Here are some key terms used in the industry that you might hear during your service.
At this time, one of our trained professionals will do a complete walk through of your property to make sure you are aware of the full scope of damage you have. Besides the roof, our team will inspect your gutters, windows, siding, fence, paint, fascia, garage doors, a/c units, and much more. It is important for every homeowner to have someone advocating on their behalf!
How to file an insurance claim
This process takes about 10min and is easy to accomplish. Google the claims number of your insurance company and call the 800 number for their call center. They are then going to ask you a few basic questions: are you safe; how much damage is there; is the damage to the roof only or is there any interior damage? They ask these questions so that they can plan how much time their adjuster will be onsite. We remind all our clients that they are not experts and it’s better to just say you don’t know the answer to a question they are asked. We will talk you through this at our storm consultation as well.
This is one of the most important parts of the entire claims process and it is vital that one of our trained team members are onsite to asset you. At the adjustment meeting, the field adjuster will: review your policy information with you, walk your property to take a sample of photos, and finally create an initial settlement offer. Most field adjusters are not licensed adjusters and do not have any decision-making authority. They have been trained to use a standard template provided to them to create the initial settlement. The goal for most adjusters is not to be accurate and thorough as possible, but to settle the claim as fast as possible.
Replacement Cost Vale – Total cost to replace the damage on your property
Actual cash value – The total cost to replace your property minus depreciation (age of your house) and your deductible.
This is the amount of money withheld for items on your claim. Much like how a car depreciates in value every year, most policies will pay for the full replacement cost of these items when the work is finished.
This is the portion of the repairs that you are responsible for. We akin this to a co-pay for a Dr. office visit.
A field estimator may work for your insurance company or can be a third-party company who takes photos to document the scope of damage at your property. Often these estimators do not have the authority to make decisions on your claim.
Xactimate is a line item estimating software that insurance companies developed within their industry to try and create some consistency in their estimating process. It was developed primarily for “catastrophic teams” to use after hurricanes but has slowly become the industry standard for all insurance claims. The software works by creating a price list for every individual component found on a house — which is why it is so important that each and every component on your roof is included in the estimate. Adjusters have a standard template they use when creating the initial estimate, so hiring a contractor who understands and uses Xactimate is paramount as they can ensure every component on your roof has been accounted for.
A desk adjuster works for your insurance company and make estimates in Xactimate to come up with the fair market value of your claim. They will be your primary point of contact during the claims process, but it’s important to remember they are working for the insurance company and not for you. Most of them are fair and ethical, but their goal is always to settle the claim for as little as possible in order to protect the financial interest of the insurance company.
Sometimes the insurance company may not think there is damage to your roof, or they might be refusing to pay certain items on your scope of work. When this happens, you have the right to get an appraisal.
Often when you file an insurance claim your mortgage company will get involved. They have a vested interest in the property and will be cosigners on the checks issued. The process can be overwhelming but we will make it as simple as possible for you. You will need to contact them and let them know that you have filed a claim on your property. Then they will send you a packet requesting the following information; W-9, Company insurance information, copy of the scope of loss, copy of a signed contract, and a waiver of lien.
Cosmetic exclusions are a clever way for insurance companies to not cover damage to your standing seam metal roof, gutters or other soft metals. These exclusions state that the only way the insurance company will pay for your damaged roof is if the metal is completely punctured.