If you’re reading this, you have probably already had your home or business inspected for roof storm damage, and during that inspection, it was determined that your property did in fact suffer roof damage from the storm.
We’re sorry that we have to be the bearer of the bad news, but the good news is that you’ve taken the proper steps for your upcoming roofing project, and you couldn’t have chosen a better company for the job. Go you! The next step is getting your insurance company to approve everything that needs to be covered. The RoofCrafters team knows that this can be a bit overwhelming, which is why we’ll be with you every step of the journey.
Your home has to be put back together in a pre-storm condition. That is why we pay for insurance for all these years. This can be a very frustrating task for homeowners who are not familiar with their insurance policies as well as the claim process.
In fact, it can be downright frustrating even with our experience at times. Yes, sometimes we have to put on our Muhammad Ali boxing gloves and “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee” to get your insurance company to pay for all the items to put your home back together like it is supposed to be, the right way.
However, in most cases, with our experience working with insurance companies and following the correct insurance claim process, we are able to make this entire experience as easy and stressless for you as humanly possible. Allow us to do the heavy lifting for you, alright?
In this article, we want to go over 3 specific topics with you:
What to do when your insurance company's field adjuster calls to schedule the inspection appointment
What to do once your insurance company approves your claim
Next steps for getting your new roof
We’ve also put together a short high-level video explaining these 3 steps which you can watch below:
What Should I Do When the Field Adjuster Calls to Schedule My Inspection?
We’ve determined that your property does have roof storm damage and we filed a claim with your insurance company. Shortly after your claim is reviewed, a field adjuster will be assigned your case. The field adjuster's job is to be the eyes for your insurance carrier, boots on the ground, so to speak.
The adjuster will come out to your property and first confirm the damage. They will also take photos and measurements, and document all of their findings to show your insurance company why the claim needs to be approved or denied. Also, they are responsible for writing up a Xactimate estimate for all of the repairs that will need to be made as a result of the storm damage.
This is where it gets subjective, and since we are all still human the last we checked, mistakes can and will happen. Unfortunately, insurance is a business, and not funding a project. This means more profit for the insurance companies. When mistakes happen, your claim will be underfunded.
Should My Contractor Be Present During The Inspection?
To help avoid your claim from being underfunded or even worse, denied, we recommend that a representative from our company is present for the initial inspection appointment.
By us being present at the time of their on-site inspection, we are able to point out all of the damage that we have found and documented on your behalf. Also, we will be able to discuss any local building codes that are required to replace your damaged roof. The simplest way to make this happen is to collect their contact information and let them know that your local contractor will contact them immediately to schedule the appointment for the inspection on your behalf. Does this mean your claim is guaranteed to be approved and properly funded? No, however, can you imagine what happens to the homeowners who choose to go at this alone? The sad part is that your insurance company does not pay you to play contractor.
It takes time and a great deal of effort to get everything needed to complete the project. To get all the bids, materials, and labor that are required to put your home back to a pre-storm condition. The good news is that your insurance company pays us, your local contractor, to do this for you. Now that you know what to do when the adjuster calls, let's discuss what to do once your claim gets approved.
What Should I Do Once My Insurance Company Approves the Claim?
Great news, your claim has been approved! You will most likely receive an email that your claim has been approved but wait. We are not ready to schedule the work just yet. You will receive an estimate from the field adjuster, this is going to be a detailed estimate of what they believe needs to be done to make all the repairs to your property.
All insurance companies use the same Xactimate estimating software to create, calculate and determine the amount of the claim. Once you receive this estimate, you will forward their estimate over to the estimator that you are working with from our company.
Our estimator will go over their estimate and make sure no items were left off the field adjusters' estimate. Mistakes happen, we are not claiming that they are intentional, but they happen. These claims are often very complex, there are many items that are required to be replaced to make the storm damage repairs.
If our estimator finds missing items, we will simply reach out to the desk adjuster at this time, which is the field adjuster's superior. We will provide documentation for the items that were not included so that they will be added to the estimate prior to scheduling any work.
An example would be if the field adjuster left off removing and replacing a skylight, on average that would be a $2500 mistake. Or let's say they forgot the flashing around your chimney, depending on the size and exterior materials of your chimney that could be as much as a $1,200 to $1,500 dollar mistake.
If our estimator reviews the estimate and finds that the estimate provided by the field adjuster was whole, meaning no items were left off. We would then be ready to move to the next step.
When Can I Get Starting on My Roofing Project?
Now that we have the claim settled, which means your insurance company and our estimator have agreed to the scope of work and the amount that it will cost to perform that scope or work. We are ready to move forward.
It is time for you to choose the type of roof materials and the warranty coverage that you want for your project. Your insurance company will only pay for the same materials, or if there have been any code upgrades for those as well.
However, at this time you have the option and the right to use the funds provided to replace what was damaged with the same type of material, or you can upgrade. If you choose to upgrade, you will only be responsible for paying the difference in the cost of the materials.
The only thing you are not allowed to do is downgrade materials or profit off of your insurance company. It is estimated that over 10% of claims are fraudulent. That is considered insurance fraud, and it is a felony offense.
If you want to use the money to upgrade, that is perfectly legal and highly encouraged as it provides you and your property with better coverage. Many homeowners insurance companies even offer a reduced yearly premium for using upgraded roofing materials such as ice and water shields over the entire roof instead of a traditional felt paper or a higher grade shingle that provides a better wind warranty.
It’s in the best interest of them as well as you, they are required to pay for any damages that happen as a result of a storm, and you will end up with a more secure home. If you choose to stay with exactly the same materials as you had on your home before the storm damage, all you will be required to pay by law is your homeowner's insurance policy deductible. If you choose to upgrade, you will pay your deductible plus the difference in cost for the upgrades. Our estimator will come out and go over all of these options and help you pick your materials, colors, and warranty level. After you make your selections, your project will go on our production schedule and you will receive a start date once we have all the materials needed to perform the work.
Now that you know what to do when the adjuster calls to schedule the initial inspection appointment, what to do once you receive the Xactimate estimate from the adjuster, and your next step to getting your roof storm damage repaired, check out our article on “Should I Stay home during my storm damage roof replacement?” to know when or if you should relocate during your upcoming roofing project.