Expert Assistance with Insurance Claims for Roof Damage
At Roofing Repair Solutions we have decades of experience in assisting home and business owners with insurance claims after roof damage due to a storm. We can provide expert roof inspections and guide you through the entire insurance claims process.
We are a family-owned and operated company that gives expert advice, coupled with high-quality workmanship. When it comes to insurance claims, there are common mistakes that homeowners make.
Mistake #1 – Not Filing a Valid Claim
Most people have insurance policies to protect themselves should something go wrong, then when something does, they’re afraid to use it! That sounds crazy at first. You have insurance. Something went wrong. Why not use it?
The fear is that by making a claim, rates will go up or you will be cancelled. That is possible if you make a high-risk claim (e.g. dog bite) or if you have too many claims for incidents that are within your control (e.g. bathtub overflowing), but not for naturally occurring incidents like a roof insurance claim.
A main driver of the cost of your premiums is the amount of claims made by all homeowners in your area. So, if a windstorm comes through and all your neighbors get a new roof, the insurers see your area as a risk and your premiums are likely to go up whether you personally make a claim or not.
Mistake #2 – Filing an Unnecessary Claim
Homeowner’s insurance is for significant events like a fire, hail or wind storm, or a fallen tree on your home – not for minor expenses like the theft of a bicycle or a single broken window. So, while a claim may be valid, it may not always be wise to file it.
Take a look at your policy. Most contain a 1% or 2% deductible. The amount of the claim needs to be considerably more than the deductible to make it worth making the claim. So how do you know if you have enough damage to make a claim?
Start by looking around your home – do you see:
- dents in the shingles, roof jacks, or gutters/downspouts? (see image).
- dents/holes in siding or fascia boards, or chipped paint?
- damaged air conditioner coil
- cracks in skylights, windows, or frames
Mistake #3 – Hiring a storm chaser
Large-scale storms with wide-spread damage attract contractors who know that reputable businesses are overwhelmed. That’s when these vultures show up at your door making promises and telling lies. Storm chasers do what their name describes – they chase storms around from area to area, hawking their roofing services.
While some companies are legitimate and may do great work, how responsive will out-of-town roofers be if you have a problem later? Look for a local phone number and address on business cards, truck signs, and on their website.
Many of these storm chasers are unscrupulous. They prey on the elderly or uninformed with aggressive sales tactics and inflated charges. Some ask for cash up front and disappear, while others create fake damage in hopes of getting insurance to approve.
Stay away from these companies! Make sure to check out any contractor before signing an agreement. Check the Better Business Bureau for complaints. Ask for recommendations on neighborhood chat rooms or through social networking. Check references!
Mistake # 4 – Not paying your deductible
Failing to pay your deductible is probably the most common mistake homeowners make – often without knowing the consequences. Storm chasers and shady roofers promise to put on your roof for whatever insurance pays without updating your claim with the current building codes.
While the thought of a “free roof” sounds great, failing to pay the deductible is illegal and going along with this scheme means you may be committing insurance fraud. Regardless of how these scammers try and rationalize it, not paying your deductible is a breach of contract and may constitute insurance fraud.
What is Insurance Fraud?
Insurance fraud occurs when people deceive an insurance company in order to collect money to which they are not entitled. This particular fraud is a crime in all fifty states, and the majority of the states have established fraud bureaus to identify and investigate fraud incidents.
In most states, fraudulent claims can be either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the nature and extent of the fraud committed. Insurance companies can also commit fraud by improperly denying a policy a benefit that is due.
Conclusion: Pay your deductible. If a roofer even suggests not paying it, look for a new roofer! If they are willing to lead you to commit fraud, who knows what else they’ll do!
Helping Homeowners Prepare for Storm Season
As the weather warms up and chilly nights turn into warm sunny days, evening storms can cause damage to your property. Your roof will be the first line of defense your home has against these summer storms.
Oftentimes in Oklahoma, these storms will be accompanied by heavy wind and hail. Over the next 6 weeks these springs storms will be likely, if not a sure thing. If you have damage to your roof, you may not notice until you have a leak causing interior damage. I am going to give you some tips on how to recognize damage to your roof and some things you can do to catch the problem before it causes damage to the interior of your home.
Here’s what you should look for after a storm. When a spring storm moves through your area knowing what to look for in the aftermath is critical to your roof maintenance. First thing to look for is shingle pieces in your yard as even one can mean you have significant damage to your roof. Another indicator that you may need to have your roof inspected by a professional is tree branches in the yard or laying on the roof. We see branches as small as a pencil pierce shingles and cause leaks.
Hail damage can be one of the most difficult types of roof damage to identify. Look for dings and dents in your metal mailbox, holes in cloth umbrellas, and similar damage to stucco and cars. If you see signs of hail call me for a free professional roof inspection. I appreciate the opportunity to earn your business, plus if you know of anyone else who can use my services please let me know and if they do business with me, I will send you a referral fee.
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