Storm Damage Facts
Hail Damage Facts & The Insurance Claim Process
When it comes to protection against the elements, your roof is the first line of defense for your home. But because of the location, we rarely inspect our roof’s condition. Factors such as hail, wind, and storm damage will affect the life of your roof. This damage may sometimes leave obvious signs, while at other times it might NOT be quite as clear.
Most hail damage will arise on asphalt shingle roofs which are composed of the following:
- asphalt mat
- fiberglass backing
The asphalt mat is an important part of your shingle, and the fiberglass backing is provided to make the shingle stronger, therefore increasing its life. The granules also play a very important role. For starters, the granules provide an ascetic appearance to your roof, but did you know that many times when the granules are stripped from your shingles, they provide less than acceptable levels of external fire protection to your home? The loss of granules also exposes the asphalt mat to UV rays. An increased exposure causes your shingles to break down and their water shedding capabilities are lessened. In time the roof will begin to leak.
The damage that is present as a result of storm damage (i.e. hail and wind damage) is, in most cases, covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. It is very important though that you have your property inspected as soon as possible, or your insurance company may not approve your claim.
Heavenly Home Improvement offers a free inspection to determine if your roof has incurred any storm related damage. If we find evidence of damage to your roof, we can lead you through the process of filing your insurance claim. We have helped numerous homeowners in your area with this tedious procedure and many of our customers have stated that our expertise was invaluable to them in obtaining the funds to repair their home and roof.
Our Project Managers will help with the filing of your claim and will work with your adjuster to insure you receive all that you are entitled to. Our Project Managers are trained to check for other damaged areas of your property as well (such as AC units, gutters, garage doors, etc) that may have sustained Hail, Wind, or Storm damage and may have been missed by the adjuster. It is important to have your claim adjusted correctly the first time, instead of prolonging the process by having the adjuster come back out. If you think about it, the insurance company has trained professionals working for them. Shouldn’t you have the same thing?
The importance of having your claim adjusted correctly the first time will also affect the funds that the insurance company appropriates for the repair. If you allow us to work on your behalf, we will make sure the insurance company allows enough funds to properly repair your home. The final cost to you is the same, but it is very important to receive the proper amount to handle the project so we can purchase only the best materials for your roof.
The insurance industry has worked for years to perfect a system that minimizes their expenses and prevents homeowners from profiting off the proceeds they pay out. Also, if they happen to “accidentally” leave out funds to replace your drip edge, or use an out-dated price list that does not reflect today’s material costs, so what? Unless you have a competent, experienced contractor, who would know? The tragedy is that many homeowners will quickly settle for whatever the insurance company will pay and by doing so, they forfeit many important elements that should have been replaced or covered by their insurer.
With Heavenly Home Improvement you can have your repairs done properly and without having to worry about how the project will be funded. Many contractors do not have the experience or the knowledge required to properly adjust your claim or to negotiate with the insurance company. As a result of this, they end up cutting corners to get the price low enough to win your job. You do not want to do business with a company like that.
Insurance companies have developed a complex claim system over the years and it must be followed accurately to insure you receive the funds to repair your home. The Adjuster’s Report alone can be confusing to those who have not dealt with the specifics of this on a regular basis. Heavenly Home Improvement can help you with this.
What is Depreciation?
In most cases, the insurance company will mail the homeowner an initial check, but they might withhold part of your claim settlement. These withheld funds are referred to as the “depreciation”. This is a complex subject that we will briefly describe here:
Your insurer will often come up with a dollar amount they term the “RCV” (Replacement Cost Value). They will take your deductible out of that dollar amount, as well as the “depreciation” funds, and send you a check for the difference.
Replacement Cost Value (RCV) $6,000
Subtract your deductible -$ 500
Subtract Recoverable Depreciation they withheld -$1,000
The amount of your check= $4,500
Most people see this amount and think they will have to find a roofer to do the job for $4,500. In reality this is how it works: The Recoverable Depreciation withheld of $1,000 will be paid by the insurance company after you prove the work was completed (usually by your contractor faxing them a final invoice showing the total amount it took to do the job). The insurance company will then send you another check for the depreciation based on the final amount of the invoice, to complete the agreed payments to your contractor.
Let’s say the final invoice was $6,000. Then the insurance would send you the full $1,000 of depreciation. If the final invoice was $5,500, then they would discount the depreciated amount since you did not spend what they budgeted, and the check for the depreciation would be $500, NOT $1,000. In this way, they force the homeowner to always pay their deductible while insuring that they never over-pay on a claim.
What is a Supplement?
What if the job will take more money than what your insurance company budgeted in the RCV of the adjuster’s report? (It might surprise you just how many times this WILL be the case) In that case, we will contact your insurance company, and request what is referred to as a “Supplement” to your claim. By justifying why the additional cost is necessary, in most cases, we can obtain the funds directly from the insurer to allow you to hire a licensed and insured contractor to replace your roof. Your Project Manager will let you know if we expect to request a “supplement” on your insurance claim.
Requesting a “supplement” often requires the policyholder to phone their insurance carrier in order to give us permission to request this increase in the dollar amount of their claim.
Checks made payable to your Mortgage Co.
Occasionally, the insurance check you receive will have your mortgage company’s name on it. Take a look at your check to see if that is the case. If so, do not wait. Let your Project Manager know immediately. If your mortgage company has a local office, it may be better to take it to them. If not, by giving us a signed letter of authorization, in most circumstances we can handle getting the check endorsed for you. On occasion they require we have the last 4 digits of your social security number. We will try to avoid the need for this, but a few mortgage companies require we have this information before they will speak to us in regard to your insurance check. If that is the case with your mortgage company, we will call you and ask for that info.
Also, your mortgage company may hold the money, and will usually release it in 3rds as the work is completed. Once again, your Project Manager should be able to aid you tremendously through this process, but you must let him know your mortgage company is involved. In cases where the mortgage company holds the fund, there are several forms that must be filled out, most of them by the contractor and the homeowner: Lien Release Waiver, Letter of Authorization, and others. It will save valuable time by filling these out ahead of time with your Project Manager.
Some mortgage companies want to send out their own inspector to make sure the repairs were made before they will release any money. When they do release the funds, it will come to you and may have our name on it as well.
Most Important ~ Start the process NOW, do not wait until the job is finished. Let your Project Manager know so he can get the correct forms to the mortgage or insurance company.