All Under One Roof
Your home is oftentimes your family’s biggest asset and your roof is your first line of defense in protecting this investment. When a disaster strikes and your home is damaged it can be difficult to determine the best plan of action for restoring your home and property.
Adding to what is already a difficult situation is the flood of roofing salesmen knocking on your door and the countless differing bits of advice from friends, neighbors, family, insurance agents, and contractors. Deciding how to best proceed with your insurance restoration can easily be overwhelming.
As one of the less that one percent of roofing contractors in the state of Texas licensed through RCAT (Roofing Contractors Association of Texas) with ten years of insurance restoration experience in the state of Texas I would like to give you some helpful guidelines to assist you in your insurance restoration process.
How to Choose a Roofing Contractor:
1) Do online research – a bad reputation is hard to hide and a good reputation speaks for itself. ALWAYS google the company and check these five sources for starters: Google reviews, BBB, Angie’s List, Facebook, and Yelp. Then go to their website. Does it have actual content that informs you about the company or is it simply a single page thrown together so they can be found on a google search?
2) Use a licensed and certified roofer – The state of Texas does not currently require a roofing license or a general contracting license. Therefore, anyone can print a business card, buy a hammer, nails, and shingles and call themselves a roofer. Many of them are good-hearted, but uninformed and inexperienced, and leave the customer with inferior roofing system while at the same time missing out on all of the opportunities afforded in the insurance claims process. The Roofing Contractors Association of Texas offers a voluntary licensing program to help raise the quality of contractors and the work being done in the state of Texas. Roofingcontractors-texas.com.
3) Verify proof of insurance – Ask to see a COI (Certificate of Insurance) for any contractor that you are considering using. Call the phone number listed on the COI and verify that the policy is in good standing. Don’t skip this step. It is easy for forge one of these documents.
4) Ask for references – And actually call them.
5) Don’t use someone who promises to “Waive” or “Cover” your deductible – Companies that tell you they can automatically “Waive” or “Cover” your deductible are committing insurance fraud. Knowingly participating in insurance fraud will put you at a risk for criminal prosecution. If a contractor is willing to defraud insurance companies that are actively seeking out and prosecuting this activity how can you be sure he won’t do the same to you? The best contractors will collect your deductible and leave you with the best service, products and warranties in the market.
6) Choose a contractor that can do all of the work – A qualified restoration contractor will oversee and coordinate all of the necessary trades to complete the restoration of your home and property. Don’t take on the headache of collecting estimates and bids on all of the trades that need done and the hassle of scheduling multiple crews.
7) Avoid salesmen, find a qualified roofing contractor – Many people knocking on your door are simply sales people, hired to get as many contracts as possible, as soon as possible. Salesmen will come by and pressure you to sign a contract. Contractors will look to conduct a thorough inspection, identify the relevant damage, prevent further damage, and help you with a plan to restore your home.
Dos and Don’ts of an insurance claim:
1) Do get a thorough inspection from a qualified contractor – A qualified contractor will help you determine what damage your property may or may not have and protect your property from further damage. A salesman will pressure you to sign a binding contract before he even get his ladder out!
2) Don’t be afraid to call in your claim right away – According to your policy you are required to perform due diligence in protecting you home from further damages as soon as possible. You can always wait to get the work done after temporary repairs have been made. Also, collateral damage on your property such as fences, pergolas, and window screens can wear out and become more difficult to find as time goes on. Make the call while the best and most experienced adjusters are still here working your area.
3) Don’t go with the cheapest estimate – If you were to collect three estimates for the replacement of your roof which estimate would you choose? The cheapest or the highest quality? Your insurance company is willing to pay for the best, and the price of your deductible remains the same whether you choose the cheapest or the most expensive contractor. So take advantage and choose the best contractor that you can find!
4) Do have your contractor present for the adjuster’s inspection – It is vitally important to have your contractor of choice present at the initial adjusters inspection. This can help insure that all of the damage is found and the scope of work is agreed upon up front, saving a lot of back-and-forth with your insurance company, which can delay the restoration process.
5) Don’t give any money up front – A reputable contractor will not need any money until work has begun. The most common scam surrounding a storm event is criminals who collect a first check but never return to actually perform any work. Tell your contractor nothing will be paid until materials are on site and a crew is on the roof!
AVCO roofing currently services three areas in north Texas: DFW, Tyler, and Longview. We have restored thousands of homes and hundreds of commercial properties over the last ten years. We would be honored to help you through this difficult time.
If you need an inspection, want to understand more about your claims process, or are uncomfortable with the roofers you have met so far give our DFW area manager, Ronnie Lollar, a call at 214.893.5033 to schedule an appointment today!
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