“Homeowner’s Insurance Policy” information that will give you $50 of value/information

 

We put together a list of 5 insurance policy items to check and have on your policy! If you have 15 to 30 minutes to review your policy please do so.  If you have difficulty finding them ask your agent or contact a local public adjuster for a review! WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS, because these items could provide you upward to $500 to $100,000 pending an insurance claim. In 2017, 1 endorsement netted a client $33,000 (Had Law & Ordinance Clause) and the lack of knowing their policy also lost a client $27,000 (Had an ACV Policy). So it is critical to consider.

These items are specifically to ensure proper protection for your homes exterior products from common Midwest weather patterns! This week alone in Illinois over 30 towns were hit with hail and Crown Point, Indiana received pea-size hail. As, this Indian summer continues it’s critical to be properly protected & insured.

1. Law & Ordinance endorsement

This is extremely valuable if you live in an older subdivision! Many homes throughout northwest Indiana and the south suburbs of Illinois were built-in 1960’s to 70’s, which means many building practices are outdated. A lot of municipalities and building departments abide by 2009/13 residential building codes. It’s not rocket science to understand that 60’s version of framing is not equivalent for today’s standards. If you don’t have this endorsement, YOU WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE COST. A reputable contractor will not reinstall a product back to its original condition, because they could face fines from the village or worst lawsuits.

 

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Vapor Shield – is required by many villages/townships = $$$ for you

 

2. RCV Policy (Replacement Cost)

Pay the extra $$$ on your monthly premium. The difference of $15 to $45 dollars a month for your premium to receive the full amount of recovery IS WORTH IT. The average roof in 2018 dollars was $11,000, which equates to 733 payments of $15 (48 years of premium). So what is a RCV policy 1st?  A replacement cost value policy is a policy in which the insurance pays you the real-time cost and factors no depreciation into your cost. Whereas an ACV policy includes depreciation, for instance if your roof is 10 years old, the insurance companies will deduct 10 years from the value of the replacement cost = less $$$.

 

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This church had a RCV policy = receiving the full amount for replacement

 

3. Wind & Hail Endorsement

This is exactly what it says. Specifically covers wind & hail damage. Without this endorsement it’ll be VERY difficult to make a claim, because you’re not paying for the ability to claim wind & hail. We advise checking every year, because in storm heavy areas it’s known that clients have “mysteriously” had this endorsement left off.

4. Color matching Clause

EXTREMELY important for premium siding products and older homes. Every insurance provider is different in how they “describe” color matching peril. Example: if your home is 30 years old and only 1 side is damaged, it’ll be very difficult to find a color match for the 3 opposing sides. One company: Nationwide does have a color match clause and will indemnify for matching siding, which is fantastic for the homeowner. Be aware not all companies have this, but can assist in making your home aesthetically better looking without out-of-pocket expenses

5. A reputable insurance company

Do your research and align yourself with an organization with credible history of paying when their at fault. Ideas such as reading consumer reports, ask your neighbors about their experiences, and thoroughly research the internet. A company is only as good as their services!

We featured a recent blog pertaining to companies, in which we’ve worked with and have had good experiences on behalf of our clients! Check it out!

We hope this adds value to your life and possibly your wallet!

 

 

 

 

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THE TOP 3 INSURANCE COMPANIES (From our project managers experience)

After 30+ years we want to share a few storm restoration industry facts and the top 3 insurance companies we’ve enjoyed working with throughout Illinois, Indiana, and the midwest. Why does our opinion matter? We’d be doing you a disservice by not disclosing the GOOD INSURANCE COMPANIES we’ve dealt with. Keep in mind our experience is with Homeowners Policies and Commercial Property Polices, and we cannot provide insight for vehicles, etc.

If you don’t see your insurer on this list, please don’t cancel your current provider and  change your policyholder. However, you should annually request quotes to make sure you’re not getting fleeced in premiums! It’s also, important to understand your policy terms and the endorsements, because without the appropriate endorsements you might be in a compromising situation.

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Top 3 Insurance companies

  1. CHUBB Insurance: $$$   

    • This company is based out Warren Township, New Jersey and one of the largest publicly traded casualty insurance companies in the North America. So there publicly traded and fair? From our experience they’ve been very transparent and great communicators with the homeowner
    • CHUBB is not the cheapest homeowners policies but they offer a tremendous Homeowners Masterpiece package that provides the following and more:
      • Extended replacement cost: After damage that’s covered by your policy, Chubb pays to have your home repaired or rebuilt to original specs and up to modern building codes, even if the cost exceeds your policy limit. This coverage is capped in some states.
      • Cash settlement: If you opt not to rebuild after total loss damage, or to rebuild elsewhere, Chubb will provide cash up to the amount of your policy.
      • Home appraisal: Chubb’s appraisers visit your home, estimate replacement costs, recommend the amount of coverage you need and offer security and safety advice.
  2. AMICA MUTUAL INSURANCE: $$

    • Amica is based out of Lincoln, Rhode Island and  was voted the #1 auto insurance provider by NerdWallet.com (Money Blog).
    • We’ve dealt with AMICA throughout many south suburb communities in Illinois such as South Holland, Lansing, Crete, and Beecher.
    • In 2017 we worked 3 homeowner policies with AMICA and all 3 jobs were paid in full and the adjusters were easy to contact, timely in their adjustment, and most importantly were willing to discuss supplements/appropriate install.
  3. STATE FARM: $$

    • State Farm is probably the largest/most popular insurance provider that we have on our recommended list. We’ve dealt with a lot of State Farm insurance claims and have experienced the good/bad/ugly. We’ve noticed if the damage is evident and is covered within your policy they are a very easy organization to work with.
    • We’ve worked on many claims with State Farm, when the homeowners had no  covered damage (wear and tear), but believed the insurance company owes them a new roofing system. These appointments are often unknown to us when we arrive and we look like a deer in the headlights with the adjuster.

 

Companies we don’t recommend:

All State, Church Mutual, Travelers Insurance

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TIPS: Regardless of your Insurance Provider:

  1. Review your deductible YEARLY! We’ve encountered claims where the homeowner’s belief was not his reality. Due to the influx of recent storms, many providers are shifting to a % of your house value for an insurance claim.
  2. % of your house value deductible: Very much like the tax assessor or county government, insurance companies often OVERVALUE properties, which result in a larger deductible for you. Make sure your home is appropriately insured. There is nothing wrong with being over insured  BY CHOICE or within liability.
  3. See if you have the Ordinance & Law Endorsement on your insurance policy. There is absolute NO REASON to avoid this endorsement. If it raises your premiums $5 to $15 a month it’s by worth it. This endorsement covers everything that must be brought up to current building code or mandated per your town.
  4. Do you have an ACV policy or Replacement Cost policy? You can find this out by looking at your Insurance Declaration page. ACV policy will pay your the Cost of Replacement – Depreciation (Age of your systems) = ACV policy.  Replacement Cost will pay the per date cost of that item. Replacement Cost is superior to ACV. Actual Cost Value Polices are often found on distressed buildings.
  5. If you deal with a claim. Call a trusted contractor or public adjuster. Do not believe that the insurance adjuster is acting in your best interest. Many homeowners don’t understand depreciation. You will need a contractor to assist in the restoration process, so you might as well have them assist in building out estimates and reviewing the scope on your behalf.
  6. The mortgage company might be on the check. Before you get angry or bent out of shape, this makes complete sense. Almost 50% of the homes in the United States are on mortgage loans, which means you DO NOT own your home yet! The mortgage company is an endorser until they’re ensured the work will be completed per scope or by a reputable company. They are vested partners on the property until it’s paid in full.

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We consider ourselves the hybrid model of a licensed contractor. Our staff is experienced in both retail construction and storm restoration. It’s common, for many organizations to be one dimensional and there’s nothing wrong with either. Companies have their niches and that’s what makes our economy so great.  For instances, if the economy slows (recession) this tends to hinder discretionary spending = slow retail market and when there’s no damaging storms (hail, tornados, hurricanes, etc) = no storm industry.

Roofing the game! The 1st edition!

Your first roofing project bid: here’s the scope!

  • A new roofing system on a 200 sq. foot heated garden shed.Garden Shed
  • Products to be installed: GAF roofing products and a Timberline roofing system (GAF.com)
  • Must purchase material from a local supply house (http://www.55buildingsupply.com/)

Your client’s contractor’s check-list:

  • Must be installed within 1 day and not one drop of leftover debris
  • You cannot drive up to the shed and hand carry all equipment/material
  • Believes the companies employees should emit professionalism by being clean cut and company clothing.
  • Employees should also have a 2019 Ford 150, lettered truck
  • They should receive a 100 year workmanship warranty upon completionClock Master
  • Will not pay the remaining balance until they see fit
  • Must be a BBB company (bbb.org) and be preferred contractor from GAF.

Welcome to the roofing industry! 
Time to start your bid!

A few OSHA rules to know before:

  • Must have a safety-supervisor, in addition to a foreman  (Or possible fine)
  • All installer’s are to be roped off during construction (Or possible fine)
  • There must not be slack for each roofer more than 6 feet (Or possible fine)
  • Ladder must extend 3′ past the roof line and be tied up. (Or possible fine)
  • Entire premise free of hazards or potential miscues on the ground (Or possible fine)
  • On-site restroom facility must be available (Or possible fine)

Local laws/building codes:

  1. Registered and licensed within community/town (Or possible fine)
  2. Passed state roofing license exam  (Or possible fine)
  3. Have workman’s comp, appropriate bond, and insurance in place. (Or possible fine)
  4. Filed for your roofing permit (Or possible fine)

 

Now turn in your competitive bid 

(It must be below $100.00 or they’ll have their neighbor do it on Sunday).

 

 

 

 

 

If a roofer was stranded on an island…

Featured

The five most important items for a roofer.

  1. ENERGY DRINK/COFFEE/CAFFEINE
    1. Dunkin Donuts phrase  “we run on dunkin” is right on the money! Now we’re not pushing one type of coffee over the other (Don’t get offended Starbuckers), but it’s well known DD already has the “average joe” coffee market share.  We don’t know many roofers grabbing a triple whip americano with extra soy and a hint of cinnamon. However, as much as we love coffee it takes second to
      Unleash your beast!

      Total Roofing loves Monster

      Monster, Red Bull, & other drink that uses terms such as Voltage, Shock, Heartattack, Gorrilla Blood, or Warhead. This extra boost gets the day running for ALL. There’s no better way to start that 6 am shift then with a high-cranking energy drink!

2. QUALITY TOOLS  As skilled as most craftsman and roofers can be, you still need the appropiate tools. Tools such as magnetic sweepers (clean up those roofing nails that surely will puncture your tire), roofing hackets, blades (a dull blade helps no one), and more. These items depreciate quicker than your car, but are as important. For the journeyman or everyday roofer invest in quality tools. This will be the best investment you can make. They’ll make your job easier andHow can you roof 10 square in a day without an air compressor or hammer? Preparation allows you to be prepared to be your best. When you have the tools to succeed, you will.

Our Suggested Roofer Tool Brands:

Dewalt      Hitachi      Stanley    Bosch    Milwaukee

3. A RADIO A roofer can expect 8 to 10 hours of physical work throughout the day. However, what about his mind? One may assume his mind should be focused on the task at hand, which it surely is, yet what about the in-between? Material clean-up, job set-up, lunch, moving material, and switching blades allow individuals time to tune out. The radio has been intergal to the everyday blue-collar construction worker since it’s inception. Seriously, there’s a station for everyone regardless of ethnicity, gender, and even religion! Do you enjoy sports? ESPN 1000 talk radio. Are you a political man? Rush Limbaugh (So crazy, you listen). How about everyday pop culture? Eric & Kathy on 101.9. This instrument is vital to the job of a roof and crew morale.

4. Plans for the weekend Roofing is not easy. It’s phsyically draining and tough work. 50 hours of honest work makes you want to imagine a beach with a corona with dolphins in the background.  Yeah seeing a project go from the before to after is great and motivating. However, I can assure you throughout the week of working, talking, and listening to the radio, plans for the weekend are being discussed. Sure, the idea “Why would a roofer on a stranded island talk about the upcoming weekend?” You don’t know roofers. We enjoy our weekends and there as necessary as water.

5. A nice lunch cooler. Sure a Big Mac and fry sounds delicious after 5 hours of lifting, pushing, sweating, and installing those shingles. However, I can assure you not every roofer is eating out and living off fast food during the week. We’ve all had some form of finance education whether in school or the hard knocks of life. The average fast food meal runs about $8 a day and let’s say you work 5 days a week. Within a 5 week month you spent $200. I’m no mathmatican, but the cost for sandwich meat, loaf of bread (easily two weeks worth), cheese, and snacks will run you $100 or less! In the midwests seven month roofing calender year that’s a savings of $700. Here’s a few things that cost $700

55″ LED SMART Television                    Two Round Trip Tickets Southwest Airlines

The cost of making lunch and eating out every day is this Smart TV. Jimmy John's Freaky Fast sounds good, but so does watching Ricky Bobby go Freaky Fast in the Legend of Ricky Bobby

The cost of making lunch and eating out every day is this Smart TV. Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast sounds good, but so does watching Ricky Bobby go Freaky Fast in the Legend of Ricky Bobby

Fly anywhere or continue eating Burger King?

Fly anywhere or continue eating Burger King?

The sexiest home purchase you could make.

We understand roofs are not exactly bringing sexy back. Seriously, we’ve been in the industry for 30 years and still waiting for a comment such as “the new roof led to my wife.” We understand those comments are reserved for cars, bars, & churches. However, what do both bars & churches have? Roofs!

A roof is a necessity that protects your home and family from the weather. Also, it increases the overall curb appeal of your home, increases the value, and an opportunity to talk with your neighbor (Thank us later). Plus, if you live in the midwest you understand the importance of a quality roof. Office Space

So, why does everyone cut corners in the researching process? It’s common for homeowners to only look at price today. Prices are important, but do we believe that the price directly correlates with the quality and service our project demands?  All items should be considered in the roof search: certifications, product, service process, and price. Each item deserves your time. However, today I want to highlight PRODUCT. There’s absolutely no reason to install a three tab shingle on your home. NO REASON AT ALL. The only time we’ll suggest it is if you’re working on your kids treehouse, but I’d question your dedication to the treehouse. The average difference in cost between architectural & three tab shingles is usually $800 to $1200. So here’s an example to put it in perspective.

Common conversation between car salesman & potential client.  Interested in any upgrades? New stereo, heated & automatic seats, & backdoor camera. All these upgrades can be yours for an additional $17 dollars a month. Potential customer “what’s sixteen more dollars a month?” Customer later purchases upgraded vehicle and throughout the next 5 years of the loan pays $1,000 for the upgrades.

Car with a lot additions

Fact’s to keep in mind:

  • Car is a mode of transportation
  • Average new car is owned for 10 years
  • Average cost of used car (1-3 year old) $15,000
  • Average cost of new car $32,000

Common conversation between roofing salesman & potential client

Interested in architectural shingles? Aesthetically sharp, 130 mph protected, better hail resistance, & weighs fifty percent more than the economical choice. You can have all these product attributes for an additional $17 dollars a month. Potential customer “umm, not sure about that” and I’ll have to discuss it with the spouse.

Fact’s to keep in mind

  • Roof protects everything inside of your home.
  • Average roof last’s between 20 to 40 years
  • A home is the largest financial investment of most adults
  • Average cost of a roof repair often no warranty & only on roof under ten years $1,500
  • Average cost of a new roof $9,000

A lot of homeowners have installed architectural shingles and insurance companies suggest it. We understand architectural shingles have only been around for 40 years whereas three-tab a hundred years, but it’s time to change. The product is thicker, weighs more, and the sealant technology allows it to withstand twice the wind of three-tab. All major manufacturers GAF, Owens Corning, CertainTeed, & TAMKO stock architectural shingles.

The next time you need a new roof PLEASE demand architectural shingles and if you believe it’s not in the budget look at the car in the driveway. Do you have heated seats, advanced CD player, or back up cameras?

Architectural shingle benefits:

Homewood Deck

Three-tab shingle benefits:

  • Classic appearance.
  • Upfront cost is cheaper than architectural
  • Most economical shingle in the market
  • 25-year warranty

99 inches of snow and counting!

The midwest strikes again! Polar Vortex 2.0? What’s the snow mean for roofing?

Every person throughout the construction industry heard rumors regarding the upcoming winter of 2015! Everyone was prepared after the winter of 2014. People upgraded their snow plow systems, stock piled salt, purchased roof rakes, and seeked parking lot contracts. The chance of another polar vortex meant potential jobs. Preparation is often central to a weather haymaker, especially when the weather bible aka “the farmers almanac” predicts a repeat.

Well, the construction industry should be happy to a degree. Because the best economy booster is often Mother Nature. Especially in the roofing industry. Recent years, a brand new industry has evolved such as storm chasers. Individuals so well tuned with insurance fine print that even your “friendly neighbor” cringes. These serviceman are the first to knock after a catastrophic or even minor storms. Masters of door-to-door marketing and extremely competitive in the roofing marketplace. Often they are the first people you see after experiencing damage without picking up your phone. These companies vary in quality, some are great and others unethical, but which industry doesn’t follow suite? What’s this mean? Why don’t we consider snow to be as much as nusicance as hail?

We call our local contractor or the guys driving bright, logo trucks after the latest rain storm or hail. Why, don’t we do the same after a midwestern winter? 20 inches of snow sitting on your roof is damaging to all your products: roofing shingles, deck, underlayment, drywall, insulation, heating bill, and more. The thing about snow too is that it could sit on your roof for awhile, whereas a hail storm comes and goes. A week of water isolated on the top of everything you own is not smart potatoes. Many homeowners would mention “well we have lifetime shingles.” I agree you purchased a quality shingle and it could last 30 years. However, did you research whether the thickness of snow for a prolong period will affect the product? Shingle specs are built off isolated studies and years of “trial & error.” It’s difficult to state whether those studies were put together based off winters that brought forth 20 inces & more, year after year. Weather is key to exterior products existence. Without the harsh weather we could live in the elements and lack appropiate shelter. The snow created plenty of construction products: insulation, ice pelts, ice & water underlayment, synthetics, & metal products that protect to date.

Ultimately we constumer have changed our attitude towards a homes. Recently, our industry has noted weather damage is a good thing, because that’s business for many. However, a loss for a gain is not right. Roofing started as a way to cover one from shelter. Shelter means survival, which means why aren’t we more proactive with things that should eliminate stress inducers than make them the actual stress inducers. The purpose of this post is ultimately to let you know that you NEED TO BE PROACTIVE with your house after this blizzard. Make a checklist of things to fix, change, or improve around the house. Don’t call your insurance because you have issues that could’ve been avoided with proper care and preparation. Take responsibility of your home, unless it’s a house (they are different). Familariize yourself with upcoming products, building codes, and ways to make your house more valuable. The internet is the most powerful learning tool. Mayber you don’t know where to go? Check out our facebook because we often post tips and videos that you could DIY. Give your house love and it becomes a home.

If your car needs an oil change you get it, hair long you cut it, and if you want to play sports you get a physical. Proper prepartion is the key to coming out of the winter 2015 with a few stratches or entering it with a lot of surgeries. Sure, at Total Roofing and Construction we love open-roof surgery, but you shouldn’t. We are here to assist and solve problems not pray for them.

The main concern this winter is ice damming and proper removal. The video below showcases great products that will benefit your roofing system and gutters during the long winter. Take notes and take action. Hope this helps

http://wgntv.com/2015/02/06/mr-fix-it-with-tips-on-removing-ice-dams/#ooid=R1NjQ3czqh7yAqXa-u5fTyouaguzcShw

How long does a roof replacement take?

This is undoubtedly the most frequently asked question that all homeowners have when considering replacing a roof. 

The answer, however, is not a definitive one.

The best way to determine how long it will take to replace a roof is to ask the roofing contractor when they are giving you an estimate. 
It is important to realize that not every estimate is written in stone.

A roofer may estimate that a project may take two weeks to complete, but if there are conditions that arise that delay the work, it may take longer.
Sometimes bad weather is a factor that can interfere with work, so it’s always advisable to be flexible in your expectations and plan for roof replacement when the weather is good.

Roofers may discover that more work needs to be done than was originally included in the estimate. This may be due to structural damage that was revealed once they began the project. These types of circumstances could delay the replacement project as well.

The best course of action is to discuss the length of the project with the roofer and to get several estimates before choosing the roofing contractors for the job.

Compare the different lengths of time that each roofer provides. You should always feel comfortable with the time frame that the roofing contractor provides you with and make sure that you have enough time available to handle the project.

If a roofer tells you that they believe it would take two days to complete the roofing project, and you have plans to leave town the second day of the project, you may want to reschedule.

Give yourself plenty of time to complete the project in case there are emergencies, poor weather conditions or any additional work that must be completed.