No one likes dealing with insurance companies but sometimes it’s a MUST! Don’t make a mistake and do it alone! Knowing how to properly work with an insurance company is important to receive a fair settlement. Insurers are not open checkbooks to fix your storm damage and will work hard to minimize payouts. Insurance adjusters want to settle your claims fast and even hastily at times. Before you begin the process of opening a claim, it is wise to review your insurance policy coverage so you know the limits of your policy and what you’re responsible to pay “out-of-pocket” (your deductible). When it comes to dealing with insurance claims due to storm-damaged roofs, Affluent Exteriors always advises getting guidance before opening a claim. Why? Having a plan and a team on your side is better than no plan and going it alone, which typically leads to being misguided and a lack of funds that are likely covered under your policy.
Many property owners are not able to successfully negotiate with their insurance provider to receive proper settlement dollars and some even wind up hiring an attorney or contacting their state’s insurance commission for assistance. This adds more time and money expenditures to the process but may be necessary in cases where the losses are significant or the damages long-lasting and the insurer refuses to help (yes, this happens).
Bypass the headaches of going it alone or having to get help after the fact by getting an experienced professional team on your side from the beginning. Affluent Exterior professionals will inspect, document, and effectively advocate your claim while guiding you through the steps for a quicker and more equitable result.
Preparing to file an Insurance Claim
Depending on how recently you experienced the storm-related damage to your property, you need to write down the date of the storm and if possible, take as many pictures of the damages as you can. We strongly urge all homeowners that have experienced a recent storm to schedule a free inspection of their roof considering there could be subtle signs of damage or problems that only an expert would notice. All of this will help serve as an important piece of evidence for your insurance company and will help them in making a decision whether or not to approve your claim.
Affluent Exteriors will schedule one of our experienced contractors to inspect your roof at no extra charge. Typically, the inspection takes about 20 minutes, unless there the damage is so severe and needs to be inspected at great length. It is also a good idea to provide of list of itemized damage to your property to share with the contractor as he will validate your finding, provide additional items during discovery that should be included, and use it as another piece of evidence for the insurance company.
After inspection, you will be provided a documented storm damage assessment. The contractor will review this document with you regarding their findings and address any questions that you may have. This will help you understand whether you should file an insurance claim based on the inspection. If you decide to file, it is very important that the contractor been there when the insurance adjuster comes to your home for the inspection.
Filing your Claim
In today’s technology-enabled world, filing a claim has become a very easy process. You can either call your insurance company and let them know you would like to file a claim for hail, wind or other damage as determined by the contractor or file your claim online from your insurance company’s website. Make sure you write down the claim number you will be given for your records as this is how your claim will be referenced in the future.
After successfully filing your claim, confirm with Affluent Exteriors that you have filed your claim and provide them your claim number. The insurance company will contact you directly to set up the time and date of their inspection. Work with the contractor involved to ensure their availability works with dates and times proposed so that everyone can be at your home during the inspection.
We cannot stress the importance of having both the insurance adjuster and the contractor at the inspection. This will ensure that you, as a homeowner, are being treated fairly by the insurance company, and will also help expedite the restoration process.
Roof Inspection by your Insurance Company
When the insurance adjuster comes for the inspection, they will assess the damages and take pictures. The contractor will also help point out areas of damage during their initial inspection as well. It is possible that the adjuster will give you a quote to fix the damages right away, but it is also likely that you may need to wait for a couple of days to weeks before you get a quote from your insurance company. Most of the timing difference depends on which provider you have and the cost of repairs since there could be internal red tape and processes that must be followed which slows down response time.
The insurance adjuster and the contractors will compare notes with each other and see if there are any disagreements between the two of them on the scope of damages. Also, the contractor will be able to negotiate the cost of repairs with the adjuster until they come to an agreement.
Once your claim has been settled, your insurance company will send you a scope of loss and a check to use as a deposit to start restoration repair. A scope of loss is an itemized allowance for the cost of the related repairs. The contractor will go over the scope of loss, determine what work needs to be done, and will prepare the necessary paperwork to begin the restoration phase.
Funds Distribution Procedure
Your insurance company will disburse your payments using the following process. It will pay your total insurance amount minus your deductible. As with most claims, the deductible is the only payment you have to make to the contractor, not the insurance company. The first check you receive will be a partial payment, and you will receive the rest of the payment after the repair has been completed. It is possible that you may also get supplemental checks for damages found during the restoration phase, which was not originally discovered during the initial inspection.
If you have a mortgage on your home, your insurance company will make the checks co-payable to you and your mortgage company. This is done because your mortgage company has a vested interest in your property, and needs to be notified that your property has suffered damages.
Your insurance company will withhold some funds for you after they approve your claim, known as depreciation. Depreciation is calculated as the difference between the current replacement costs and the current value of the property. The insurance company will send you a check for the depreciated amount upon completion of the work and the receipt of the invoice from the contractor. By not releasing funds until they have a final invoice from your contractor, the insurance company verifies the amount of money that was actually spent to do the repairs, and will only pay you up to that amount.
The Project: Roof, Gutters, & Siding Repair
Now becomes the fun part of the process! Depending on the scope of repairs, you get the opportunity to consider what type of new roof, gutters, and siding you’d like to get installed on your home. Your contractor will work with you to provide samples of the options available ranging from product type to various colors.
Your New Roof, Gutters & Siding
Once all the work has been completed and the site cleaned up by the contractor, you will have a new roof and other items repaired or replaced as part of your claim.
Questions or Next Steps?
Let our team of experts guide you through the pre-insurance, filing, restoration, and construction process and ensure that your property is returned to conditions exceeding industry standards.
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