If you haven’t already, at some point in your lifetime you will have to file an insurance claim and go through the process of having your roof replaced especially as a resident of Colorado and Wyoming where hail, high winds and erratic weather occur on a regular basis. The insurance process can be confusing and is always changing. Kris Dunlap, an insurance specialist on the Roof Worx team with years of experiences, has compiled some of the most commonly asked questions with her insightful answers.
1. Question – If water is coming into the property and causing interior damage, Should I have it repaired before the adjuster comes out?
Answer – One of the duties a homeowner has after a loss is to “protect the property from further damage”. If emergency repairs are required, you must make reasonable and necessary repairs to protect the property from further damage and keep an accurate record of repair expenses. This would include temporary repair or tarping a roof, covering a broken skylight or window, etc.
2. Question – My insurance agent told me that I need to submit three bids. Is this true and if so why?
Answer – As the policyholder, you are NOT required to provide three bids. It is your right to choose ANY contractor you wish to repair your property. This does NOT mean that the chosen contractor can charge any amount they wish. The cost must be approved by the insurance company.
The reason insurance companies ask you to submit three bids is to determine the local market rate on your job. This helps to deny a contractor who is over charging by having evidence that other qualified contractors are available to do the work for less.
3. Question – My contractor requested that he be provided a copy of the estimate my insurance company gave me. Should I give it to him or should he “bid” on the job without seeing the estimate?
Answer – Yes, you SHOULD provide your contractor with the estimate. The contractor will review the estimate prepared by the insurance company to ensure that the insurance company has estimated for ALL of the damaged property and that the scope of damage is accurate in restoring the property to pre-loss condition.
4. Question – What are the consequences with my insurance company if I file a claim, receive compensation for damages and choose not to make the repairs?
Answer – If you receive funds for repairs to a roof from an insurance company and choose not to make the repairs then;
o The roof will no longer be covered by the insurance company from future damages.
o Any subsequent damages as a result of the damaged roof (interior damage from a leak) will not be covered.
o The depreciated amount withheld from the claim settlement will not be recovered by the property owner.
5. Question – Do my rates go up if I decide to file a storm claim?
Answer – While it is true that the insurance company underwriters review your policy whenever you file a claim, your premium rates will not go up as a result of just YOU filing a storm related claim. If a geographical area is damaged by a storm, or the country on a whole experiences several catastrophic occurrences, ALL of the insured’s in that area, or across the country, will most likely experience an increase in premium. So, if you live in an affected area, your premiums will likely raise regardless of whether you file a claim or not.