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Roof coverage terms demystified

by: Kirsten Land on May 15th, 2018 about Insurance

When looking at your insurance policy for roof coverage, it’s easy to get confused. Every industry has its fair share of jargon, and the roofing industry and insurance industry are no different.

Let’s take a look at some of the terms you might see in your insurance policy when it comes to repairing or replacing your roof.

Actual cash value (ACV)

Actual cash value takes the total replacement cost of your roof and subtracts the depreciation. If you have an ACV policy on your roof, there’s a good chance you’ll end up paying something out of pocket for a roof replacement. How much you pay out of pocket will depend on the depreciation of your roof.

Depreciation

Depreciation is the loss of value over time of any product, including the roof of your home. Insurance companies determine the depreciation of a product based the expected life of the product, age, and wear and tear. Basically, it’s an estimate of how much of the total product value has been lost due to its age or other factors.

Recoverable depreciation

If you have a total replacement cost policy, then you will also have recoverable depreciation. That means the insurance company will pay you for some or all of the depreciated value, provided you meet the requirements. For most roof claims, your insurance company will first write a check for the actual cash value of the roof. Then, once the roof replacement is complete, they will write a check for the recoverable depreciation.

Deductible

Most homeowner policies include a deductible, which can be a set dollar amount or a percentage of your home’s total value. The deductible represents the amount you must pay out of pocket before the insurance company will pay the claim. However, it’s not an amount you actually pay to the insurance company, but rather an amount that’s subtracted from the claim amount they pay. For example, if you have a $1,000 deductible and your claim is for $9,000, then the insurance company will write a check for $8,000. You will then pay the roofing contractor the difference of $1,000.

Overhead and profit

A roofing company that acts as a general contractor will oversee your entire roofing project, which includes hiring the various trades needed (guttering, painting, etc.), obtaining permits, and coordinating the flow of the project. In order to run their business, they have overhead expenses for office space, administrative tasks, licensing, advertising, and more. Profit is the difference between the cost of goods sold and the price for which they are sold. Overhead and profit can vary significantly in the roofing industry, but most insurance companies will include a set percentage of overhead and profit that a company can include in the claim.

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How your roofing company can help maximize your claim

by: Kirsten Land on May 1st, 2018 about Insurance

In the roofing industry, there’s a process called supplementing. It’s a pretty standard term for us, but not a term (or a process) that everyone is familiar with.

What does supplementing mean?

Supplementing is the process where a contractor submits additional expenses to the insurance company. It’s a common practice for home insurance and car insurance because there’s often damage that can’t be seen on the surface.

For a car accident, an insurance adjuster will come look at your car and provide an estimate of what they think it would cost to fix the car. But when the auto body shop starts taking your car apart, they often find additional parts and pieces that need to be fixed, or they’ll find something that takes longer or has to be repaired differently than the adjuster thought.

The process of repairing a roof is much the same. The adjuster might not realize if something on the roof isn’t up to code, and there are many other things that could need to be repaired or replaced that won’t be obvious until the old roof comes off. And sometimes it’s as simple as the adjuster overlooking something. We’re all human, after all.

What role does the homeowner pay in this process?

The homeowner’s role in the process is pretty simple in most situations. At Land Roofing Enterprises, we work on the customer’s behalf with their insurance company to get the necessary supplements approved. But in order to do that, we need to see the estimate from the insurance company.

Sometimes homeowners are a little reluctant to share that information with their roofing company or other contractors, but most people don’t give it a second thought when having a car repaired. Now, roof replacement is often more expensive than repairing body damage on a car, but the process is still the same.

We recently had a customer who had extensive roof damage that also involved interior damage. Most of the ceiling and some of the walls in the house needed to be repainted, but the insurance company had only allocated $500 for painting on their estimate.

Now, $500 might seem like plenty to paint the interior of a house, and it might be if you’re buying the paint and doing the work yourself. But for a professional paint contractor to paint the interior of a home including spraying popcorn ceilings, it’s not a sufficient amount. When we noticed that line item, we immediately contacted their insurance company and got the necessary supplement to complete the painting properly.

What else might require supplementing?

We have a lot of experience with repairing both exterior and interior of homes, and we know what all of those items should cost, including windows, gutters, and painting. Another area that commonly requires supplementing relates to city and state codes, especially for things like roof ventilation.

There are many roofs installed without proper ventilation. Ventilation impacts your utility bills, as well as the safety and life of your roof. If the ventilation on your roof doesn’t meet current code, we’re required to bring it up to code when we replace the roof. If the insurance estimate doesn’t include the code upgrade, the homeowner could be out that money unless we submit a supplement to get it covered.

What’s the bottom line?

When repairing or replacing your roof, be sure to share your full insurance estimate with your roofing contractor so they can identify any places where the estimate may fall short of the actual cost to repair or replace your roof. While we can submit a supplement at any point in the process, it’s best to know up front where the estimate falls short and get approval in advance. We’ll work with your insurance company to make sure you get the full amount needed for the repair.

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What’s the process if my roof is damaged?

by: Kirsten Land on January 2nd, 2018 about Insurance, Residential Roofing

When a roof sustains damage from a storm, it’s usually not the only thing damaged. Hail and high winds can also cause damage to your gutters, siding, garage door, exterior paint, and more. Sometimes roof damage results in leaks that affect the interior of your home, too.

We work with customers to make sure that everything possible is covered under their insurance claim. It’s simply part of our process, but that process can sometimes confuse people if they haven’t been through it before.

Here are the three basic steps in our process.

Meet with you and inspect your roof

When a storm hits, you may be tempted to call your insurance company and report it. However, it’s actually to your benefit to call a trusted roofing company first. When someone calls us, we come out and inspect the roof and confirm if you have damage.

If there’s no damage, you won’t need to file a claim. If there is damage, we can gather all the necessary details about the location and degree of damage, plus what it will take to replace your roof and repair other damaged areas.

If you’ve already called your insurance company and started the claim, that’s fine, too. We can pick up from there and help you through the rest of the process.

Help you file the insurance claim

Your insurance company is going to have lots of questions about the extent of the damage to your roof and what condition it was in prior to the storm. In most cases, they’ll want to send an adjuster out to inspect the roof as well. When that happens, we can meet with your adjuster and, if they’re okay with it, join them on the roof during the inspection to point out what we see.

Some people may feel a little uncomfortable handing their insurance claim details and contact information over to a roofing company, but we recommend it because we want to help as best we can, and we need to know all the details.

In many cases, we may find additional damage that needs to be addressed once we start working on the roof. If we already have the insurance information, we can quickly get that damage added to the claim.

Take care of every piece of the job

Not every roofing company is also a general contractor, so be sure to ask some questions about what scope of work they provide before you sign a contract. If you hire a company that only does roofing, you’ll be responsible for finding a contractor to replace gutters, paint the exterior, fix any interior damage, and do any other repairs that may be needed.

As a general contractor, we can handle every aspect of the job for you and ensure your house is restored to its original condition. It saves the customer a lot of time and effort, and it reduces the risk of having an unqualified contractor work on your home. We only select subcontractors from our trusted partners, so we know they do quality work and have all the appropriate licensing in place.

Posted in Insurance, Residential Roofing       Comments: None

Have you ever wondered what an insurance agent might have to say about your roof repair? Here in this blog, you often get our perspective as a roofing company.

But did you know that we regularly get calls from agents asking us to come inspect a client’s roof? Here are a couple of insights on your agent’s perspective when it comes to getting your roof repaired or replaced based on our conversations with insurance agents.

Adjuster knows best

After an adjuster determines that your roof should be replaced, they will tell you how much the insurance company will pay to replace it. But shouldn’t you get three or four estimates to get the lowest price? Isn’t that the best thing to do? The ethical thing to do?

Not really, no.

In fact, the insurance company has based the cost on what it will take in materials and labor to replace your roof properly. You could shop around, but it won’t save you any money. It may save your insurance company some money, but you could end up losing in the long run. Suppose you choose a cut-rate roofer who skimps on quality and takes shortcuts? That could lead to roof damage and failure due to poor workmanship.

An agent wants what you want

Your best interests are also your agent’s best interests. They want to keep you as a client. That’s why they want to make sure you’re happy with your roofers and their work. They care about you and your property. Just like you, they want the roof repairs done with the highest quality. The whole process reflects on them and their relationship with you.

In the end, your agent wants you happy and your home in tip-top shape.

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Is your roof really totaled?

by: Kirsten Land on August 16th, 2016 about Insurance

Roof DamageThis may seem obvious, but it’s hard to tell from an individual homeowner’s perspective: if a roofer’s just totaling every roof they see, that shows they don’t know what to look for. You may not know what a roofer’s success rate is, but it’s worth asking.

When a roofer determines that your roof is totaled, but your insurance agency disagrees, that burden falls on you as a homeowner.

This isn’t necessarily a dishonest or predatory thing. Some roofers may be trying to up their odds of replacing a total roof. Other roofers may legitimately not know whether or not a roof is totaled because they haven’t had enough training.

You want to make sure you’re using a trusted, knowledgeable roofer before making a call to your insurance carrier about a totaled roof. Brian spoke to an adjuster the other day who told him that one roofing company she works with often has a success rate of 50%. That means that half of the roofs this company says are totaled are determined by the insurance agencies as not totaled.

We don’t like to brag, but it’s worth mentioning that Brian’s rate of success is approximately 98%. He’s pursued the Haag Engineering Certificate and attends continuing education classes so that when he tells a client that their roof is totaled it really is totaled.

Why does this matter? In a word, insurance.

I recently spoke with Joan Curtis at Michelle Schaefer’s insurance agency about this issue. She told me that they always recommend clients have a roofer out before filing an insurance claim on their roof. If a client calls their insurance agency to send someone out, even just to look at the damage, that counts as filing a claim.

If there’s no roof damage, that is called a “zero pay claim,” which can still cost the client a surcharge of up to 20% at renewal time. Filing a high number of claims (even zero pay claims) may even make it more challenging for you to renew with your insurance agency at all.

If you do end up needing a new roof, you may be able to receive a large discount on your premiums when you supply your agent with a receipt paid in full. Depending on your insurance agency, re-roofing your house with an impact-resistant roof can yield an even bigger discount over the life of the roof.

The bottom line is to choose a roofer you trust. Talk to them before calling out an insurance adjuster, because you might save yourself the penalty of a zero pay claim. That way, even if you do need to file a claim, you’ll be more knowledgeable about what repairs or replacement you need.

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Who pays for your roof damage?

by: Kirsten Land on May 3rd, 2016 about Insurance, Residential Roofing

Paying cashImagine this: You switch carriers for your home insurance in May. In June, several of your neighbors are hiring roofers to repair spring storm damage, so you decide to do the same. But once your roof’s been inspected by a roofer, you realize there’s significant damage that happened while you were covered by your previous insurance agency.

Your new insurance carrier won’t pay for that damage!

It’s not a disaster, though. If your roof gets damaged while you were covered by your previous insurance, most insurance companies will cover that damage. You were paying premium to them at the time the damage occurred, so you’d call that insurance agency’s adjuster out.

If you hire Land Roofing, we’ll help you take care of that claim. We recommend having a roofer out to inspect for roof damage before you call either insurance agency-that way, you won’t be opening up an unnecessary claim if your roof is in good shape.

Insurance rules are liable to change, of course. It’s important to know your policy, and you might want to keep a copy of your previous insurer’s policy around until you’re sure you won’t need for them to cover storm damage that occurred while you were using them.

For example, some companies like State Farm require homeowners to report their claim within one year of the insurable event. Otherwise, the claim may be denied.

If several of your neighbors are repairing or even replacing their roofs, that’s a good sign that a recent storm hit your neighborhood especially hard and you may want to call a roofer out to see what’s going on with your roof. It isn’t a guarantee that you’ll qualify for a new roof, though.

It’s a good idea to have your roof checked from time to time, to catch any damage quickly. And if you’ve changed insurance carriers recently, it doesn’t hurt to ask if your previous carrier will cover damage that happened while you were covered by them. You already paid the premium for it! And in many situations, they will take care of it.

If you would like a roofer to be present while the adjuster is at your home, or if you’d like to call a roofer out to see if you need any repairs in the first place, we’d be happy to have a conversation with you about that.

Posted in Insurance, Residential Roofing       Comments: None

Prevent insurance headaches with these 4 tips

by: Kirsten Land on January 5th, 2016 about Insurance, Residential Roofing

Icy branchesIce and snow are beautiful to look at, but they sure can wreak havoc on our homes! Pretty as it is, ice and snow can be very heavy and damaging. And the result can be quite expensive and time consuming.

Thankfully, our homeowner’s insurance usually does a pretty good job of helping put us back together after any kind of storm causes damage to our homes. But is there a way to limit your need to file those pesky claims? What if taking just a little bit of time around your property could save you from those insurance headaches?

Here are four tips to keep you, your neighbors, and most importantly your home safe this winter.

1. Trim those trees

You want to be sure that your trees are trimmed back to stay off your roof. Also pay attention to things like limbs or branches that hang over the driveway and could potentially fall on your car, or into your neighbor’s yard.

Did you know that if your tree causes damage to your neighbor’s property, that you are then responsible for damages? Icy limbs are very heavy and have been known to cause damage and even total property when they fall. If you’re not really sure how to properly trim your tree to make it safe AND beautiful, contact a local arborist to help you.

2. Clean your gutters

Gutters get very heavy when filled with ice or snow. As they get heavy, they can certainly fall or tear off your house. This can cause damage to your roof - not to mention anything (or anyone!) that happens to be beneath them if they fall.

A cluttered gutter will also prevent proper drainage which can cause even more problems.

3. Secure your belongings

You know that trampoline the kids just love to play on? They can blow into the neighbor’s yard pretty easy! When they land, they tend to do a bit of damage. Now the kids are upset, and the neighbors expect you to pay to fix damages done to their property.

It is a fairly inexpensive fix to stake things like trampolines to prevent this damage from occurring.

4. Be a good neighbor

The sidewalks in front of (and around) your home can get icy and slippery. If someone falls, the injuries become your problem. So, be a good neighbor and keep those sidewalks clear of ice and snow. Whether you use a shovel, salt or both - your neighbors are sure to appreciate you!

No one likes having to file an insurance claim. These four tips may just help keep you claim free this winter. But, even if you do still end up filing a claim for winter damages, your agent will see that you have done your diligence in keeping your home as safe as possible - and that could also save you money!

Posted in Insurance, Residential Roofing       Comments: None

We work your claim for you

by: Kirsten Land on May 19th, 2015 about Insurance, Residential Roofing

Insurance claim formWe've all seen what mother nature can do to our homes. Sometimes, it can be devastating. It can be completely overwhelming to scroll through the numerous listings of roofing companies. It can be even more of a headache to work with your insurance company, and coordinate with an insurance adjuster.

Land Roofing understands that times like this can be extremely stressful, so if we're the right fit for you, we would love to help!

When your home withstands a severe storm or tornado, you may be prone to roof damage. You will need to speak with your insurance company to start the process of filing a claim. This is where the insurance adjuster comes in. The adjuster is responsible for surveying your roof to determine if there is any sufficient damage.

If the damage is significant, the insurance adjuster will coordinate with the insurance company, and determine the amount of money you will receive to replace or repair your roof. This is the part that requires Land Roofing's expertise! We will act as your advocate, and meet with your insurance adjuster. We will work with the adjuster to encourage the insurance company to send you the right amount of money.

We know how the process works, and we know how stressful this process can be. Give us a call, and see if Land Roofing Enterprises is the right fit to give you relief today!

Posted in Insurance, Residential Roofing       Comments: None

Ditching the rule of three estimates

by: Kirsten Land on May 5th, 2015 about Insurance, Residential Roofing

Three roofersSpring has sprung! As Oklahomans, we all know that spring means storms. Sometimes, these storms can cause a lot of damage to our roofs. Thankfully, we know just what to do when these severe storms move in, and head straight for your roof!

Most of us have heard years ago that you need three estimates for your roof before making a decision. Before we had insurance adjusters, we had to get three estimates from three different businesses in order to prove to our insurance company that the roof really did sustain damage. Three estimates was a good rule of thumb to make an educated judgement about the condition of the roof and how much of an investment it would take to fix it.

Since the insurance companies didn't have their own representative checking things out, the estimates served as a guide.

Even though we have insurance adjusters today, many people still want to get three estimates in order to make certain that they are getting the best bang for their buck.

While that's a great practice in many other areas, you don't have to get three estimates for your roof any longer, because of insurance adjusters. You pay the same deductible regardless, and the team at Land Roofing will work out the details directly with your insurance company.

The good news is that you can now work with the roofing company you feel the most comfortable with, rather than worrying about comparing prices.

Please do not hesitate to give us a call. We'll get your roof in tip top shape in no time!

Posted in Insurance, Residential Roofing       Comments: None

Cheaper is not always better….

by: Kirsten Land on July 21st, 2011 about Insurance, Roofing Advice

Since I was a little girl I remember hearing my Mother repeat this advice and wonder what it meant. Now that I am a wee bit older and hopefully a lot smarter I finally understand what this phrase means. Being a home owner and business owner I deal with lots of financial decisions that require me to weigh all the options before agreeing to the purchase. Unfortunately, I have made many mistakes because I was anxious to save a buck or two. Some of the decisions were good but most were not when the price was the biggest consideration. With life experience to reflect back on, I now make these decisions with price in mind but value, quality and integrity at the top of my list.

Every now and then Brian gets approached by a homeowner looking for the cheapest bid for their roofing project. Brian will politely explain that we are never the cheapest and that usually ends the conversation. It's not that we are out to over charge our customers it's just that our first priority is to help our customer choose the best roofing system for their home. Through Brian's many years as a roofer then, roofing contractor he knows the best quality materials and preferred methods of installation.

A large portion of our customers have insurance that covers their roof claim. We use the same computer program to write your estimate as the insurance company uses to generate your claim. Getting the cheapest bid for your roof only saves your insurance company money, not you.

It is truly in your best interest to choose a roofing company that you trust because they have a good reputation and has been personally referred to you. Your roof protects your most valuable asset, why risk it with a roof system that isn't the best quality just to save a buck or two?

Posted in Insurance, Roofing Advice       Comments: 2

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