Summer Hailstorm Checklist
What to do when a Hailstorm Hits your Roof
The Summer Hailstorm Checklist
Colorado homeowners can always count on a notorious summer hailstorm or two. Dealing with hail damage can be a frustrating process. These storms can lead to many questions surrounding:
- The roof inspection to determine the health of your roof
- Getting an honest roof repair and replacement estimate
- Choosing the best local roofing company
- How your home insurance will help pay for the damage
This process can be burdensome for both homeowners and insurance agents as both parties deal with the hurdles surrounding the roof replacement process.
What Homeowners should look for regarding their roof after hailstorm
What To Do When The Hailstorm Hits
Once the hailstorm has finished, here are the top questions you should ask yourself when looking at your roof:
- How big are the hailstones? Pea to marble size hail typically does not create dam- age. If the hail was nickel to quarter size there is a chance for some damage. If the hail was quarter size or larger there is a good likelihood for damage.
- Look around your yard, are your trees and shrubs shredded?
- Look around the exterior elevations of your home, are there damaged screens, windows, paint or downspouts?
- Look at your driveway and sidewalks, are there tons of sand-like granules all over?
Answering yes to these questions indicates that there is possible damage to your roof.
If there is possible damage, it is critical to get your roof professionally inspected.
the diamond standard for roofing companies
With hundreds of roofing companies in northern colorado alone to choose from, deciding on a particular local roofing company can be difficult. that’s why we’ve created the diamond standard for roofing companies.
First, ask your insurance agent for their recommendation. Insurance agents will gladly give you advice regarding which roofing companies to work with and which ones to avoid.
These are standards that every roofing contractor has the ability to perform:
- A free, honest roofing inspection. If there is not enough damage for a claim, the roofing company should provide a 5-year roofing certification for free.
- one person contact from start to finish. When the same person who quoted the roof is also part of the replacement process, communication will be effortless, allowing the job to get done in both a timely and effective manner.
- a thorough explanation of the claims process. After the process is explained, you should feel confident enough to do the claims process yourself. full transparency is key.
- They work directly with the insurance companies. any roofing company that doesn’t gladly handle this work on behalf of the homeowner either
- doesn’t fully understand the process themselves.
- They’re too lazy to take care of it themselves.
- Free upgrade to class 4 shingles. since hail damage on roofs increases every year, more and more counties are requiring class 4 shingles. Every roofing company should be willing to eat the material cost and give you the best product on the market.
- extra credit: ask them if they know the preferred shingle of your insurance agent. if they know that answer, it’s another great sign to show you they have a great track record.
- Always check their google reviews. How do their reviews compare to other companies in the area? how many reviews do they have and when was their latest review? if a company hasn’t invested in their online reputation, their is a good chance they aren’t proud of their reputation.
After the roof replacement is completed, they should offer a 10-year workmanship warranty and free repairs if needed. many companies change their numbers every year because they don’t want previous customers to contact them when they have issues with the replacement. you know you can trust a roofing company when they will gladly help you with your roof (even after you’ve paid them for the job!)
door knocking companies: A wolf in sheep's clothing?
Here’s the truth: Roof replacements can be a lucrative business. But roofing companies only get paid when they replace the roof. And unfortunately, this can put homeowners in a handle of rough scenarios. Here’s what you should be prepared for the next time a roofing company knocks on your door to take a look at your roof:
- Do not sign anything. You may lose you right to talk to your insurance agency about your roof because you’ve forfeited that right to the door knocking roofing company. you lose transparency throughout the replacement process and will most likely get charged thousands of dollars more in the process.
- always get a second opinion. Ask your insurance agent for two to three Local Roofing Companies they’ve seen do consistent work in the past to cross-reference the door-knockers quote. Door-knockers are notorious for overcharging you thousands of dollars on the roof quote because they know they can take advantage of an unsuspecting homeowner and/or their insurance company.
3. The majority of door knocking roof associates have little to zero experience with roof inspections. They’re trained to get on your roof and instruct you to file a claim. Regardless if there is legitimate damage on your roof. It is not uncommon for roofing companies to hire out part time contractors to door knock just for the summer to deal with the summer hail storms.
This tactic means they do not have any expertise to accurately and honestly assess the health of your roof. If you let a door knocker get on your roof, they’ll without a doubt recommend you file a claim with your insurance company.
4. Door knocking roof companies have a notorious reputation in Colorado from Insurance agents for being incredibly difficult to work with. And because they only make money if you replace their roof at the price they quote you at, they rarely have the homeowner’s benefit in mind as their top priority. Always ask your Insurance Agent’s opinion on the roofing company you’re looking to do business with.
5. Beware of “Waiving Fees” & other roofer buzzwords:
Door knocking roofing companies very often will say whatever they need to say to get the contract with you signed. It’s common for door knockers to say they can waive, eat or credit you back your deductible.
Bottom line, do not sign anything. You are not required to sign anything in order for them to do an inspection of the roof and if they are offering to waive/eat/credit your deductible they are openly admitting to being fine with breaking the law. Be leery of this, if they are willing to break the law, it’s clear that other shortcuts and inappropriate actions are not out of their reach.
how to partner with your home insurance agency during the claims process
as a homeowner, figuring out the insurance claims process can be intimidating to say the least. we’ve provided a step-by-step process on how to take care of the insurance claim process with your agency when you’re replacing your roof.
while it is extremely beneficial to have a roofing contractor take care of these steps, this roadmap gives you the peace of mind you need to work with your insurance agent as seamless as possible.
Prior to filing a claim, it is very beneficial for the homeowner to understand the type and amount of their deductible for a roof replacement. Many insurance companies have a set deductible amount on their policies ($500; $1,000), but we are finding more companies are moving to a % deductible (i.e: 1% of the structural coverage limit / house insured for $280,000 x 1% = $2,800 deductible).
Once the customer understands their «out-of-pocket» expense to file a claim, they can make an informed decision on if the damage justifies a claim. If I had damage that totaled $3,300, do I really want to file a claim for a $500 payment from the insurance carrier? Probably not!
Once you understand your deductible it’s time to get a reputable (licensed and insured) roofing contractor to see if there is damage.
As a reminder, you want to make sure your claim frequency is in good standing with your insurance office, so only file a claim if you know for certain there is significant/insurable damage to your roof.
Once damages are identified, the policy holder can file a claim with their agent’s office. And the insurance claim department will obtain your information and most likely schedule a site inspection to assess the roof damage.
Side note: The date of loss for your roof damage is significant to track. Some deductibles are based on that date of loss. So make sure to record the damage so your policy coverage can be determined accurately.
You should be contacted by your insurance claim department at this time. They will explain the policy coverages, deductible, and claims process. If a site inspection is scheduled, it is beneficial to have their roofing contractor there to agree on the scope of repairs necessary.
Every insurance carrier handles their estimation process differently. So with these nuances, it is important to know if you have replacement cost coverage or actual cash value coverage (depreciated settlement only).
Side note: It is important the homeowner understands the established timeline the insurance company allows for an insurance cost basis. For example, timeframes can range between 1-3 years for date of loss, or 180 days to inform your claims department the intent of replacement. These policies can vary for every policy,
so make sure to figure yours out!
most insurance carriers offer a discount if you replace your roof with a class 4 shingle. these shingles provide better protection from wind/hail. typical discounts range from 18% – 25%.
Once the insurance estimate is received, the homeowner can sit down with their roofing contractor of choice to review the estimate and the involved damage. At this time, its typical to discuss the timeline for the repairs and what shingles to put on the home.
Sharing your insurance estimate with your roofing contractor is a good move because:
-The covered scope of repairs is properly estimated for.
-They’ll verify units of measurements allowed in the claim.
– You can give your contractor the supplemental documentation the insurance company is waiting for to supply the payment for the repair.
After repairs are made, the homeowner and/or insurance office should be provided with the contractors workmanship/labor warranty, as well as documentation showing that Class 4 IR (if applicable) shingles were used during the install. This documentation will be submitted to the underwriters by the AO, so the PH can start saving premium dollars from the date the IR shingles were installed!
at the end of the day...
It’s important Colorado homeowners are informed and equipped to deal with the summer hail storms properly. Understand the roofing industry and know the leverage you have to get the most value out of your roof assessment and replacement!
We hope the Summer Hail Storm Checklist provides a roadmap to help you navigate the roofing companies you come in contact with after the next hail storm. Don’t just settle for the first roofing company you come in contact with. Ask the right questions, seek a 2nd opinion, and always ask your Insurance Agent’s opinion before agreeing to any roof replacement.