MYTH #1I can get a new roof for free because my roofer says he is going to “cover” or “waive” my deductible!
FACT: “Waiving Deductibles” “Discounting Deductibles” “Sign Allowances” It’s All Against The Law! (Texas State Law Chapter 35 Insurance Fraud Section 35.02(7)(B). According to the TDI (Texas Department of Insurance), it is an illegal, for contractors to cover deductibles. After a hails storm YOU WILL be bombarded by roofing contractors offering you a new roof, “with little to no money out of your pocket”.
THE GREY AREA: Do most roofing companies do this? Yes! Is it likely that the Texas Attorney General will prosecute you, most like not (unless you knowing submit a fraudulent invoice for work that was not done to avoid paying your deductible). But, putting the illegality of covering deductibles and questionable insurance fraud aspect, ask yourself this question, “How can any roofing contractor stay in business if they “eat” $2000-$4000 on your shingle project.” Financially it can’t be done, leaving the contractor to cut corners or take your money and run. Just how long can a roofing contractor stay in business using this sales tactic?
ON A SIDE NOTE: If you receive an ACV (actual cash value) payment for collateral damage to your property, like for awnings, gutters, fencing, etc., you can use that to help pay your deductible. AGAIN, you or your roofing contractor cannot claim reimbursement from your insurance company for work that was not done, which is insurance fraud.
MYTH #2My roofer says I have lot of hail damage and I should file a claim”.
FACT: The Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex is a magnet of “easy-money” for a lot of so-called roofers. Most roofing sales people have no clue what they are looking at. Make sure you work with a qualified and knowledge roofing professional, look for roofing certifications like HAAG Engineering or the NRCIA . Ask your roofing sales person what HIS or HER personal roofing experience. If you feel comfortable with them and their findings, then call your insurance company and file a claim.
MYTH #3A contingency agreement is just another way for a roofer to screw me.
FACT: This can go both ways. A contingency agreement typically includes two parts, an inspection agreement, which gives the contractor permission to request an inspection from your insurance company and a work-order agreement, which obligates you to use that roofing contractor to perform your repairs if damage is confirmed. If a roofing contractor invests time and money in helping you with your claim with your insurance company, it is only good faith to use them, as long as you are satisfied with their performance. On the other hand, if you do sign a contingency agreement and your roofing contractor does nothing, then you have every right to seek another roofing representative to help with your insurance claim, with no regrets!
MYTH #4If I find a roofer that does my roof “cheaper” than my insurance claim I get to keep what’s left over”!
FACT: Remember, filing an insurance claim is not like winning the “Lotto” or winning in “Vegas”. When you purchase an insurance policy you are entering into a contract with your insurance company to share the risk. Instead of paying $10,000-$20,000 for a new roof or other property damage you are only paying a 1%-2% of your insured value. Your insurance company is contractually obligated to return your property to the like or same condition prior to the claim (or storm).
MYTH #5My insurance company will cancel my policy if I file a claim.
FACT: Most states prohibit insurance companies from canceling policies for filing claims arising from severe weather related events. Check with TDI (Texas Department of Insurance) and your policy language as well. Remember: Most insurance companies will review your policy if you do have more than three claims, even if they are not paid.
MYTH #6My insurance adjuster denied my claim now I’M screwed!”
FACT: This is not necessarily true. Sadly, there are some insurance companies that are tough and will deny your claim, BUT there is a “good faith clause” in most insurance policies that obligate insurance companies to pay a legitimate claim. If your claim is denied, get a second opinion. In most cases, you can request 3 separate inspections and re-file a claim that has been denied. Make sure your contractor is present during your next inspection. An experienced roofing contractor can often help get your claim approved, even if it has been denied previously. Most insurance adjusters and roofers don’t get along; some adjuster’s believe roofers just want to sell a new roof, while roofers believe adjusters don’t like to pay claims. While there is some truth to this, there is ways to remedy a dispute. You can request a second insurance inspection by a different insurance adjuster. The next step is an appraisal, and then it can go to an empire. You do have options!
MYTH #7I can just keep my insurance money and not fix my hail damaged roof or other property damage.
FACT: You can keep your first part of your insurance payment the ACV (Actual Cash Value) and not fix your property. While this is VERY UNWISE it also WILL hurt you and your investment. Your first insurance claim payment (ACV) is paid, less your deductible, then your insurance company withholds the recoverable depreciation portion of your claim. This is done to make sure that you do fix your property. In most cases if you have a mortgage on your property the mortgage company is also names on the first check payment. If you don’t restore or fix your property and your property is damaged by another storm, your insurance claim WILL BE DENIED.
Recoverable Depreciation is money that will be paid to the insured only when ALL the repairs are completed and the total cost of replacement is at least the full RCV (Replacement Cost Value) amount.
MYTH #8I looked at my roof and didn't see any damage.
FACT: Roofing systems must be physically inspected by a trained and experience roofing professional who will be able to determine if there is actual hail damage. Insurance companies send their adjusters to special training so they can properly identify hail damage to property (which in most cases is limited). Unfortunately, most roofing sales people and roofers don’t invest in education and training to help better serve their clients.
MYTH #9If I don't file my claim, my insurance company won't raise my rates.
FACT: After a disaster, insurance companies may raise every one's rates. By not filing your claim, your personal rate increase is paying for every one else's damage except yours. So, if you do suspect damage call a professional roofing contractor out to meet with your adjuster. The Dallas insurance claims specialist at The Texas Roof Medics can help sort myth from fact!