Isn’t this covered by insurance?

A question you might be asking yourself or a local contractor “isn’t this covered by insurance?”

You are not alone! We deal with this question with many clients during the initial consultation and property inspection. Unfortunately, through our experience the items discussed are often left off or exempted from homeowner’s policies. This is one of the reasons we preach that you not only renew but “review” your policy annually.

Northfield Saltdome

Why is this such a popular question?

  1. Homeowner’s lack a thorough understanding of their particular policy
  2. Homeowner’s are not equipped nor competent in home maintenance
  3. Realities of economics (home improvement can be expensive)
  4. Their neighbors received free roofs or a family friend did
  5. Question’s help solve their answers

In the past we’ve discussed the general flow of the claims process. Everything from calling in the claim, receiving bids, meeting an adjuster, requesting a second adjuster, meeting an engineer, supplementing items, and more.

So what do I do? 

Call us first! The project manager’s at Total Roofing are versatile in their abilities to diagnosis visual damage, review scopes of work, gather storm data, coordinate adjuster appointment’s, and provide you with a confident answer as to that question  “Is this covered by insurance?” We will not force or coerce you into making an insurance claim nor use our positional power to wrongly advise you to do as such. We’re professional’s in knowing our products, but we ask you to be diligent in knowing your policy and deductible!

giphy (1).gif

Face it, the insurances safe practice of getting “3 estimates” after you call your agent does make a homeowner believe their roof is covered. However, we’ve seen where this was not true. We believe these are unethical practices from a contractor’s point of view, because when they dispatch their adjuster (generally after they see the cost of the potential repairs), there’s still a chance the roof won’t be covered due to their findings.

SO WHAT DO I DO????

Gather the appropriate facts about your problem. For instance, how old is the product that is under review or underperforming? Do you remember when it was replaced or installed? When was the last time that it was maintenance? I ask these questions not to make you feel inadequate, but to understand the possible cause for that underperformance.

A few questions to ask yourself:

  1. Is it a newer product?  Maybe covered under a service warranty or workmanship Warranty
  2. Is it an older product & failing?  Exceeded it’s life expectancy or not under warranty.
  3. What type of product? Possible product recalls or discontinued?

giphy (2).gif

These questions might allow you indemnify the issue, without even contacting your insurance, because maybe it’s a faulty install, lackluster product, or aged beyond repair. I’m not stating these to avoid an insurance claim, but to make you ask the right questions. Do you remember a hail storm in the last 2 years, because if you don’t, then why are you making a claim? We are not a company that believes in making claims for the hope of getting “money from heaven.” We only suggest it if there’s apparent wind damage, hail, or etc.  We’ve worked on many properties where neighbors have received full payouts and their neighbor only received one section  (3% deductible too!). Our tip of advice don’t always try to “keep up with the Jones,” but ask them questions too!

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Solving the “but I recently bought the house” question.

Featured

Every contractor encounters client’s who begin the conversation with “but I recently bought this house” dilemma.  Generally this opening line occurs once the homeowner  discloses an ongoing problem such as: leaking roof, damaged drywall near windows, and etc.  Personally, I’ve already encountered this scenario 4 times and year is not over. So why is it prevalent that many homeowners seem confused about product lifespan or is homeownership not projected properly?

collapsing hosue

Understanding US Housing statistics:

The average individual in the United States purchases between 3-5 homes in their lifetime (starter home, family home, downsizing home, retirement, etc.). Generally this much exposure to properties (under the expectation – not all homes were newly built) mean’s you’ve already had an issue or will experience such an issue in your lifetime. So we provided key insight’s (common knowledge) and a few “nuggets” to prevent calling a contractor a year after the closing. So how do you protect yourself from being like one of my clients?

First thing: Understand what homeownership means:

Review the true demands of homeownership and begin reviewing the expected costs of lawn maintenance, seasonal maintenance, change your books of choice from the Dark Tower to DIY stuff. A great insight is to compare renting vs owning materials.  Keep in mind, a home is similar to car minus the rapid deprecation, but the components that make your house very much depreciate and deteriorate. These items include: AC units, Water heaters, siding, windows, carpet, light fixtures, and roofs!

rent vs buy.png

Second thing: Before buying a LEMON do these items:

  1. Understand your true price and what you can afford (Yes, you can afford the listing price, but what about the soon to be updates). It’s better to avoid being “home broke” and have the ability to save reserves for those future expenses. This doesn’t mean because the bank approved us for the larger loan we should over reach on sq. footage or the home with a pool.
  2. Complete Professional home inspection – eliminate minor headaches or possibly discover huge unknown issues.home inspection.jpg
  3. Ask the “how old” questions: (Roof, siding, windows, door, heater, ac unit, flooring, & more).  Common questions such as these will allow you to compare to the chart provided below and see where you stand.
  4. Read our cheat sheet:
    • Asphalt Roofs – 13 to 17 years in the Midwest (due to harsh elements)
    • Aluminum siding – 50 years
    • Vinyl siding – 25 to 30 years
    • Aluminum windows – 15 to 20 years
    • Vinyl windows – 20 to 40 years
    • Carpet – 3 to 5 years (once fibers are worn & frayed)
    • Exterior doors – 20 years
    • Wood flooring – up 75 years
    • Linoleum flooring – 25 years
    • Garage doors – 15 to 20 years
    • Furnaces – could be 15 to 25 years
    • Water heaters –  10 to 20 years
    • In-ground pool liner – 7 years
    • Skylights – 15- 20 years
    • Contact your local neighborhood contractor for insight. If your curious about the current pricing for a specific product contact the local guy or Total Roofing & Construction ;). A lot of contractor’s provide Free estimates and more times than known will give you advice that maybe worth more. We advise doing this long before you actually need the work completed (6 to 18 months ahead of schedule). This allows you to budget for such a project and not be burden with burning your emergency fund or adding more debt.
  5. Homeowner Insurance Policy knowledge
    • We always recommend reviewing your newly acquired homeowner policy after you make your purchase. This policy is what will protect you from serious issues and your solution to those out-of-blue emergency situations. Important items to understand is your deductible, covered perils (hail, wind, etc.), and claims process.

Third Thing: If you did your research, don’t panic.

If you have completed the recommended tips mentioned above or currently purchasing your fifth home, then don’t panic when disaster strikes. Generally whenever you have sudden damage it’s commonly storm or weather related (covered by your homeowner insurance policy) – contact a company seasoned in restoration work (TRC).

When speaking of interior damage that didn’t arise from exterior damage – water heater, sump pump, furnace, and etc. these are preventable with seasonal maintenance and a planned schedule on replacing such items. If you over spend and don’t budget for yearly renovation then yes, you may be in pickle.

 

Conclusion:

I can attest that all contractor’s will offer you assistance regardless if your a homeowner of 5 months to 50 years. However, we believe these steps can save you ENORMOUSLY before you’re closing on a property or when that  disaster strikes. For instances, the Hurricane Harvey is a sad and frightening situation for many reasons (safety, families affected, shelter, & etc.). However, a question we ask is did all those homeowners have flood insurance or covered peril to protect their damaged homes? A lot of us never consider scenarios such as the Hurricane Harvey, but its better to be safe than sorry.

Hurricane Harvey

If you have any questions please message me at pctotalroofinc@gmail.com