1- Should I show my insurance estimate to a contractor?
In short, the answer is YES. This may not feel quite right, and we understand. After all, showing your cards in a negotiation is never a good practice. However, insurance claims are normal sales transactions...in reverse. YOU have the price to do the work, not the contractor. Your insurance company drives that dollar amount through their estimate and they won't pay more than is "acceptable." However, the BIGGEST reason to share your estimate is because if you accept a lower BID than what your ESTIMATE reads for your roof....and your contractor invoices for that lower BID amount...your insurance company will LOWER your ESTIMATE and keep the difference and STILL charge your DEDUCTIBLE from that lower amount. You just saved the insurance company all of that money, when they were offering more. Your deductible is your responsibility to pay and insurance policies are "PER INCURRED" policies...meaning, they only owe what you pay...minus your deductible. A knowledgeable and honest contractor can ensure accuracy in your estimate and show you how to get best roof for that amount.
2- Can I keep the money and not complete the storm repairs?-
Yes you can. However, you will lose coverage to the items you were paid to repair by the insurance company. You will also not receive your the depreciation amount kept by your insurance company. It is wise to complete the repairs to retain full coverage on your home. The roof is the most important item in your hail claim. So if you are having trouble paying your deductible, you can use money from gutters or other items to put towards paying your deductible. Again, you will lose future coverage to those gutters or items not repaired.
3- Should I sign an agreement that requires me to pay to get of the agreement with my roofer?-
Absolutely not. If a roofer shows up immediately after a storm and before your adjuster inspects your home, do not sign anything until you have your estimate in hand from your insurance company. You should never lock yourself into doing work by having to pay to get out of an agreement. Most policies require that you complete the repairs cited in the estimate within one year of filing the claim or being paid by the carrier. You can take your time in doing the repairs, so long as your damages do not cause additional damage while you wait. It is required by most policies to mitigate future damage to your home while waiting to complete the full repairs, otherwise the carrier is not responsible for those additional damages.
4- Is my estimate amount always correct from the insurance company?-
No. It is possible that your adjuster made a mistake or accidentally missed items during their inspection. Insurance adjusters are there to inspect and get your claim in motion as soon as possible. Supplements can be made to correct an estimate and is very common. Your insurance adjuster is there to help but will not necessarily create a perfect estimate for repairs. Working with your contractor will help clear these items up, which is why it is important to share your estimate with your contractor.
5- Can I install a metal roof with my insurance money from my shingle roof?
Yes. You can upgrade your roof or home with your insurance money any way you like. However, the insurance company will not pay for the upgrade as they are only obligated to pay for the items that were damaged. If you have a 3 tab shingle roof, they owe you for a 3 tab shingle roof. You can use that money towards a better architectural shingle or a metal roof and when the contractor invoices the carrier, the depreciation is still owed by the carrier.
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