Don’t Get Scammed! After a hail storm, you will most likely be bombarded with fly-by-night offers that seem too good to refuse.
After a hail storm, you will likely be bombarded by door hangers, telemarketers, TV and newspaper advertising, or people knocking on your doors. Always check the contractor out thoroughly before hiring them. Check with the Better Business Bureau and ask how long they’ve been a member and their rating. Check with the Chamber of Commerce as well to determine how long they’ve been a member. You can also check with your insurance agent. They know the best and local contractors.
Watch out for out-of-town contractors
What’s the possibility of an out-of-town contractor being there for you or “coming back” when an issue with the roof arises? Will they return when your ceiling is leaking water throughout your home? Probably not.
Use our simple online checklist to ensure that you have everything you need before you get your new roof.
- Secure your property: Temporary repairs are also covered by insurance to protect
your property from further loss or damage. Confirm this with your agent.
- Call your insurance agent: Report the possible loss; let the professionals determine
the extent of the damage.
- Select your contractor: Protect your best interest by choosing a contractor familiar
with the insurance claim process, as soon as possible. (If there are any discrepancies
you will be represented professionally).
- Adjuster meeting: To insure the scope includes all damages, and your needs are met,
at a “price agreeable” to the insurance company and your contractor, they should meet or discuss their differences.
- Call your mortgage company: Advise them of your claim and inquire about their
procedures for draft endorsement and contractor’s affidavits, lien releases, etc. Be proactive! Otherwise, they will hold your money as long as possible.
- Send check to mortgage company: Call your mortgage company and get procedural instructions. Do not endorse the check, send the check to your mortgage company and request their endorsement, first. (This will help speed things up).
- Review & schedule project: After you and your contractor have agreed on the scope
and terms of the claim, you can then schedule the work.
- Accept material delivery: Verify the material and color with your contractor.
- Inspect your project: Once the job is completed and you are 100% satisfied with the
work, you should expect to pay at least your first proceeds, plus your deductible or pay the full amount.
- File betterment claim: Upon receipt of the invoice, showing that the job is complete,
and you have spent the first proceeds, you can file for the depreciation amount. Your contractor can assist.
- Secure all documents: Keep all documentation in a safe place and treat it as you
would any warranty information. Enjoy your newly restored home, and peace of mind.
Insurance Claim Tips
Before you make your claim, we suggest a few tips to help you out.
- The Insurance Adjuster will normally call you to make an appointment. Be sure to get the Adjuster’s name and telephone number. If needed, we will meet with your adjuster. We can be very useful in this process.
- If the roof is approved, the Homeowner will receive a check for an estimated fifty
percent of the claim.
- If you have a mortgage on your home, the first check will be made out to the Homeowner and the Mortgage Company. Contact your Mortgage Company and ask for the Insurance Department or the Loss Draft Department for details on their process to get the first check endorsed. DO NOT sign the check unless the mortgage company requires you to do so.
- Contract with a reputable Roofing Company that is familiar with the insurance process. Any credible Roofing Company will agree to do the installation for what the insurance company agrees to pay for which is the roof replacement plus your deductible. If they are willing to do the job for less, especially when there is more work than most can handle, then it is probably a sign that they are forced to sell on price alone; this situation is usually an indication of quality or cash-flow problems. If anyone suggests that you “make money” on the roof installation, this is Insurance Fraud and you and the other participant could become involved in a lot of trouble. The Insurance Companies, due to the heavy losses sustained in the last few years, are constantly monitoring the claims to protect themselves and their policyholders.
- Call your Salesman when the first check comes in from the Mortgage Company. The first check is due as down payment when material arrives at the jobsite. Please check the materials to verify the color.
- Upon completion, your Roofing Salesman will do a final inspection on the job.
- The final bill will be faxed or mailed directly to the insurance company if requested by the owner, and a copy will be sent to the Homeowner.
- Upon receipt of the final insurance check, the invoice is due. Please contact your Roofing Salesman to pick up the final check.
Choosing a Contractor
The most important decision you can make to protect your investment lies within your decision on which contractor to choose. Make sure you choose the right one. Here are a few of our tips to help make that decision easy.
Minor leaks with the season’s first rain. Major damage caused by an unseasonable storm. Whatever your roofing needs, large or small, you need a professional roofing contractor you can trust. A contractor who can provide you with sound advice on products, reasonable explanations of procedures, and, most importantly – solid results. It’s difficult to determine the capabilities and reliability of a roofing contractor. That’s why this page was created-a simple, step-by-step guide designed to help you find the contractor who’s right for you.
Step 1: Where to Begin
A roofing system is a complex combination of elements, the success of which depends on the quality of shingles, installation and overall construction. There are many ways to start your search for the roofing contractor who meets your individual needs. Referrals are obviously the best source for names of credible companies. Ask friends and family members who they have used in the past. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce about roofing contractors who are active in the community. The Better Business Bureau, state and local licensing authorities, local trade associations and your local yellow page directory are also excellent sources of information. Your insurance agent or adjuster is an excellent source.
Step 2: Meeting and Evaluating Potential Contractors
After you have compiled a list of possible roofing contractors, take time to evaluate each one carefully. A professional contractor will be happy to provide any information you might require. Many homeowners have been mystified by the seeming lack of interest and response from the contractors they call. To get a roofer to respond to your call, let him/her know you are only talking to prequalified contractors. A contractor is shopping for good jobs that will make a firm profit and bring future referrals. Many contractors have had experiences with unreasonable or dishonest homeowners. Therefore, they look for warning signs of customer problems during the initial job interview. Set up a meeting to discuss your needs and their qualifications, and be sure to pay close attention to the attitude of the company representative. Good contractors take pride in their work and will be enthusiastic about the possibility of helping you with your roofing problems. If you feel confident that the contractor is truly interested in your project, ask for the company’s vital statistics – specific business information which will help you make your final decision.
- Business Name and Address – A good, professional contractor will provide the company’s permanent business address and telephone number. These are essential when checking on the company’s previous business dealings.
- Experience – The training and experience of a contractor, as well as the age of his or her company, will help you determine their ability to successfully complete your roofing project.
- Insurance Coverage – A contractor should carry general liability insurance. Request the name of the insurance carrier. Beware of low bids which are a result of incomplete insurance coverage.
- Professional References – Your contractor’s past can help determine your future. Ask for credit references, banking information and a list of completed projects including the names and telephone numbers of previous clients.
- Company Philosophy – Discuss application techniques and workmanship guarantees. Does the contractor stand behind his work?
Step 3: Utilizing the Contractor’s Product Knowledge
Your contractor should have up-to-date knowledge on quality products for your project. He or she is the best source of information, but you should play an active role in the product selection process. Ask questions about different shingles such as brand names, life span, thickness, design, available colors and warranties. Selecting the best products is as important to your job as selecting the right contractor.
Step 4: Consider Enhancements
Whether you’re repairing a portion of your roof or replacing it entirely, now is the time to consider related projects. Perhaps you need new roof vents, or gutters and downspouts. Even more aesthetic additions, such as enhanced high profile hip and ridge shingles, or skylights, should be reviewed. When done in conjunction with a roofing project, all of these enhancements are more convenient and less expensive.
Step 5: Understanding and Negotiating the Contract
Prior to drafting a contract, most roofing contractors will provide you with either an estimate or proposal. When a contract is presented, it should spell out the proposed work, prices and completion time. Read the contract carefully. Misunderstandings are the most common cause of contract disputes.
- Building Permits – What’s necessary? Consider local ordinances, costs, posting requirements.
- Start and Completion Dates – including a plan of action in case of weather delays.
- Products/Materials – what will be used, brands, colors, etc.
- Project Inspections – number of inspections, completion timetable.
- Site Procedures – work hours, clean-up procedures on the roof and around your home, safety precautions, etc.
- Warranties – including both workmanship and product.
- Terms – detailed as method of payment to include a lien waiver upon final payment.
- Liens – You should be aware that under the laws of most states, a contractor who does work on your home, or a supplier of materials for such work, has a right to place a lien on your property. Make sure all essential elements of your agreement are written down and understood by both parties.
- Right-to-Rescind – providing the right to cancel the contract without penalty within a set period of time (usually three days).
Step 6: Sit Back and Relax
A little well-planned research up front will undoubtedly save you a lot of time and trouble later
on. Once you feel confident that you have the best contractor, the best products, the best value – simply relax and let your contractor do his job. Do, however, monitor the progress of your project to be certain your contractor lives up to his superior reputation.