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Should You Show a Roofing Contractor Your Insurance Estimate?

May 10th, 2024 | 5 min. read

Should You Show a Roofing Contractor Your Insurance Estimate?

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Waking up in the morning after a huge storm and finding roof damage is a stressful experience. To add to that stress, you now have to deal with your insurance company and hoops to jump through.  

Dealing with insurance isn’t a fun experience, but a reputable roofing contractor can make all the difference. Once you go through the claim process and it’s approved, I guarantee the first thing they’re going to ask is to see your insurance estimate. 

But should you do it? And if you should, why?

For over 30 years, Bill Ragan Roofing has helped homeowners understand every aspect of dealing with their insurance claim for roof damage. Because of this, I’ll help you understand if sharing your insurance paperwork is really that important. 

Below, you’ll learn if you should show a roofing contractor your insurance estimate and why they need to see it. 

Should you show a roofing contractor your insurance estimate?

Yes, you need to show a roofing contractor your insurance estimate and any other paperwork your insurance company provides. In fact, any reputable company should turn away any insurance-related work if they can’t see the paperwork. 

Your insurance estimate contains crucial information that must be reviewed before moving forward with the project. However, there’s much more to it. 

Let’s look at why you should show your insurance estimate to a potential roofing contractor.

The roofer needs to know the scope of work approved by your insurance company

The main reason you should show your insurance estimate to your roofing contractor is so they know the scope of work. Once your claim is approved, the initial estimate includes everything that needs to be done, the costs, and a payout to cover it. 

If they don’t know the work that was approved by insurance, you can run into major problems (which we’ll talk about next). However, I also guarantee the initial insurance estimate and payout won’t match a reputable roofing contractor’s prices. 

If you don’t show your insurance paperwork, they won’t know you even have a claim. This means your roofing contractor’s estimate may even be higher, and you’ll be stuck paying out of pocket to make up the difference. 

Anything missing from the estimate will get supplemented

As I just said, the insurance company’s initial estimate won’t cover a reputable roofing contractor’s prices. This is simply because they leave certain line items off, like dump fees and profit roofing companies need to stay in business.  

If you have an RCV (Replacement Cost Value) policy, the insurance company should pay for everything your chosen roofer needs to do the job correctly and profitably. This is where supplementing your insurance estimate comes into play. 

Well, you won’t be able to do this if you don’t show your roofing contractor the insurance estimate. But if you do, you’ll get every line item (including local codes), labor, dump fees, overhead, profit, and everything in between fully or mostly covered.

Every roofing company helps homeowners supplement differently. For example, I provide a checklist with every line item that an insurance estimate should include so they can review a claim, add what’s missing, and send it back to their insurance company for approval.  

You may get pushback on supplementing, especially around things like overhead. However, if you have an RCV policy, the insurance company should cover all or almost all line items.

It can save you from inadvertently committing fraud 

With a Replacement Cost Value policy, your insurance estimate’s scope of work is to restore your old roof to a brand-new version of itself. First, you’ll get a check for the actual cost value of your roof while they hold back the recoverable depreciation. 

After your roof replacement is complete, you’ll provide proof that it was done per the claim, and then you’ll get a second check covering most or the rest of the cost. But if your roof wasn’t replaced in accordance with your claim paperwork and you request the depreciation check, you’re committing insurance fraud. 

Unfortunately, this can happen inadvertently if the roofing contractor doesn’t follow the scope of work correctly. However, some people outright commit fraud by leaving off certain line items after insurance approves everything and keeping the leftovers. 

By showing your insurance paperwork to your roofing contractor, they can follow the approved claim exactly to ensure there’s no insurance fraud. This is why I won’t work with a homeowner if they don’t show me their insurance paperwork. 

Insurance companies tell you to show your paperwork to the roofing contractor

The simplest reason to show your insurance estimate to your roofing contractor is because insurance companies say to. In the fine print, most insurance companies literally have a statement telling you to share all claim paperwork with the company doing the work. 

Some examples of this are: 

Travelers: “Therefore, you and/or contractor should review this estimate carefully and let us know immediately if you have any questions prior to beginning any work.”

Liberty Mutual Insurance: “We encourage you to work with the contractor of your choice in completing the repairs to your home. If you or your contractor has any questions or concerns about this estimate, please contact me at the number shown above.”

Erie Insurance: “Please show the contractor a copy of our estimate so that they may call us should they have any questions.”

It builds trust between you and the roofing contractor 

Once your insurance claim is approved, getting multiple quotes is pointless. This eliminates the sales process, which eliminates any incentive to oversell or make promises they can’t deliver. 

By showing your insurance estimate and reviewing it together, trust is built between you and your contractor. You trust the contractor for their honesty and for breaking down your insurance claim. 

The contractor trusts you for sharing all relevant information so they can do the job right the first time. And not only is trust established, but a partnership as well.

What do you need to know about the insurance process for roof damage?

Now you know why you should show your roofing contractor your insurance estimate. It’s the best way to be on the same page with your roofing contractor. 

After all, you’re on the same team. The important thing is to find a roofer you trust and go into the process with transparency. 

Unfortunately, the process comes with plenty of questions and confusion. With this confusion comes scams, fraud, and being taken advantage of by bad roofers. 

I don’t want this to happen to you. That’s why I wrote another article breaking down the things every homeowner needs to know about getting a new roof through insurance. 

Check out 7 Things You Need to Know About the Insurance Process for Roof Damage to learn what to know and expect when filing a claim for your storm-damaged roof.

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