If your roof was damaged during a storm, a frequent occurrence around these parts, then you may have turned to your home insurance company for help. After the claim is filed and the adjuster makes his inspection, you receive an estimate from your insurance company that details the repairs that need to be done and how much the insurance carrier will pay for them. At this point you are probably looking into hiring a contractor, and wondering whether you should share that insurance estimate with the roofing contractors that you are looking into. Some people fear that revealing their insurance estimate to contractors may allow a non-reputable contractor to take advantage of them or to raise their prices. So what should be done in this situation? Here are some things you should know:
Believe it or not, most roofers are on your side. Reputable, licensed roofing companies want to do what is best for their customers. Established local companies are looking to make their customers happy to stay in business and get referrals. A good roofer will be able to look at an insurance estimate and determine whether it is a fair representation of what it will take to fix all the damage on the roof. Because good contractors give warranties, they will not do a partial repair just to have to come back again later.
Roofers can find damage that an adjuster may have missed when surveying the property. The first response you get from the insurance company and the scope of loss that accompanies it is not necessarily the final statement on the claim. Claims can be supplemented by contractors with a second or even third estimate if it is found that further work is required to fully repair the damage and return your property to its pre-storm condition.
There is really no reason that a contractor would use your insurance estimate against you. Reputable contractors will work with you and your insurance company to make sure you are treated fairly. If, however, a contractor asks for an immediate deposit after seeing your estimate, there may be some concerns. In this case it is advisable to get a second or third opinion. You always have the option to choose your contractor and change contractors before you sign a contract.
Problems on a claim can arise because while the homeowner feels that the insurance company should cover all required repairs and renovations, the goal of the insurance company is to pay out as little as possible. For this reason, every homeowner should hire a reputable contractor who can accurately assess damages and prove to the insurance company that these damages must be covered in the claim. A good roofing contractor will be able to guide you through the claim process, supplement the original insurance response as necessary, and apply all relevant state statutes and building codes so that you are offered a fair assessment of what it will take to repair or replace your roof and get it up to code.
During the claims process, a field adjuster inspects your roof and a desk adjuster decides the payout. They often follow a standard template provided by their company, but not all roofs are the same. Some roofs have features that others lack. Building codes vary by state, county, and city. Codes are also updated every few years. Contractors keep up to date on codes in their local areas because they need their work to pass inspections by city or county officials. Since adjusters are not roof installers, it is important to have a roof contractor review your estimate to make sure that the adjusters did not miss any roof features or roof damages. They will also be able to see if the estimate created by the insurance company takes into account all applicable building codes.
It is also important that your contractor reviews not just your insurance estimate but also your policy and all relevant documents. Some policies impose time limitations on roofing repairs, some do not include code upgrades, and all policies require mitigation of any further damage. Some policies include Actual Cash Value (ACV) provisions which issue only partial coverage for roof replacement or repairs. A good roofer will be able to foresee any issues that may arise out of the type of coverage you have and advise you properly on what to expect.
At Florida’s Best Roofing we are very knowledgeable about the insurance claims process and how to get a fair and honest estimate from your insurer. We will help guide you through the process. If you have any questions about the condition of your roof or your insurance estimate in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give Florida’s Best Roofing a call at 386-263-7906!