One question that we get a lot at Homestead Roofing is: What's the best insurance company? Since we deal with insurers on a daily basis, people want to know our opinion.
Before we get to that, though, let's walk through a few factors that will help you to determine for yourself which insurance company is best for you. That way, if you're shopping for insurance companies, you'll have a good idea of what to look for. And keep in mind: this is our perspective as roofers, not insurance experts! We're only going by what we've seen and what we've experienced over our years in the roofing industry.
Are You Getting "Apples to Apples" Comparisons?
Make sure that when you are shopping for insurance companies, you're getting "apples to apples" comparisons. For example, you should always get ordinance and law coverage on your policy. This means that if work needs to be done to your roof or home to get it "up to code," your insurance company will cover it.
Moreover, you need to know about and understand any exclusions associated with your policy. For instance, many insurance policies don't cover "cosmetic damage." So if you want to fix the appearance of your roof, even if it's not strictly "necessary" to do so, you may have to pay for that repair project out-of-pocket, unless your policy says otherwise.
Do You Know the Key Elements of Your Policy?
Just about every insurance policy comes with a deductible, premiums, coverage, and exclusions. You need to understand each of these elements within your policy. For example, if your policy has a high premium, then it may have a low deductible; and if it has a low premium, it typically has a higher deductible.
So if you want better rates, make sure that your agent doesn't switch you over to a policy that has a $5,000 deductible — all of which you'd have to pay out-of-pocket for a roof replacement! It's happened before!
Another thing to keep in mind is Replacement Cost Value (RCV) vs. Actual Cash Value (ACV). We talk more about this concept in other articles, but basically an RCV policy will cover the cost of your roof repairs or replacement, whereas an ACV policy will provide coverage minus your roof's depreciated value. That could be a big deal if you want to replace an older roof.
How Reasonable is Your Insurance Company?
We have to say that insurance companies are organizations made up of thousands of different individuals. Because of that, you can have a horrible experience with an insurer one day, and then have an exceptionally pleasant experience with the same insurer a week later. The point is, the quality of service you get from any given insurance company can and will fluctuate over time.
That being said, here are two questions that will help you determine whether an insurance company is truly reasonable and accommodating:
- When you get an estimate for repairs/replacement, how close is it to reality?
- If your roofing contractor provides a very different estimate, is the insurance company willing to work with him?
The last thing you want to deal with is a stubborn adjuster, who will fight you for every penny. We've been there, and it does not make for a happy time.
Who Do We Like Working With?
We'll give you our top 3 insurance companies when it comes to overall pleasantness, reasonableness, and willingness to accommodate:
- Chubb: We've always found Chubb to be easy to work with. Its adjusters usually give good estimates, and they are willing to look at the scope of work from a contractor's perspective. The only thing about Chubb is: they tend to be very selective about who and what they'll insure.
- Colorado Farm Bureau: Our state's Farm Bureau insurance has been quite pleasant to work with.
- Shelter: Finally, working with Shelter Insurance has been a decent experience for us, also.
Give us a call if you want to know more about the roofing process and to take the next steps toward a roof replacement. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have - we'd be happy to help!