Q: What is hail damage, and how can it affect my home?
A: Hail damage is generally described as a “diminution of water-shedding capability or a reduction in the expected long-term life of the roofing material.” On asphalt shingles (the most common type of residential roof system) hail is more specifically described as “punctures, tears, or fractures (bruises) in the shingle mats. Shingle bruises are an indentation with fracture in the mat that feels soft like that of an apple bruise.” (Haag Engineering) These bruises are often marked by dislodged granules, but the untrained eye cannot always see the bruising at a first glance. Make sure an experienced roof inspector checks your roof before filing a claim on your insurance policy for hail damage.
Q: I have recently filed a claim on my homeowner’s policy for wind/hail damage? How will this affect my rates?
A: Your rates should not be affected by a wind/hail claim, but you should verify this with your agent. Wind/hail storms are an “act of God” for which you have no control so your policy should not be affected.
Q: There are lots of roofing companies coming to my door these days trying to solicit my business. What should I do?
A: Most roofing salesmen going door to door, contrary to popular opinion, are typically good people just trying to make a living so don’t lose any sleep. Regardless of your decision on your roofing project, make sure the contractor you use is local, licensed, insured, has references and doesn’t leave your contract open-ended. Your out-of-pocket costs on a project should be limited to your deductible if you aren’t upgrading your roofing product.
Q: My insurance company tells me to “get 3 estimates” for the roofing work. Do I have to do this?
A: In a word, no. You’re entitled to use the roofing contractor of your choice as long as their price is in line with industry standards, so don’t feel as though you need to use the cheapest roofer to work within your insurance allowance. Insurers want homeowners to shop price for an obvious reason- to save them money. Don’t endanger the value of your home by using the low bidder to complete insurance restoration.
Q: My insurance company’s estimate is $10,000. I’ve received estimates for $12,000 and $8,000. What should I do?
A: If the roofer charging $12,000 is unwilling to negotiate his price with your insurer, you may have to pay the additional money to use his company. If you go with the roofing company charging $8,000, you will not be able to pocket the difference regardless, so make sure you’re not hiring a disreputable or unqualified company to work on your home. Roofers whose estimates are significantly lower than insurance proceeds should be researched thoroughly as it is highly unusual for an insurer to pay exorbitant amounts of money for repairs to your home.
Q: Should I have my contractor at my insurance adjustment?
A: Absolutely. A quality contractor should assist with all phases of your insurance claim- not just hand you an estimate and tell you “Good Luck.” If your contractor is unwilling to meet your adjuster to discuss the extent of damages to your property, you should speak to a Roof Dr. Representative. We will meet with the field adjuster from your insurance company to protect your insurance investment. This way you can rest assured that the insurance adjustment assesses all damages for which you are entitled compensation, not just your roof replacement.