Roofing Insurance Claims and How it Works.

February 21, 2019

Insurance Claims.  How it Works.

When it comes time to replace your roof, or if your home is impacted by a weather event, people often wonder:  Should I file an insurance claim.  And the answer is… it depends.

Insurance policies often cover insured property owners against inclement weather, but policies vary, and your coverages can be different from carrier to carrier.  Contact your agent or a Licensed Public Adjuster for specific answers about your policy.

Step 1:  Get inspected by a Contractor

Call a contractor first.  There are several reasons for this.  An experienced contractor like ATD Roofing will be able to tell if you have storm damage.  Identifying storm damage is a science, and if you don’t have it, its better to save the time and hassle of calling in a claim if you’re likely to be denied.

Have your contractor put together a list of damages and get your paperwork in order BEFORE your insurance carriers adjuster shows up.  Having your ducks in a row and your contractor present will almost always get you a better result.  What do we mean by “better result”?  We mean a smoother, faster more comprehensive repair process with fewer surprises, and a higher quality outcome.  Keeping your carrier and your contractor on the same page is the secret to a smooth process.

What if you have had your carrier out without a contractor present?  Its okay, but your contractor may need to submit supplements and change orders to get you a good result.  

Step 2:  If you have storm damage, file in a claim

Call in a claim with your contractor.  Make sure you have the right date-of-loss. This is a BIG DEAL!  If you’re unsure about when damage happened, an experienced contractor can help you find the date the damage actually occurred by reviewing historical weather data.  If your date of loss is incorrect, it can be a reason to deny the claim.

Step 3:  Your Insurance Adjustment – Be prepared.

This is when your carrier will send out an insurance adjuster to assess the property.  Beware of ladder assists and preferred contractors.  You want an independent licensed insurance adjuster, but you may not get one.  Having an experience contractor looking out for your interests can help protect your interests.

There are many reasons property owners chose ATD to assist them in this process, but let me introduce you to 6 of those reasons that specifically help you during this stage of your insurance claim process.

The 6 Benefits of having ATD Roofing present at your insurance adjustment.

1)      Satellite Schematic

We pull a satellite schematic of your home in advance and provide it to your adjuster.  If the adjuster wants to approve your house, they have to buy one of these satellite measurement reports or hand-measure the roof. That costs your adjuster time or money. So, we provide it.  This makes it cost-free to give you a good result.  Our report also integrates with the insurance carriers software which makes their write-up easier.

2)     Scope of loss or Damage Report

We produce a complete list of all damages of home including damage not caused by storm along with types of material and measurements to the adjuster.  

3)     We look at Codes

If you have code endorsement, your repair work coverage should priced so the work can be done up-to-code. You paid into your policy, they should give you what you paid for.  We will look at the code changes in the area and code endorsements.  Your adjuster will not do this.  So, we do it for them ensuring that we can add code-related items or higher quality materials to meet current building codes.  

4)    Manufacturing installation specifications

We will look at the manufacturing installation specifications required to get you a warrantee on your repair or replaced items.  If you had a warrantee before you’ll want one on your repaired or replaced items. Producing the manufacturers guidelines is frequently the deciding factor between getting a repair and new roof. To get a warranty on repair it must be done in accordance with the manufacturer specifications.

5)     Meet with Adjuster

We will come out and meet the adjuster on site and go over all the storm related damage.

6)     We will provide information to desk adjuster

This includes photos, measurements, code reports, manufacturing installation specifications, estimates and all previously mentioned information.

Step 4:  Get your paperwork and upfront check from your insurance carrier.

After your adjustment, within 2 weeks you should receive insurance paperwork detailing what the carrier approved on your property and how much they are willing to pay.  This is an Offer.  These estimates vary wildly from carrier to carrier and adjuster to adjuster.  Have your contractor review the estimate to make sure what was agreed upon at the Insurance Company’s Inspection made it into the paperwork they will payoff.  

For insurance claims, all pricing is set by 3rd party software like Xactimate and Symbility.  These software dictates the going rate for restoration services by zip code and these prices are updated every 30 days.  They’re not going to give you all the money upfront. They’re going to give you a portion upfront (usually 50%) and a portion after your contractor submits their invoicing. If you contractor’s invoice is more, they’re release up to the amount of their initial estimate and you’ll be left to pay the difference.  If your contractors final invoice is less, they will reduce the final payment up to the amount you ultimately paid your contractor.  You don’t get to keep the money.  Find a contractor you trust, one who will work for insurance proceeds and have them work it out with your carrier.  

Don’t be tricked into trying to get estimates. Your carrier will pay for the lowest one.  Your carrier should pay a fair price for the work you require and that number is produced by a properly written estimate in one of the softwares listed above.  Chose the best contractor you can find and make sure they’re willing to work for Xactimate pricing.  

Step 5:  Pick out colors, chose your upgrades

Once youhave paperwork and your upfront money from your carrier, you and your contractor should sit down and create a formal build/construction contract.  Here you should specifically select they type of products you want installed, colors, and designs.  This is a great time to upgrade your home and make changes.

Step 6:  The work begins!

Once you have signed your build contract and made your upfront payment, permits will be pulled and the work will begin.  Sit back and watch your project come to life.  Let your contractor know about any punch items that may arise.  This is construction!  Don’t panic if you have a question or if something doesn’t look quite right.  Your experienced contractor will know how to fix it should anything arise.

Step 7:  Supplements

It is very common for things to come up when doing any restoration and repair job.  If something comes up that should have been covered by your carrier, your experienced contractor should do the job correctly and petition the carrier for the funds.  This is called a supplement and is a normal part of the insurance claims process.  If the supplement is well supported and covered by your policy, your carrier will approve the supplement and send you an additional check.  Its important not to spend checks send by your insurance carrier for restoration work.  These funds are for the company who performs the work.  It should be obvious to you that these funds are payable to your contractor for finding the need, doing the job correctly and getting your carrier to agree.  Hang on to all checks sent by your carrier as they will be used to settle up at the end when your job is complete.

Step 8:  The work is done!

At this stage your contractor should submit a COC of Certificate of Completion to your carrier.  The COC states what was completed and at what price.  This COC initiates the release of withheld funds (depreciation money) if you have and RCV (Replacement Cost Value) policy. These funds will likely be used to pay your contractor for the work you had them perform.  

Step 9:  Make final payments and enjoy your restored property

At this stage you will receive your final checks from your insurance carrier and settle up with your contractor.  If they did a good job, leave them a review.  Great contractors are hard to find.  

We hope you enjoyed this layout of the process.

Greenville SC