Understanding Insurance Claims

“Read every word of this free report to completely understand your insurance claim, the possible pit-falls, and how to hire the best contractor possible”

The Process and Terms You Need to Understand

The paperwork you receive from your insurance company is an estimate for repairs. We use the same software that your adjuster uses and we know how much for each item they “should” pay. The amount of your checks is not a secret. If you think your check isn’t big enough to get your roof replaced, don’t worry because it is only an estimate – not a final settlement. We will make sure that your claim receives every dime that your insurance company is required to pay. That amount is the “fair market price” for materials and labor and is usually figured using the same Xactimate software that we use.

Don't worry, your insurance company cannot cancel your policy or raise your rates for weather related claims. However, when you’re involved in a catastrophe, your insurance company may raise rates on everyone in the area impacted by the event.

What about getting 3 bids?

Some insurance companies even advise this. Hmmmm, could there be a reason? If you were getting a deck built or other construction project then I would say absolutely get 3 bids. However, when dealing with insurance claims you actually “shoot yourself in the foot” by doing so. The insurance company will of course go along with the cheapest bid you submit to them and laugh all the way to the bank. They are not stupid. They love it when they don’t have to spend the money for getting market value for labor and materials. They keep the savings, not you! If after getting your first check based on the insurance companies’ estimate you hire a roofing company that charges less than that estimate (a.k.a. “fair market price”), you run the risk of getting stuck with cheap materials, an inexperienced crew, LEAKS and no service after the so called "contractor" gets your last check. The difference between your insurance companies estimate and the cheapest bid can’t be used to help pay your deductible. Your insurance company keeps all of the savings when you go with a bid lower than their estimate.  They will subtract your deductible from the final lower-priced invoice rather than the total claim originally allowed and they will also keep whatever portion of your depreciation that you don’t use. That’s understandable because they’re in business to make money for their investors just like any other company. 

The Insurance Claim Check

When your insurance company agrees to pay your claim, they will normally cut a first, partial-payment check minus your deductible and depreciation. This first check is usually just enough to cover buying the materials for the job. Sometimes your adjuster will write the check while they’re at your home. Other times, it will be mailed to you within a week to ten days – after they complete their required paperwork and get approval from their home office.

Your ACV check may be co-endorsed to you, your contractor and possibly your mortgage company. You’ll need to get a signature from the mortgage company at your local branch or you may have to overnight the check to the mortgage company if there are no local branches. If your check is not co-endorsed to your mortgage company, simply sign the back and give it to your contractor if they are an additional payee. If they are not then just write them a personal check for the same amount and notate in memo section.

A.C.V. or R.C.V. Insurance Policy

The first check normally has your deductible and any applicable depreciation already deducted.
If you have an A.C.V. (actual cash value) policy, your depreciation is non-recoverable. That just means that once you get paid the first check, there won’t be any more money available to make the repairs. Sometimes, the A.C.V. portion of your policy only applies to your roof replacement which is the most expensive part of most insurance claims not involving fire, smoke and water damage. Please listen: DO NOT LET YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY SCREW YOU BY GETTING YOU TO ACCEPT AN A.C.V. POLICY! ESPECIALLY IF YOU LIVE IN TEXAS OR OKLAHOMA. YOUR MONTHLY PREMIUM PAYMENTS WILL BE LESS BUT YOU WILL NOT HAVE ENOUGH TO COVER EVEN REPLACING YOUR ROOF MUCH LESS YOUR OTHER DAMAGE! IF YOU HAVE BEEN TRICKED, GO BACK TO AN R.C.V. POLICY AS QUICK AS POSSIBLE!

If you have an R.C.V. (replacement cost value) policy, your depreciation is recoverable. That means there’s at least one more check coming after the repairs have been completed. Obviously, this is the best type of policy to have if you have a claim because you’ll have enough money to get everything repaired or replaced professionally.

How Does My Depreciation Work?

When you have an R.C.V. policy, your insurance company may hold back recoverable depreciation. Depreciation is the amount of your settlement that is not paid unless and/or until you need it to finish fixing your home. The depreciation check is not sent to you until after you submit your roofing contractor’s final invoice to your insurance company.

Most policies cover full replacement cost minus your deductible. However, you need to know if you have an A.C.V. or an R.C.V. policy because it impacts how much money you’ll have to make repairs. If you’re not sure, ask your insurance adjuster or call your local agent.

If you do not spend all of the depreciation to get your home fixed, your insurance company will keep the difference. They will subtract your deductible from the final lower-priced invoice rather than the total claim originally allowed. The days of an insured making money on their claim are long gone! (unless you commit insurance fraud).

“Your insurance company keeps any depreciation money not spent on getting your home fixed.”

After the final invoice is submitted, your insurance company, and sometimes your mortgage company, may want to do a final inspection. That’s to make sure that all of the work on the invoice has been completed in a workmanship like manner before releasing the second depreciation check.

3 Quick Depreciation Tips

1. Depreciation is the amount of money withheld from you until your work is completed when you have an R.C.V. policy. By withholding depreciation, your insurance company ensures that they only pay the balance after you pay your deductible.

2. Your insurance company will match, not exceed, your roofing contractor’s “fair market value” bid, less your deductible.

3. If you do not spend all of the money allowed, your insurance company keeps the difference and pays the balance.

What About Supplemental Claims?

In a storm environment, with rising material and labor costs, it may also be necessary to request a supplemental claim to cover the rising expenses. Also, if your adjuster did not pay enough for the line items or forgot items we will supplement the claim for those differences. When a supplemental is paid, your insurance company will agree to issue a third or even a fourth check beyond the original claim ACV check. Like your ACV check these checks will be made out to you the homeowner and the contractor and may need the signature of your mortgage company too.

My Deductible

Your deductible is the portion of your claim that is not covered by your insurance company.
This is the amount that you contratualy agreed with your insurance company to pay out of pocket. We are constantly asked the question, "Can you take care of my deductible?" Let me ask you a question: When you go to your doctor for whatever do you ask the doctor to pay your co-pay amount when you leave? No, you don't. Why do people think they can get away with not paying their deductible on their homeowner's claim? It is because ignorant or just down right criminal roofers have been committing crimes for years by the way they "take care" of the deductible. ROOF RESCUEwill not commit a crime to help you.We do however have some legal ways we can reduce the amount of the deductible you have to payand sometimes we can altogether eliminate the full amount. 
The all powerful insurance companies have lobbied state legislatures to get laws passed that require you to do one of the following:

1. You to pay your deductible to the contractor.

2. Your contractor absorbs your deductible amount, ie: gives up market due profit and has to then possibly cut corners on your job as far as quality of materials and labor crew. 

3. You trade some of the work listed on the insurance scope of loss that is not important or does not need repaired or replaced, for and or towards your deductible amount so the contractor can still profit what the insurance company and the industry has allocated as a fair market price (so they can stay in business and be there when you need them).

4. Your contractor can do a combo of the above and finance in-house your remaining deductible amount you owe and possibly give you credits towards that balance for referrals.  

Even if you have a very large deductible (more than the standard 1% of the insurance stated value of your home) ROOF RESCUE can in-house finance your deductible for as little as $100/mo. at 0% interest until paid. Each claim is different and we will help you as best we can.

What If I Get A Cheaper Estimate?

Unfortunately, getting a cheaper estimate won’t put a penny in your pocket because your insurance company won’t release all of the money until the job is done and they get a final invoice from your contractor. If your contractor submits a final invoice cheaper than what the insurance company is paying,

If you’re like most people in your area you are tired of so called “roofers” coming to your door all the time and leaving their flyers everywhere. The fact of the matter is that after a storm like your area has suffered many of those “roofers” you are seeing were flipping cheeseburgers at McDonalds yesterday and got hired as salesmen today or they went and bought a ladder, some business cards, and got their D.B.A. and now have a “Roofing Company”. The roofing industry in Texas is unregulated and scam artists and gypsies abound after a big storm. At least in Oklahoma they are required to register with the State and have insurance. As if getting your privacy violated on a daily basis for several months was not enough, as a homeowner you also have to worry about your insurance company approving your claim and also paying enough for the claim to get your property back in shape. That’s where
ROOF RESCUE comes in.

We want you as a customer for life and not just after a storm. To that end we will help you with your insurance claim and make sure they pay the maximum allowed so that you can be assured of getting a quality job that you do not have to worry about. By the way….leting us put a sign in your front yard will usually keep your door bell from ringing all day long and keep a lot of the flyers off your door…Just a thought…We would love to earn your business. Call us in DFW at 817-899-3319.