When filing an insurance claim, some insurance companies will ask that the homeowner get 3 estimates before they send one of their own adjusters out to assess the damage. These insurance companies are doing this to avoid paying an adjuster to assess the claim should there not be any damage covered under the insurance policy. Essentially, they are using these 3 contractors to do their job for them. This is wrong and it is your right as the homeowner that pays monthly premiums to have an adjuster from your insurance carrier assess the roof for damage and tell you if you are covered or not.
After an adjuster from your insurance company comes to assess the claim, they should provide a detailed estimate which breaks down the estimated costs of the damaged items on your home needing replacement.
Once you have received this estimate/cost breakdown sheet from your insurance adjuster, please e-mail photos, scan and e-mail, or fax it to our office. One of our estimators will then review the break down and schedule a time to come out and go over the coverages with you and make sure the measurements and damage covered is accurate.
Before you file your claim, know what’s covered and what’s not!Important Facts About Homeowners Insurance Claims
- Most homeowner’s insurance companies will drop a homeowner who files too many claims within a certain time frame. Typically, insurance companies will accept one claim every 10 years without it having a negative effect. Unfortunately though, some homeowner’s premiums may more than double just for filing one claim. Therefore, before you file, make sure you have done your homework and that you have a case. Also, to avoid being dropped by your insurance, try to make claims on larger projects. Smaller claims may not even meet your deductible but will count against you if you do file.
- Most homeowner insurance policies will provide coverage for damage caused by unpreventable situations such as vandalism or fire, disastrous “acts of God” such as hurricanes, tornadoes, wind, rain, and hail.
- Insurance policies do not cover for rotted or deteriorated wood replacement. This is considered normal wear and tear even if your insurance company covers the replacement of your roof, gutters, siding, etc. As the homeowner, you are responsible for the cost of replacing rotted wood if it is discovered during the project.
- However, homeowner insurance policies do not cover for normal wear and tear caused by old age or defective materials. In fact, most homeowner insurance policies will depreciate the value of the items you claim based on their age. For example, if your roof is under 10 years old, you may be covered for the full cost of repairing or replacing the damaged section of your roof at the time of the claim. If your roof is over 10 years old, you may only be reimbursed for the depreciated value of the damaged roof.
Beware of Storm Chasers and Private Adjusters! If it sounds too good to be true, it often is!
These are usually salespeople that go door-to-door promising homeowners that they will not need to pay anything out of pocket. Not even their deductible if they use their company to do the work. This is a scam! The Attorney General’s Office has a pamphlet titled “Home Repair – Know Your Consumer Rights”. This pamphlet it specifically states, “Please use extreme caution when confronted by door-to-door salespeople with no local connections who offer to do home repair work for substantially less than the market price.”
These storm chasers come from different states chasing the storm damage and insurance money that comes with it. Often times, they offer labor warranties on their work exceeding 5 years trying to put the homeowner’s mind at ease. However, once they move on to the next city or state, they will not come back to address any issues you might have. The local contractors are then left to pick up the pieces and the homeowner is left paying for the complete replacement of their brand-new roof. ChicagoBrick Co. has completely replaced many many new roofs, gutters, siding, windows, etc. due to the poor workmanship of these storm chasers.
It is in your best interest to use only local contractors that have been established in your area for many years.
* This information is provided for your convenience; it is not intended as insurance advice. The views, opinions, and advice expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Please consult your insurance carrier or agent for information regarding your policy or coverage.