When homeowners file for insurance claims for roof repairs after receiving hail or weather damage, it's normal for insurance companies to try to reduce the amount of the claim. To help you make sense of it all, here are six tricks insurance companies use to reduce your claim amount.
1. Raising Your Deductible
One of the main gimmicks that insurance companies are known for is raising your deductible.
Even though they do inform you of an increase in your deductible, most homeowners won’t even be aware of it. Instead of verbally telling you, insurance companies give you the news of a raised deductible on a new declaration page that they’ll send you at your insurance renewal.
Therefore, if you fail to read the declaration page, it's really not the ‘fault’ of the insurance company and your deductible will have risen anyways.
2. Excluding Cosmetic Damage
Your roof may be cosmetically damaged but not functionally damaged. A common example is when gutters are damaged from a hail storm. An insurance company may say that this is just cosmetic damage, which is technically true.
But, when it comes time to sell your home, the buyer is almost always going to call for a home inspection and damage to your gutters, roof, or chimney can lead to you having to repair the damage and you’ll have to pay for it.
What's more, you have to pay for the repairs even if you're paying for insurance to pay for your damaged property. That's why it's so important that you thoroughly read everything in your policy to check if there are any exclusions for cosmetic damage.
3. Telling Customers 'We Don't Cover That'
Another common trick insurance companies use is telling clients "we don't cover that.” This is different from cosmetic vs. functional in that there are some legitimate items that are part of a reroof that they may say are not covered, or at least that’s what they’ll tell you.
Watch out for instances like this when an insurance company incorrectly claims that something you need isn’t covered.
4. Insisting 'That's Part of the Waste'
When insurance companies create their estimates they include a waste factor which is typically about 10 percent. An insurance company may try to tell you that payments for certain items are included in the waste.
If replacement cost is included in your insurance policy, then the insurance policy should pay for items that your contractor has to have in order to complete the project. These items are necessary to your roof and can’t be included in the waste.
5. Telling the Contractor to Reuse Items That are on the Roof
Sometimes, roofing contractors are told by insurance companies to reuse items that are on the roof, rather than installing new ones. The problem with this is that your roofing contractor cannot warrant those items. Common examples include things like pipe flashings and box vents.
6. Changing Your Coverage Type From Replacement Cost to Actual Cash Value
An insurance company may start you out with replacement cost coverage in which you're paid 100 percent of the cost of the roof after your deductible. But, some insurance companies may try to move their clients to a different type of coverage and, as a result, your cost may go up.
After some time, your share of the cost of the repairs begins to climb. It's critical that you know what kind of coverage you have before you file a claim.
If you’re in need of a roof repair in Colorado Springs and want more information, contact us today to speak with a member of our team about taking the next steps.