Finding roof damage after a strong storm is stressful. Dealing with your insurance company and filing a roof damage claim is even more stressful.
That’s why you need to find a roofing contractor who can guide you through all the ins and outs of the insurance claim process. The problem is, there are a lot of roofing companies out there.
How are you supposed to find a great roofing contractor to handle your roof damage insurance claim with all the options available? That’s where these 5 tips come in.
For over 30 years, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has guided homeowners through the roof damage insurance claim process. Now we want to help you find a local roofing contractor who can do the same.
By the end of this article, you’ll have 5 tips you need for hiring a roofing contractor for a roof damage insurance claim.
1. Only look at roofing contractors who have a local address and phone number
When looking at contractors to hire for your roof damage insurance claim, you must hire one that’s local to your area.
Any potential roofing contractor must have a physical office location in your area and a local phone number. This ensures they’ll be around for the claim process, and you know where to find them if you ever have a problem with your roof.
Making sure they’re local is always something to look for in a roofing contractor, but it’s even more important when you have a roof damage insurance claim. This is because storm chasers will undoubtedly be in your area after a big storm.
These out-of-state companies come in immediately after the storm, undercut local roofing company prices, get the money, and move on to the next storm-hit town.
They don’t care about local codes or if they even properly install your roof. And once they leave your property, I guarantee they won’t answer the phone if you ever have a problem.
2. Every roofing contractor needs to be licensed, bonded, and insured
You need to make sure any potential roofing company is licensed, bonded, and insured in your state specifically. And don’t be afraid to ask any potential roofing contractor to see proof.
Below is a little breakdown of why each of these pieces of paperwork is important to you.
For a contractor to get a license, all they have to do is register with your state’s board of licensing contractors. The price of the job will determine what license they’ll need.
For example, a job over $3,000 requires a home improvement license and anything over $25,000 requires a general contractor’s license. Roofing contractors should have a general contractor’s license because a roof is a large investment.
A bond ensures that if a company goes out of business during the middle of a job or if there's a problem with the work and they don't fix it, then the customer can fall back on the bond company.
Being bonded means that a bonding company knows that a roofing contractor does business correctly and ethically. The bonding company puts up the bond because they know the contractor will do the job the right way.
All contractors should be fully insured with general liability, workman's comp, and a company vehicle insurance policy on all the vehicles owned and unowned.
General liability insurance and workman’s comp limits depend on the size of the contractor’s jobs and the state they’re in. If all they’re doing is small residential work, their general liability will not be as much as a company that does larger jobs.
If a roofing contractor isn’t licensed, bonded, and insured in your state, don’t even think about hiring them to handle your roof damage insurance claim. Otherwise, if something does go wrong during the actual project, you will have literally zero recourse.
3. It’s important to hire a roofing contractor who has experience working with roof damage insurance claims
While the two tips before this are crucial every hire, this hiring tip is specifically important for roof damage insurance claims. You must hire a roofing contractor with experience handling insurance claims.
Hiring a roofing contractor who regularly handles insurance work knows the insurance claim process, how to read your claim, supplement anything missing, and how to do the work in compliance with your insurance company. They can also save you from inadvertently committing insurance fraud.
If you have a Replacement Cost Value policy or RCV, (your insurance company pays to replace your roof), the work estimate might be less than what the insurance company agreed to pay. You don’t get to pocket the money that’s leftover.
Your RCV policy requires proof of completion to ensure the items that were included in the insurance estimate are included in the contractor’s scope of work. If you ask for a check on the recoverable depreciation (the amount an insurance company determines a roof has depreciated over time) but didn’t get the work done, your insurance company won’t pay the depreciation to you.
Hiring a roofing contractor who knows how to work with insurance claims helps in a lot of ways, but most importantly, it ensures you have a positive experience during a stressful time.
4. Find a roofing contractor that stands behind their work
The roofing contractor you hire has the biggest impact on the quality of your roof replacement. That’s why, no matter if you have a roof damage insurance claim or a retail project, you need to hire a roofing contractor that stands behind their work.
To do this, you need to find out what kind of workmanship warranty a roofing contractor offers. If they really take pride in their work, they’ll stand behind it even if something goes wrong.
However, workmanship warranties go anywhere from one year, two years, three years, five years, 10 years, 25 years, or even a lifetime. You need to hire one that offers at least a 10-year warranty, but you should really try to hire one that provides a lifetime warranty or close to it.
Every roofing company should offer you some kind of workmanship warranty. If a roofing contractor doesn’t offer a workmanship warranty, don’t even think about hiring them for your roof damage insurance claim.
5. Check out the recent reviews for every potential roofing contractor
There are so many ways to find a reputable roofer, plumber, carpenter, or any other service you’re looking for in today’s digital world. One of the best ways for homeowners to find a roofing company for a roof damage insurance claim is by looking at reviews.
When looking at reviews of any potential roofing contractors, make sure you’re looking at the last 2-3 months. This ensures you’re getting recent homeowner experiences, good or bad.
You can pull a lot of information from reviews that tell you if a roofing contractor does quality work and knows how to handle insurance claims. I’m not saying all the reviews you read are accurate because some people go to the extreme one way or the other.
However, if a roofing company stands behind their work, interacts positively with customers, and does things the right way, it’ll show in their reviews.
Get this checklist to ask potential roofing contractors the right questions
Now that you have these 5 tips, you’re ready to start looking for potential roofing contractors for your roof damage insurance claims. While these 5 tips are great, you’ll need to ask the right questions when meeting with potential roofing contractors.
That’s why we created a free checklist of Questions to Ask a Roofing Contractor. The 16 question checklist gives you all the questions all homeowners need to ask when sitting down or meeting with a potential roofing company.
The checklist also gives you the answers to look for after asking the questions. With it, you’ll have the power to make the right hiring decision for you and your roof damage insurance claim.
So, what are you waiting for? Keep going to get your free checklist of Questions to Ask a Roofing Contractor.
The team at Bill Ragan has proudly helped homeowners with their roof damage insurance claims in Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, and surrounding Middle Tennessee areas since 1990. We work with your insurance company to make the entire process as smooth as possible while ensuring your roof gets everything it needs.
If you’re local to Nashville, Tennessee, or surrounding areas, don’t hesitate to contact us for any of your insurance claim needs.