to file it as soon as possible.
#2: Poor Documentation and Language.
The #2 mistake homeowners make is not properly documenting everything or using the right language. Documentation must be compelling enough that the insurance company will have a hard time dismissing the issue. Some insurance companies will do anything they can to avoid having to pay a claim. Because of this it is also very important to make sure you are using the current insurance industry key words and phrases. Its critical you roofing contractor, or yourself are able to speak the insurance language or you will be at a sever disadvantage. It would be like trying to debate a technical issue on your vehicle transmission, or some subject you are not familiar with.
Although not all companies or adjusters operate in such a manor, you cant know for sure where they stand until you look back and see what choices they made. This is why you must play it safe and rely on your roofing contractors expertise. If you don’t you could be taken advantage of by your insurance adjuster. On the other hand, there is no harm in working with your roofing contractor if it turns out in the end the adjuster was upstanding and honest.
You must be sure that you understand the warranty you are getting. Some contractors will attempt to convey that the roofing manufacturer’s product warranty is in fact their own.When you have your roof replaced you should have two distinct warranties. One is from the manufacturer and one is from your roofing contractor.
The warranty you get from the manufacturer is generally only in regards to a product defect and not poor or improper installation. These warranties can also have many caveats you must be aware of. In some cases, if you install a “roofing system” using products all from the same manufacturer you may be eligible for even greater coverage.
The warranty you get from your roofing contractor is meant to specifically covered poor workmanship or improper installation. This should be fairly straight forward and easy to understand. It should be in writing and signed by you and your contractor. It should also be prepared by a legal professional. If your contractor does not have anything in writing or it does not appear to have been professionally created, you should consider it a warning sign. The trust you have in your contractor to guarantee their work is one of the most important factors you must consider.
Its easy to see why understanding all of the fine details regarding warranties is so important. As the homeowner make sure you have your roofing contractor explain the particulars of each warranty and that you ask questions about areas you may not understand. In the end you don’t want an unpleasant surprise if a issue were to arise.
Keep in mind that your homeowners insurance will not cover workmanship or material defect problems.
#4: Hiring Questionable Contractors
Texas has no mandatory requirements for someone to be a “roofer”. There are no licensing or insurance requirements at all. We know this sounds crazy because all other trades, HVAC, plumbing, electrical and so on require specific certifications and/or licensing. Funny thing is that the insurance company does not care at all about the abilities or qualifications of who you choose to replace your roof. In fact, some industry experts would suggest that insurance companies specifically lobby against efforts in Texas by roofing professionals to enact basic licensing requirements for roofing companies. The total number of roofing businesses in North Texas is unknown. What is known for sure is that many are not reputable. Because the barrier for entry is so low, many business start and fail within 1-2 years. You also have businesses run by the same people who just change business names every few years after many upset homeowners and poor reviews. Lets also not forget about the out of town storm chasers.
This is why it is of the upmost importance that you choose a roofing contractor who is local, trustworthy, professional and knowledgeable. A company who you trust will stand by your side years down the road after your roof has been replaced.