There are some roof questions that your roofing contractors can't answer. This is because a roofing company does not have insurance advisors. If you have roofing damage and need to make a claim, what do you do? In this blog post, we will discuss the top questions your roofer can't answer, and what to do about it!

Here are some common questions homeowners have that roofing contractors can't answer:

Will my insurance company pay to replace my roof?

Your roofing contractors can't answer this because your roofer doesn't know what your insurance policy covers. A roofing business also doesn't know what your adjuster is going to determine. Your insurance policy is what dictates whether your insurance company is going to pay for your new roof replacement or not.

The one and only thing that will determine whether or not your insurance company is going to pay to replace your roof either full or in part is your insurance coverage policy. It's not your roofing company, it's not your adjuster, and it's not a representative at the insurance company.

The insurance coverage policy has the language that dictates the contract between you and your insurance company and stipulates what your insurance company will do based on what kind of damage is done to roofs. Despite any roofer claiming he is an "insurance claim specialist," roofers are not insurance claim specialists. Therefore, they can't inform you or advise you on your insurance coverage policy.

Many states have what's called UPPA laws, "Unauthorized Practice of Public Adjusting," and that states that roofers aren't allowed to portray themselves or to act as public adjusters. Roofing businesses are not insurance claim specialists, whereas public adjusters are.

So if roofing contractors tell you that he's an insurance specialist and he can help you get your roof covered, know that he's not being truthful with you. The only person who knows what will happen with your roof and your claim is your adjuster.

 

Can you get my insurance company to approve my claim?

Homeowners often ask this question because their damage is borderline or if their adjuster has denied their claim. The homeowner wants to ask the roofing business if they can get the claim approved. Oftentimes, when a roofer claims that he is an "insurance claims specialist" he's telling a homeowner that he can help them get the insurance claim approved. Even so, your roofer can't convince your insurance adjuster to approve the claim, it is the adjuster's decision alone based upon the information on your insurance policy coverage.

Your roofer cannot answer the question about getting your claim approved. The roofer is not the one making that decision, it's your insurance adjuster. Now, if you have a roofing contractor who tells you that he is an insurance specialist and that he can guarantee to get your claim approved, know that this roofer is being dishonest with you.

 

Will my insurance company pay for code items?

One reason why homeowners will ask this question is that it has been a while since the last roof installation or repair, therefore there are new codes that have been implemented since the last re-roof for added roof support. This means that when the construction of a new roof is re-done there are new roofing materials that need to be used to bring the roof up to code.

Some examples of this would be installing a drip edge or installing an ice and water shield. Next, roofs may need to be redecked-- This means that all of the shingles are torn off, all other materials are torn off, and new wood is applied before the new shingles can be put on-- sometimes that's a requirement.

Additionally, ice and water shield can be expensive. Redecking your house can be very expensive. Therefore, a homeowner wants to know if the insurance company is going to pay for that because with the price of OSB (Oriented Strand Board) now homeowners don't want to have to pay to redeck their house themselves-- homeowners don't even want to pay to put ice and water shield or drip edge on the house themselves, they want their insurance company to cover it.

That being said, if you ask your roofer, "Will my insurance company pay for these items that are necessary to bring my house up to code?" Your roofer can't legally answer that because he is not an insurance claim specialist. Your roofer cannot advise you on your insurance company's policies.

To know whether or not your insurance company is going to pay for these items that are required for code, you have to read and understand your policy and the coverage that's written into it to know whether or not you have "ordinance or law" on your policy. If you do, they'll pay for code issues. If you don't, they won't pay for code issues. If you don't have ordinance or law on your policy and the roof needs to be redecked, that's going to be an out-of-pocket expense for the homeowner.

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What type of policy coverage do I have?

This question means, "Do I have actual cash value or replacement cost value coverage?" Your roofer cannot answer this question because that requires reading and interpreting your policy for you.

Once you get your claim you can read the depreciation section-- if it says, "Less non-recoverable depreciation"  or it says "less-recoverable depreciation," your roofer can only tell you whether not you have an actual cash value or a replacement cost value policy. For instance, if you don't recover the deprecation that's actual cash value, if you do that's called replacement cost value.

What is my deductible?

Your deductible will be written in your claim document. Technically, your roofer would be able to look at your claim document and answer that.

On the other hand, if you're not going to show your roofer your claim document,  or if you don't have your claim document yet or haven't even filed a claim yet, your roofer can't answer that question.

Oftentimes, a very inexperienced roofing salesman will likely tell you your deductible is probably half a percent of your home value. That being said, roofers cannot legally answer that question because they can't possibly know what your deductible is.

Will you negotiate with my insurance company?

Homeowners don't have the experience dealing with insurance companies very often, whereas a roofing contractor does. So a homeowner will want to know if the roofing contractor can mediate and negotiate the claim with the insurance company.

Once again, a zealous roof salesman might tell you, "Sure, we can negotiate with your insurance company because we are insurance claims specialists." This is not true. If you're a roofer, unless you are also licensed as a public adjuster, you can't claim to be an insurance claim specialist.

Additionally, in states that have UPPA laws, trying to negotiate a claim is the role of a public adjuster, not a roofing contractor. Therefore, a roofer absolutely cannot negotiate your claim with an insurance company.

On the other hand, a roofer can discuss the scope of work that is necessary. For example, if an ice and water shield is required where you live and the claim doesn't have it, and your policy covers ordinance and law issues, then the roofer can talk to the insurance company and say, "Hey, we have to put ice water shield on here, it's code." Otherwise, the roofer cannot negotiate with the insurance company.

Should I file a claim?

Your roofer doesn't understand what your policy coverage is, what your deductible is, the type of insurance company you have, what their claims-paying ability is, whether you have actual cash value, whether you have replacement cost value -- those are all questions that you need to get answered before you file a claim.

Therefore, if you have someone who shows up at your house to do his "free inspection" and says "you have nail damage," and you ask, "should I file a claim?" And he says, "Yes, do that, I'm sure your insurance company is going to replace this roof,"  this is a false statement.

Your roofer doesn't know what position he is putting you in if you file a claim. If you file a claim and you have a deductible that is five percent of your home value, you are likely going to be paying for most of the roof or all of the roof out of your own pocket.

If you have an "actual cash value policy" instead of a "replacement-cost value policy," and you have an old roof you are going to be paying for most of the roof out of pocket. Don't rely on a roofer telling you whether or not you should file a claim. If you don't have any damage after you have filed you now have a zero-pay claim record, which is not a good thing.

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Will you help me pay my deductible?

In states that have UPPA laws, it is illegal for roofers to pay, waive, rebate,  or discount your deductible in full or in part. Some states that have those laws are very active in cracking down on roofers that do this. For instance, there was a case in Florida where three different roofers ended up in jail for trying to pay homeowners' deductibles.

Your roofer may tell you that they will give you a "discount" on your roof. In reality, they are paying part of your deductible which is illegal. In some cases, roofers have been known to put the money into escrow and then pay it back to you at the end of the job, but that is still illegal. They may try to get around it by saying that they will pay you back in cash, but if they do that and you have an issue with your roof later, they will not warranty their work or return to fix anything.

The best answer to the question "will you help me pay my deductible"  is no, roofers cannot do that.

 

Educate Yourself

Homeowners need to understand that roofers are not insurance claim specialists and therefore there are certain things roofers just cannot tell you. Also, it is important for you as a homeowner to educate yourself on your policies and what they do and don't cover. Benefits of this include knowing exactly what type of coverage you have.

To get answers to your questions in the future:

  • Read and understand your policy
  • Talk to your insurance company
  • Hire a roofing insurance specialist
  • Do your own research online or at the library

Filing an insurance claim can be a stressful and confusing process, but it doesn't have to be. Educate yourself on insurance policies so you know exactly what type of coverage you have and what will entail. If you take the time to educate yourself and ask the right questions, you can make the process a whole lot easier. And if you're still not sure, don't hesitate to reach out to your insurance company. They'll be more than happy to answer any questions you have. 

 

These are just a few of the questions roofers cannot answer, but if you arm yourself with the right information you will be able to make better decisions about your roof. If you have any questions about roofing insurance or filing a claim, contact your roofing insurance agent or broker. They will be able to give you the answers you need. Thanks for reading, and if you have any more questions about roofers, please get in touch with us here at Homestead Roofing, we would be happy to hear from you!