Insurance Company…. Friend or Foe?

I personally handle hundreds of insurance claims annually and there are many things that need to be clarified in the insurance industry.

1. When you file a claim can your rates go up or your policy cancelled? Answer: Your rate is determined by amount of claims paid out in a particular zip code. If a catastrophe happens and all your city/zip code is in need of repair, then your rates are likely to rise. Many people hold out so theirs won’t rise, but it will. File the claim…don’t just pay for your neighbor’s upgrade…get a new roof too!

2. My insurance loves me and my contractor is out to get me! Answer: Most contractors are just in to make a dollar and get out. Yes, there are bad contractors out there and they are exposed daily. But, you must understand that your insurance company is writing the check. They want to pay as little as possible. They aren’t bad people…just good business-minded people. There is also a misconception of an agent’s role in a claim. When you buy a car, you do not take it to your sales person for service. In fact, they don’t usually know when you are in for service. Agents are independent sales individuals for major companies but they can assist you in the process if you have problems. If you are having trouble with your insurance claims handler, call your agent. Don’t punish the agent because of a poor service claim. Agents can sway the outcome of a claim because they know you and have personal knowledge about you. Sometimes there is bad information in the system that can affect the outcome of a claim. Get your agent involved!

I’ll post more on this subject another time….

How do I know if I need a new roof?

How do I know if I need a new roof?

Hail Damage, wind damage, age, and algae growth are all factors in the condition of your roof. So, let’s breakdown each potential hazard.

Hail: Hail falls at a very fast rate of speed and hits your shingle. There are factors as to how the hail will damage your roof. The first issue is size. Hail can range from pea sized all the way to Softballs. Most homeowners notice their vehicle damage after a hailstorm but do not realize what can happen to a roof. Also, hail falls overnight and many times the residents are asleep and you do not even realize hail fell. Other factors that affect the amount of damage hail makes is the shape of the hail. Some hail has jagged edges and some are very smooth.

The biggest problem with a hail-damaged roof is that you cannot see the damage from the ground. You will see a definite black mark in the shingle where the hail compromised the granules. Granules will be found around drip lines and at the downspouts which give an indication how much damage occurred.

Wind: Wind damage is a little more prevalent and can be detected from the ground. If wind has reached speeds higher than what your shingle is rated you will see lifted edges, bent shingles, and even patches of shingles blown off and on the ground.

Age: I always laugh when an adjuster says that a roof has experienced “normal wear and tear” because there is not such thing as normal. Thermal expansion greatly determines the life of a shingle. In areas such as TX, a shingle cannot be expected to last as long as a milder climate area such as CA. The sun’s heat is a huge contributor of shingle breakdown. Your shingle has a life expectancy given by the manufacturer. It is wise to have a free inspection annually.

Algae Growth: Atlas shingles has a new campaign about stopping the algae apocalypse. Although this is strong verbiage, algae growth can contribute to shingle integrity loss. New shingles are listed as AR (algae resistant) by adding copper or other metals into the shingle granules. If you see black streaking on the roof, you need to have you roof inspected to ensure it is in good, working condition.

A free inspection can save you lots of time, money, and potential damage that your insurance will not cover. Call us today for a free, no-obligation inspection.