Navigating through an insurance claim after a storm event can be a little overwhelming for most home or business owners, we get that. Divine Roofing, Inc. has helped thousands of people through this process over the last decade. Below we have provided some information to help assist you and make your life easier. Please note that unless you are certain that your roof has sustained storm damage, we advise to NOT call your insurance company before having a licensed, insured, and professional roofing contractor perform a thorough roof inspection. A claim filed is still a claim on your record even if the claim is denied.
Before we get into the benefits of using a professional roofing company like Divine Roofing, we’d like to point out a couple of misconceptions that people often have about the claims process. These misconceptions often cost you a lot of time, money, and aggravation, not to mention that you could get taken advantage of by less than professional contractors and end up with a problem roof.
- “I have to get multiple estimates from different contractors so I can submit those to my insurance company.” - That is incorrect. Believe it or not, your insurance company cannot dictate which roofing company you choose. You have the right to choose any contractor you wish.
- “The price of the estimates I receive is going to be a major part of the decision I make towards choosing a contractor.” – As tough of a pill as it is to swallow, the cost of the roof replacement should be the last thing that you consider. In most cases, your only out-of-pocket expense will be your policy deductible, period. That means whether your roof costs $10,000.00 or $50,000.00 your out-of-pocket cost remains the same. You can get a cheap roof and pay your deductible, or you can get an amazing roof and pay the exact same.
- “Other companies have offered to pay or absorb my deductible; can you do that too?” – Therein lies a huge problem that has greatly contributed to the rising cost of insurance premiums, and to the degradation of the roofing industry overall. First and foremost, it’s illegal. You’re hiring a professional roofing contractor because you value their honesty. Yet, expecting a contractor to waive your policy deductible is asking them to be dishonest in this one little thing right off the bat. Not only that, but if you’re in agreement to such an arrangement, you are joining with them in that dishonesty. You are essentially expecting them to team up with you and commit fraud against your insurance company, and break the laws of the state of Colorado. A contractor that will engage in such practice is more than likely willing to cut other corners as well. They must make up for the cost of that deductible somewhere.
Are there legal ways that the amount you end up paying for your deductible can be reduced? Yes, sometimes. One example might be a claim that includes other items or repairs other than roofing. Often, you have one deductible that is applicable to an entire claim. That claim could include such repairs as siding repairs, painting, fence repairs or staining, gutter replacement, personal items such as grills or furniture that needs to be replaced, interior repairs or a plethora of other things that could be included on the claim. In that case, one deductible applies to everything on the claim and can often be prorated and applied to the roofing portion of the claim only.
Additionally, we do offer a referral program that can help offset any deductible costs when everything filters out. You still must pay us your deductible initially but can be rewarded after the fact for referrals that you submit, those referrals go to contract, and are completed. Be sure to ask your Divine Rep about this program
- “If I give my insurance paperwork to a contractor and sign an agreement with them, they are going to overcharge my insurance company.” – While we see the logic in your concern, that is quite far from reality. The insurance companies are not in the business of just handing out money to a contractor simply because they ask for it.
Although you may not have ever thought about it, your insurance company is a business, a “for profit” business. They are not simply a public service as some tend to think. Our experience has taught us that typically the first answer or offer you get from your insurance company for a roof replacement is anywhere between 20-40% lower than current market value and often excludes items that are specifically code-related and required. Their hope is that you “accept” their initial offer and find a contractor that will work for that amount, or heaven forbid, even less. Can you imagine the amount of money that they’re profiting by shorting the payout on claims by 20-40% on every single claim nationwide? They are saving billions.
What that means to you is that you end up with a less than quality roof, one that often is not up to code or manufacturers specifications, all while saving your insurance company money.
We specialize in the negotiating process with your insurance company to assure that you get the roof you deserve, and the funds necessary to make that happen, especially considering the high premiums you are paying for the policy in the first place. We do this by submitting copies of local building codes, manufacturers specifications, which are important for warranty purposes, photos of damages that were missed on the adjuster’s report, including special flashings, limited access charges, special leak protection, emergency tarping services, etc., and then submitting to them photos and documentation of the finished and installed items upon completion.
On nearly every case, we can get the insurance company to agree to these additional charges, otherwise knows as supplements, not because we simply asked for them, but because our standards of quality and professional ethics demand that these items are addressed and installed. How can they deny items that are required by code? Are they asking you and us to install a roof that is not up to code? That would be very unethical on their part and would more than likely open them up for further exposure in the future.
This process, know as supplementing, is very common practice. In fact, most of the time the very report you get from them after the adjuster’s inspection even mentions “additional costs may be necessary to complete the repairs”. They are anticipating supplements on the claim from the start. And it is very important to know that they are only going to pay out an “amount agreeable” to both them and the contractor. Nothing more.
So, regardless of the final “amount agreeable” to both your insurance company and your contractor, you only pay your deductible, and you get the roof you and your property deserve. Therefore, the cost of the roof should not be of concern, the quality should be.
And that brings us to the process that we like to follow with insurance claims:
- We perform an inspection to assess the roof damage and any other observable damages we see to the property that may have resulted from a storm event. We will then show you photos of the damages and recommend to you whether the damage is extensive enough to warrant a claim being filed.
- Should you choose to move forward with a recommended claim, we will assist you in making the initial call to your insurance company to explain the damages we found, and help you obtain a claim number.
- We would then ask that you sign a preliminary agreement that allows us to pursue your best interest for a roof replacement, including meeting the insurance adjuster at the property during their initial inspection. Meeting with the adjuster helps us to address local building codes and roof requirements with the adjuster right on the spot and can save time when negotiating the supplements later down the road. During a large storm event, often the adjusters are from out-of-state or may be newly hired and are not familiar with local practices or codes.
- If the claim is denied for any reason, or the damage is not enough to warrant a full roof replacement, the preliminary agreement simply becomes null and void and you are under no obligation whatsoever to Divine Roofing, Inc.
- If the claim is approved, we would then issue a formal contract based on the initial estimate and scope of work provided by your adjuster that you provide to us, collect the initial check from insurance, and begin the negotiating and scheduling process.
- Once, we have reached “an amount agreeable” with the adjuster, and an updated scope of work to include all necessary items, we will schedule the roofing materials to be delivered.
- Once the materials have been delivered, we will then assign a project foreman and schedule a roofing crew to perform the tear-off and installation of your new roof system.
- It may be necessary to submit a second request for supplements to your adjuster if items are discovered during the process which could not be determined until after tear-off, including extra layers of materials, decking or rotten wood issues, additional flashings, etc. If that is the case, we will perform this submittal and that may result in another updated scope of work and price.
- Upon completion, and obtaining a certificate of completion from you, we then submit a final invoice to your insurance company and to you, outlining the final details of the installation and this will prompt the insurance company to release to release any depreciation or additional funds. We would also collect the deductible portion of your claim at this time.
- Once the final check or checks are received, you pay us the remaining amount of insurance proceeds for the roof portion of the claim, and we register and issue to you both the workmanship and materials warranties. Project complete.
Isn’t that a lot simpler than scheduling multiple estimates for your roof and meeting with multiple contractors? Your biggest concern in getting your roof replaced after a major storm event should be choosing a style and color of shingle and kicking back knowing that we have your back through the entire process.
If you think about it, collecting multiple estimates to submit to your insurance company is just a lot of extra leg work for you. Essentially, you have become an employee of your insurance company, doing the dirty work of trying to save them money. That really doesn’t serve you as you should be served and often results in a lot of headaches and a less than quality roof.
We are a 5-star rated contractor local to Colorado Springs, CO., family-owned, offer a Lifetime Warranty on the roof system, a 10-Year workmanship warranty, and even include and annual inspection of your roof to assure its longevity.
We would love for you to give us a call or schedule a free consultation so that we can help you get through a difficult and nerve-wracking event with as little stress to you as possible.
The Divine Roofing Team