Sage Advice From a Veteran Insurance Contractor on How to Choose a Roofer
Yep, there are a few snake oil salesmen in the roofing industry. We both know this to be true. I’ll do my best to reveal different oily products that are being sold today. The following examples are of some slick advertising. Be careful walking through here, “it’s going to get slippery.” If you’d like to view some additional information on choosing a roofing company in Denver you’ll find it here.
Only hire a roofing company in Denver with employees
Here’s what we know to be true. The fact is, almost all roofing companies in Denver only work with independent contractors. If you happen to be a company that has employees it would be to your advantage to discredit every other roofing company so you can capture all of the business. Most business in the United States use independent contractors of some sort. We have an independent C.P.A., Human resources company, Plumbers, Window installers, gutter installers and siding installers. They’re not our empIoyees. I’ve seen a lot of poor quality work performed by employees and great work performed by independent contractors and so have you. Whether someone is an employee of an independent doesn’t change ability or character. There is a motivation factor that independent contractors have to maintain a high quality to continue to earn business.
The following questions are ones that you may want to ask roofing contractors when meeting with them, “How long have your installers worked for you?” and “Do all of your crews have workers comp and general liability insurance?” This will give you an idea if you are working with a company that enforces quality control with installers and who can provide you the adequate coverage needed to protect your family while they are working on your roof.
Get more than one estimate
I understand this idea, but in principal I choose a service provider based on trust and ability, not lowest price. When interviewing doctors or medical specialists I never ask, “How much do you charge?” I pay an insurance premium and the only thing that I pay is my co-pay. What I don’t want is for a medical professional to compete on price, which will manifest itself in lack of quality.
The same principle applies to a roof insurance claim. You have to pay your deductible, therefore chose the contractor that installs the best roof system with a culture built on integrity. When insurance is involved, you are shopping for quality, not lowest price. The insurance companies ultimately set the pricing using Xactimate estimating software, a fair market pricing software owned by the industry. We use the same software to build our own estimates. This is actually a very strong position to be in when considering contractors. Someone else is paying the bill (with the exception of your copay, or deductible) and you get to choose the best product and service you can for that amount.
There is a Colorado statue specifically addressing the legality of being able to choose your own contractor and not having to use one that the insurance company suggests. There are many agents who refer their clients to us as a great option, but they are not obligated to us use by any means. In fact, there is no obligation on your part to interview and spend time gathering bids to turn them into the insurance company. Invest your time in finding a quality roofing contractor who will provide the services you need in a trustworthy fashion. When you find the one in which you are comfortable and confident, hire that company.
Use an insurance company’s roofer because they will provide the best service
This may work for you or it may not. I have already addressed this several times on this blog in different capacities. Currently, I’ve chosen to not be a direct insurance vendor. Without going into great detail every insurance company has a different culture. Roofers who chose to pay to be on a vendor’s list have to submit to the insurance companies decisions on how best to repair or replace a roof system. There are times when we vehemently disagree with an insurance company’s choice on the best method to serve our clients, and we have the freedom to voice our concerns to the adjuster. If we were a vendor for that insurance company, we may not be able to express what’s best for you. If we were an insurance company vendor we may have to repair a roof when it should have been fully replaced. That wouldn’t be good for you, therefore at this time we are not on their payroll.
That may change in the future when we find an insurance culture that we don’t have to compromise our integrity to work with. Several insurance companies do an outstanding job of taking care of their members or insureds, and we work well with them every day. There are others that do not succeed as often in this arena, but we still work well with them daily. The difference is that our priority relationship is with our clients and not the insurance company when there is a discrepancy in what we feel should be done to serve the clients’ best interest. While we work with them, we do not work for them.
A class 4 roof system is the best roof system for you
A class 4 hail resistant shingle may be right for you. There are several things to consider when entertaining the thought of installing this product. We talk in detail on this subject in another blog post on our website. The rate of return and the cosmetic damage waivers are the factors to consider that are discussed as well as how the class 4 roof ratings are determined. Please read our blog on this for a more in depth look at Class 4 roof systems if you are considering this upgrade.
My roofing company in Denver is a master installer for Owens Corning, GAF, CertainTeed, etc.., therefore we are the best.
After you have interviewed a roofer, make a conscious effort to determine if they’re only telling you what you want to hear. Look for the company that has a high quality standard on all of their roof systems and one that doesn’t pay deductibles. Some of the manufacturers only require an annual payment to be one of their preferred installers. Others like CertainTeed require ongoing testing and proof of solid business practices to be one of their recommended contractors. We have made the effort to be preferred contractors for several manufacturers, but if this is one of the pieces of the puzzle that is important to you in making your decision, please take the time to call the manufacturer and see what is needed to earn the preferred status. Often it is just an advertising ploy with no real meaning.
We have salesmen and then we’ll send our supervisor out to oversee your roof installation? Maybe not the best idea…learn why
This may lead to problems using a structure like this. The most obvious vulnerability is the potential of communication breakdowns between the salesmen’s written report they turn in and a supervisor jumping in for day of the build with no background information on the client or the project. This is bound to create multiple problems. I believe it is better to have a project manager who fully understands roof system and insurance protocol to be the point of contact throughout the entire process. The project manager will listen to what you want in your roof and be there to make sure that the choices you made are implemented in the finished product. You are not a stranger to them and they are accountable to serve you.
It seems to work best when a consumer has a single company representative that is fully capable of handling every situation. With that being said they will need an internal support team in the office. Our project managers work closely with our office throughout the entire process to make sure their projects go smoothly for our clients. This is a more personal approach and tends to have the most complete results and happy customers who know they are valued by the roofing contractor. The project managers prioritize the needs of the individuals and not the assembly line approach that makes it more of a routine to get through. Every job and every client is unique and having a single project manager allows us to focus on this and serve our clients well. Take a look at the following video created from a project manager.
Integrity Roofing and Painting is convinced that having a project manager oversee the entire project benefits you…take a look at how a Project Manager can better serve you