An insurance claim covers your home in the event of a storm or other property damaging event - commonly hail or wind damage. When it comes to filing a claim for a damaged roof, we recommend having a trained roofing professional assess the damage before you file a claim. If the repair cost is substantially more than your deductible, it’s best to file the claim.
Your insurance agent will need some information about the damaging event, including date of loss and damage type (hail, wind, etc.). If you are able to, take pictures of the damage you can see and provide those to your insurance agent when filing the claim. It is also important to get information about your coverage type and deductible amount if you don’t already have that information. The representative will file the claim and let you know when to expect to hear from the adjuster who will come out to assess the damage.
An adjuster is the representative of your insurance company who inspects your property after a damaging event has taken place. Roofing adjusters generally do not need the homeowner present when they are inspecting damage but every scenario is unique. While working storm claims, adjusters often are required to travel heavily and write many claims, so sometimes things get missed. It is neither malicious nor planned that way but the good news is that anything missed can be supplemented by your contractor.
If your adjuster is a direct representative, they may be able to produce your claim and cut the first check on the spot. If they are third party or a field adjuster, the report is sent off to the insurance desk adjuster and reviewed. You will then receive the claim info that includes the scope of the repairs and an initial payment.
Chances are you already have met with a contractor you like and trust. If not, try to use some discretion when trying to find reliable help. Dishonest contractors make a living because they can be difficult identify. They usually tick all the boxes homeowners are looking for. The best advice we can give is:
- check online reviews
- check their roofing license status on the state site
- check registration for the business they represent (search business entity database)
The contractor is responsible for restoring the damage to your property. Working with a contractor who knows the ins and outs of the insurance process is paramount to your satisfaction at the end of your claim. Some contractors aren’t interested in putting the extra effort to work with your insurance company. They simply offer to do the work for what insurance pays. A contractor should put your concerns to rest, not push them aside.
There are two policy types: Recoverable Cash Value (RCV) policies and Actual Cash Value (ACV) policies. RCV policies will pay for the claim LESS your deductible, which you are responsible for. Actual Cash Value policies pay based on the value of the items in its current condition.
ACV - Your roof is a 30-year roof and it’s 10 years old. Assume the value was $10,000 and your deductible was $1,000. They will first subtract the 10 years of life or $3,333 and then your deductible of $1,000. That’s $10,000 - $3,333 - $1,000. Claim check is $5,667. It is the ONLY check you will get. Now you have to find a contractor to give you pricing you are happy with and you can trust.
RCV – Let’s us the same roof. It is a 10-year-old 30-year roof and $10,000 estimated value. Insurance still withholds the $3,333 depreciation and your $1,000 deductible. You get that same check for $5,667 HOWEVER, once you get an invoice for the completed repairs, insurance sends you the rest of the money up to the $9,000.
In theory, this is the best way to go. If you have an ACV policy, you want to find someone who can meet your budget.
If you have an RCV policy and have the repairs done for less than the insurance claim states, will you pocket the difference? The direct answer is no, but why? Let’s keep it simple and use the $10,000 roof example again. After meeting with three contractors, you have a bid of $8,500. Perfect! After the deductible the insurance claim will pay $9,000 and you’ll pocket the $500. Right? It’s not that simple. As a contractor, you must submit an invoice for the work completed which means you would have to intentionally commit fraud to make this work. One invoice for $8,500 to the customer and one for $10,000 to the insurance. Why is it fraud? As a contractor, it is fraudulent to claim your services are two separate prices.
Besides the cliche “you get what you pay for,” consider this. We will come up with our own bid using Xactimate, which is the same software your insurance company uses to create your scope of repairs. We will be in agreement for the prices of our services, every time. Secondly, we do other exterior work most roofers don’t touch or warranty. Our in-house team does an excellent job and we aim to please. Visit www.griswoldpropertysolutions.com
to see the other of residential remodeling services we offer! For these reasons, we know we aren’t the cheapest in the town, but our customers love our quality and professionalism.