Reporting a Loss
Don't be shy about calling your agent and telling him/her that you may have damage - chances are the company will have adjusters in the area anyway. You can even file your claim online!
After you make the call make a list of all the damage you have noticed. Some of the things to inspect and to look for are dents in gutter, bent fins on the air conditioner, dented roof vents and pipe caps, dents in window wraps and facia, damaged lawn furniture and flower pots. Roof damage is about the only thing that can't be assessed from the ground, just because the damage isn't visible does not mean that it isn't there, and extensive.
The one place to look is at the end of downspouts, look for small pieces of roofing and granules. Also inspect your vehicles, any storm that causes vehicle damage usually causes roof damage. After you have made your inspection make sure you are home when the adjuster comes and call his attention to the things you have noted.
If you feel more comfortable have a contractor there when the adjuster comes, chances are the whole process can be simplified, and repairs can begin sooner.
The duty of an insurance adjuster is to give you an accurate accounting of everything that was damaged by the storm and a written estimate of what it will cost to put your property back to the condition it was in prior to the storm. Remember, this is only an estimate and actual costs may vary. This is easily resolved between the adjuster and the contractor. In any case you are going to be liable for the amount of your deductible and no more. The adjuster will either leave you a statement of loss or you will receive it in the mail in a few days. The statement of loss will itemize your losses, and the estimated cost of repair for each.
Most home owner policies are replacement cost and will pay that amount even though the actual cost may exceed the adjusters estimate. The loss statement will reflect the replacement cost value (RCV), the depreciation, and the actual cash value(ACV) of your loss. The (ACV) column of the statement will reflect the amount of your first check minus your deductible. The depreciation column should be called the deferred column as it reflects the money held back by the insurance company until the work is complete and an invoice is submitted by the contractor for payment. The insurance company will then issue another check to you for the exact amount between the final bill, and (ACV) portion of your first check relating to that particular repair.
The (ACV) and the depreciation columns of your statement will total up to the (RCV) column of the statement. Insurance companies hold back money to track whether or not repairs are made and to insure that they pay no more than the replacement cost of the damage. Most insurance companies send catastrophe teams into storm situations, and the adjusters come from all over the country to work the claims. Although most are well trained and experienced some are not, and would not know hail damage if it hit them on the head. In any case, the adjusters are representing the insurance companies and it is the company's interest they are hired to protect.
For that reason, they will tell you to get estimates to repair the damage, most will not tell you that you are spending your time shopping for the insurance company, as they have held out money as depreciation and will pay only the (RCV) for the repairs. As time goes on many home owners will realize that it is reputable companies like Elite General Contracting & Restoration, LLC that are actually looking after their interests in the repair process.
Anyone using a contractor that is not insured to save a few bucks is foolish at best, and a way bigger gambler than they may have imagined. Roofing is a dangerous business and very hard work. One slip can result in a fall causing serious injury, and back injuries are common, which makes hiring a contractor without workman's comp very risky.
Although most state laws exempt home owners from these suits, you can rest assured some attorney is going to name you personally in a law suit, forcing you to hire an attorney to get dismissed from the suit. Just as risky is the weather when it comes to roofing. Thunderstorms can blow up rapidly, and even the most experienced crews can get caught in the rain. An uncovered roof in a rain storm can cause significant damage to the interior of a home. Most contractors without general public liability insurance are not financially secure enough to repair major damage to your home.
The option of not paying them does not work too well if they just don't come back. Uninsured contractors can work much cheaper than properly insured ones, so weigh the risks before hiring the uninsured to save a few bucks for the insurance company.
Licensing requirements for contractors vary greatly from city to city and from state to state. Some have no requirements at all, leaving anyone with a hammer and a ladder instantly in the roofing business, some cities require limited testing at the local level before issuing a license, and some require that contractors pass a test approved by the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) or Block and Associates.
Beware of Fly by Night Roofers
When a severe hail storm hits an area, most if not all local roofing companies are ill equipped to handle the increased demand on their business. Most of them will be approached by "stormers or fly by night roofers" and offered a significant amount of money to lease their name and phone number and almost all of them will reach some kind of agreement with the stormer.
With bad weather, you can imagine there are a lot of these types of roofing companies. Elite General Contracting has never and will never sell out to stormers! Home improvement contractors will instantly be in the roofing business, as well as anyone else with a phone number and yellow page listing for lease. This leaves you, the consumer, with no idea who you are hiring, where they are from, or what their real reputation is. The local contractor that doesn't sell out is forced to supplement his labor force from wherever he can, once again leaving you in the dark as to who is repairing your home and how qualified they really are.
Use caution, choose a company that is actually what and who it says it is. Elite General Contracting has been and always will be family owned and operated.
Although metal has been used as a roofing material for hundreds of years, we receive many questions from property owners curious about installing a metal roof, but uncertain it is for them.
While the cost to install a metal roof is often higher than to use other roofing materials, metal roofs save quite a bit of money in the long run, due to their many advantages over non-metal roofs.
- Green solutions
- Many people are surprised to learn that metal roofing is an environmentally friendly choice. Metal roofing:
- helps to reflect the heat and energy of the sun, and can help to lower energy bills.
- is lightweight, requiring less energy for transport.
- can be made almost entirely from recycled materials
- can easily be recycled at the end of its life (even centuries-old copper and lead roofs can be recycled!)
- has a long service life, reducing the consumption associated with replacing less durable roofing materials
Good business sense
Metal roofing is popular with business and industry because it's "green" in more ways than one.
- Asphalt shingles usually need replacement within about 10 years, while quality metal roofing can last more than a century.
- Good thermal performance in both hot and cold climates helps to reduce heating and cooling costs.
- A well-built metal roof rarely needs maintenance.
- Modern alloys and roof coatings give decades of corrosion resistance.
- Metal roofing panels can be made to look like most conventional roofing materials, including asphalt shingles, clay tiles, and slate.
Durable in Any Weather
A metal roof is also attractive when high winds, heavy snow or hail damage are regular concerns.
- Painted metal roofs are very good at shedding snow, reducing stressful accumulation and runoff in areas with significant snowfall.
- Metal roofing is very resistant to hail and wind, which erode and damage other common roof materials.
- A metal roof is not flammable and resists damage by flames or sparks.
- Thanks to a wide variety of metals and coatings available, the properties of a metal roof can easily be made to suit a given location (even extreme climates and marine environments).
Metal roofs tend to be quieter than other roofing, and effectively seal a house from rain, hail, and bad weather. They are a popular choice for all types of buildings. If you're interested in metal roofing, please Elite General Contracting to learn more!
There is probably nothing that attracts scam artists faster than disaster, and unfortunately the roofing industry has its share of shady characters. The main goal of Elite General Contracting is to eliminate as many as possible. We are going to list a few to be aware of: (1) Paying money up front: Never give any contractor money for work not done, or to buy materials. Any reputable contractor has a supplier that will work with them. (2) Substantially lower bids:
This can work in a couple of ways.
The most common is adding to the contract after the job is done. Crooks know that the insurance company is paying replacement and will submit the final bill reflecting the actual cost. Most insurance companies will pay the invoice. In some cases the bid is just flat too low and doesn't cover all the costs involved and still allow a profit. In this case bills don't get paid. It might be the phone bill, the rent or the tax bill, but there isn't enough money to go around.
So what, you say. In most cases it is the material bill that doesn't get paid, and the supplier has the right to put a lien on your property forcing you to pay the material bill. Remember someone delivered material to your property, and it needs to be paid for.
(3) Submitting two invoices: One to the home owner and one to the insurance company at an inflated price. This by any definition is insurance fraud and is illegal, and from time to time is prosecuted. If you decide to use a contractor willing to do this don't be mad if you get cheated.
You knew you were dealing with a crook from the start. In any case there is no need to be afraid, just be cautious and aware. There are lots of reputable companies to choose from that will do exactly what they say they'll do. Elite General Contracting is in that group.
Elite General Contracting estimators have all worked numerous Insurance Repair projects before being called to your home. Most have a background in the roofing industry, and some are former insurance adjusters that we have hired for their knowledge of that industry. In any case, all are well qualified to work with you in assuring you the best possible value and the most out of the money available to restore your home.
Our estimators are also available to be your advocate, if needed, to help give you information about your project and what is required from a certified and licensed contractor. Sometimes, when requested, they will work hand in hand with your adjuster to get your repairs estimated properly according to the current Building Codes and Manufacturers Installation requirements. Since we have already covered the statement of loss and the hold back money, don't be afraid to show Elite General Contracting estimators your project estimate. We will have already done our measurements and figured our price before we ask to see the statement. The most common problem we face every storm is a wrong roof measurement or missed building code required items. It is no one's fault and not intentional but will need to be addressed.
Sometimes it is the adjuster that is wrong and sometimes it is us, but it is important that the adjuster's measurements and ours are close. Sharing the information on the statement with our estimators also ensures that you are getting a fair offer from the insurance company, and that they are allowing you money to cover everything that needs to be done per the construction trades requirements and national building codes. Remember your adjuster may have been inexperienced and might have missed something on the statement making your settlement lower than it should be so you will need to produce a certified contractor's estimate for their review in this case.
If our estimators have given you a price that is close to the insurance estimate there is no reason not to sign the proposal, pick a shingle color, and get on our list. You won't find a better company to deal with and any price shopping you do is for the insurance company and could put your project at jeopardy with shoddy work from a cheap contractor .
Without question the most important part of our organization are our roofing crews. Some of our crews have been with us since we began, and all of our crews are crews that we are familiar with. One thing you can be assured of is that our crews were ROOFERS way before it hailed in your neighborhood. Our hail damage crews assure that all roofing will be done properly, and that the finished product will pass inspection.
Also, and probably more important, is the pride the crews take in the clean-up. They understand the pride and effort you have invested in your property, and will take all the precautions possible to protect your landscaping. Elite General Contracting's roofing crews are the best available and have been screened carefully. Other contractors may well be using crews that could not meet our standards.
We understand all the concern the public has with hiring a repair service that is new to the area. Over the years we have heard them all. In any community where we are providing a service we have someone available to honor our warranties. We are confident in the quality of our work, and provide a 24 month warranty on all services. Because of the experience of our crews our call back rate is extremely low.
Most, if not all, roofs will be weather tested while the crews are still in the area so response will be immediate if any problem exists. If a problem arises later our local representative will respond within 48 hours, and repairs will be made as soon as possible. Everyone associated with Elite General Contracting knows that this company is based on service, and that our aim is to provide it to every customer, every time.