Roof Repairs Or Replacement: Tips For Working With Your Insurance Adjuster
Living in Florida, especially near the ocean can be challenging with the number of storms and hurricanes coming up the coast during many months of the year. These types of wind and rain events can be especially damaging to asphalt shingle roofs. Owning a home or commercial building can be stressful, especially when your structure has been damaged by stormy weather. If your roof has sustained damage by either a named storm or just bad weather you might need roof repairs or even a roof replacement. Many times, owners do not want to file a damage claim due to a named storm, because of the high deductible imposed by most insurance policies. Homeowner and commercial building insurance has seen tremendous price increases over the last few years. In addition, many insurance carriers have limited policies or denied coverage altogether for dwelling with aged roofs.
At Sunrise Roofing Company we see claims on storm damage everyday and though we don’t negotiate claims we understand the process and really what is a stake. Below are some tried and true suggestions we recommend when filing claims and dealing with insurance company adjusters.
KNOWLEDGE IS IMPORTANT!
One of our most important recommendations for home and businessowners it to be thoroughly familiar with your insurance policy; its terms, coverage and limitations. Not knowing these important factors, could determining whether you should file a claim or not with your insurance underwriter after your house or building has suffered damage.
First, it’s important to know what your insurance policy covers and what your rights and responsibilities are under the contract you have in place. As you will discover, not all types of roof damage are covered by insurance policies. Storm damage creating a leaking roof or sustained as a result of either fire, hail, or even wind damage is commonly covered. On the other hand, damage sustained to an old roof or damage that was incurred in the past, and not presenting specific problems until now, might not be covered.
If you suspect roof damage has been sustained you should have a licensed professional roofing contractor inspect the roofs condition. It is also crucial to reach out to your insurance company as soon as possible if it is determined that your roof is damaged and you want to file a claim.
When the insurance adjuster comes out to assess the damage, it is prudent to follow these tips:
WHEN DEALING WITH AN INSURANCE ADJUSTER
Always Tell The Truth
First of all, it is important to always tell the truth to your insurance company and its representatives or assigned adjuster. Knowingly withholding information during the claim process could invalidate your claim and may have legal ramifications. You should try and avoid making statements that could be taken as an admission of guilt or as being somewhat responsible for your roofs condition. This could give the adjuster reasons to give you a low settlement offer. For example, if a tree falls onto your roof during a storm, you should avoid telling the adjuster, you had a bad feeling about that tree. If asked, simply state that the tree fell on the roof and damaged it.
Keep Accurate Records
If you have any damage you need to record it by taking pictures as soon as the storm is over. You will need to provide them to your adjuster. Always accomplish this before covering up, laying down a tarp or making any repairs to keep the home or building habitable. The insurance adjuster needs to see the extent of the damage as it was actually incurred.
Additionally, and this is very important. Whenever you interact with the insurance company, its representatives or adjusters, take careful notes of what was discussed. Note the actual day, time, name of the representative with whom you spoke and any questions asked of you. This way you can remember all of the facts in your claim and it will assist you when negotiating later on down the road.
Only Negotiate When Appropriate
Remember, the insurance adjuster’s job is to negotiate the best possible price on behalf of their company. Many times, they will assess the damage to your home, its roof or other components and give you an amount that is not sufficient to cover all costs. If that written estimate is lower than expected, or independently acquired by a contractor, then negotiate! You are completely free to reject a low offer from your insurance adjuster. Our experience is they will come back with an increased second offer. Always consider the terms of your policy, what is covered and the limitations of liability or limits of the policy.
If that offer is still insufficient, you may want to hire a public adjuster to negotiate the claim for you. Remember, you do not get to keep any money that is left over after the repairs have been made. Your insurance company will keep any portion of the offer that is not used.
Try and remain patient, polite and calm through each transaction with the adjuster. There should be a mutual gain for both parties if they act in good faith.
Get An Independent Estimate
If you choose a professional contractor like Sunrise Roofing, we will do an assessment on our own and provide a written quote for the needed repairs or roof replacement. We are also a Licensed General Contractor so we are not limited to just a roof repair or replacement. We will work with the insurance adjuster, provide the necessary legitimate costs associated with any repairs needed. Beware of any contractor who says they will pay your insurance deductible for you. Not only is this not true, but it is also illegal in the State of Florida.
WORKING WITH THE RIGHT JACKSONVILLE BEACH ROOFING CONTRACTOR
Only Choose A Trusted Local Roofer
Why should you choose Sunrise Roofing? We have over 25 years of experience in mitigating all types of roofing problems on every type of residential and commercial roof. We specialize in shingle, tile, metal and commercial roof repair and replacement. Give us a call at 904-323-1929 for a free roof inspection and written estimate.