Insurance Claims Process
Filing an insurance claim is not something most of us do every day. The insurance claims process can be intimidating and time consuming, especially if certain procedures are not followed. Sometimes storm victims unsuspectingly become victims of an unfair insurance settlement. This does not have to be the case! Most insurance companies want to properly service their clients’ claims, but it helps when everyone is familiar with the process.
Integrity Roofing and Painting is a leading expert in the insurance restoration process. Our staff would love to offer our assistance in the insurance claims process.
If you suspect hail or wind damage from a recent storm, you should call your insurance carrier’s claims office- not your insurance agent. For your convenience, we have provided the numbers to most of the larger insurance companies’ claims offices. Many agents are not responsible for or trained, in many cases, to handle the claims aspect of your policy. The first call should always be to the claims office after a roof inspector evaluates the roof for damage. If you choose Integrity for your contractor we will handle this for you.
Filing the claim:
The claim handler will assign a claim number and a claims adjuster. Write this number down as it will be very important throughout the entire process. It may take several days to obtain the name and contact information of your adjuster. Be sure to ask for his or her cell phone or direct contact number when he or she calls to schedule the inspection meeting. Call your Integrity Roofing and Painting representative and provide the adjuster’s name, contact info and appointment time. Your insurance company may ask you to get three estimates. You could assist the insurance company in getting the lowest price. The result is the insurance company keeps the savings. You get a cheaper roof! Integrity will negotiate with the insurance carrier for a fair insurance re-roof settlement. You will get the highest quality roof system with Integrity Roofing and Painting.
Adjuster Meeting to Assess Damages:
Inform your adjuster that you will have your roofing contractor present at the meeting. It is critical for your IRP rep to attend the inspection meeting and serve as your advocate. As much as they appreciate your business, the insurance carriers seek to keep their expenditures down. Most adjusters will request the name of the roofer with whom they will be meeting because they realize the position you are in.
Measurements of the roof and other damages will be taken at that time. Whenever possible, your IRP rep will provide a satellite imaged, engineered report detailing the roof measurements. We do our job well so you can still make it to yours with confidence that you will be expertly represented during the initial inspection.
Ensuring a Fair Settlement:
Once the insurance adjuster assesses the extent of damages, he or she will provide a claim summary detailing the scope of repairs or replacement. Most insurance carriers use Xactimate pricing software to determine the fair market price of your roof replacement. IRP also uses Xactimate to generate our estimate for your project, so the pricing per unit should be the same. When you receive the adjuster’s claim summary we will compare it to our own to make sure nothing has been omitted from the scope of the project.
If there is a discrepancy, our insurance liaison will negotiate the difference with the insurance company on your behalf. (You will not need a crash course in roofing to try to explain why certain components are necessary in the replacement of your roof.) In most cases this will be a simple process of faxing them our estimate and calling them to discuss the differences. Certain insurance companies may be unwilling to fund key components of your new roof and a phone call from you would be helpful. If that happens, we will discuss our options and develop the best plan of action for your claim situation. Once the negotiation process has been completed, the insurance company will release a supplemental check to cover the additional amount that was determined through negotiations with the insurance representative.
You should receive the initial check about the same time the claim summary arrives. It may have your mortgage company’s name on it, in which case you would have to contact them to find out the proper procedure for getting their endorsement. Each company has specific directions to follow. There may be additional paperwork needed by the mortgage company. This process can take up to 10 days. If a supplemental check is issued, it too may have the mortgage company listed on it and the same procedures would need to be followed. Those funds would be payable towards the new negotiated roof replacement total.
The initial check may seem small compared to the full amount of the roof. There are two reasons for this- your deductible and the depreciation. Most homeowners choose the Replacement Cost coverage type of policy over the Actual Cost Value policy. If you have a replacement cost policy we will recover (and receive) the depreciation withheld by the insurance company after the work has been completed. The deductible is the portion withheld by the insurance company that will not be paid out to you at any time. The deductible is your co-pay which you will pay to Integrity Roofing and Painting. The full cost of the roof replacement is the sum of the first insurance check, your deductible, the amount of depreciation and any supplements.
Installation of Roof:
Once the first insurance check, deductible and insurance loss statement are received the roof will be installed.
Recovering the Depreciation:
After the roof has been installed, our office will provide the necessary documentation to the insurance company to let them know it is complete. If the depreciation withheld was recoverable, we will ask for the release of those funds. The insurance company will most likely call you to confirm that the project is complete and will then release the last check. It is possible that if a supplement was negotiated that it may be included in the final check along with the depreciation. Our office will be happy to make the follow up calls to confirm receipt of this documentation on your behalf to ensure timely processing. Mortgage companies may require their own inspection before they endorse and release the depreciation back to you. IRP does not handle this detail, so be sure to ask them about this when you contact them initially for their required procedures. Beware- If you have been approached by a contractor with a lower bid than the insurance loss statement your insurance company will not allow you to keep the savings. Either you or your contractor has to provide a false invoice to the insurance carrier to recover the depreciation. If a contractor has presented this illegal offer of savings you may be in danger of participating in insurance fraud.
Making the Final Payment:
Once you receive your last insurance check, and mortgage company endorsements are made, we will collect the final amount due on the roof. As a courtesy to our clients we provide a 30-day grace period from roof installation to make the final payment on the depreciated amount.