GREENSBORO, N.C. — With all the severe storms we've had since the beginning of January, with all the wind and hail, you might be noticing your neighbors are getting new roofs, and more companies are leaving their cards.
But if you don't see any damage outside and there are no leaks inside, should you be concerned? I recently had to ask myself that same question. The good thing is, getting a roofing company to take a look at your roof is free.
The roofer will give you their estimate and tell you if your roof is simply just old or if there is damage that you can make an insurance claim. We're going to focus on making an insurance claim, because I just lived this, in fact, the roofers were on my roof this weekend.
When you call your insurance company, they're going to ask you when the damage happened. Be prepared to give an estimated date. Next, your insurance company sends out an adjuster. They write up a report on the damage they see.
Now, in my case, the first adjustor didn't think there was as much damage as the roofer. What do you do in that situation? I had to take my own 2WTK advice and I asked for a second adjuster to look at it. Don’t feel bad about doing that. It's not being a problem consumer, it's being a wise consumer. The worst that happens is, both adjusters come to the same conclusion.
Here's the big lesson I learned because I was trying to get the roofer and the adjuster on the same page, the same appointments, etc.
The insurance company deals with you, you are their customer. They don't deal with the roofer. They don't send the roofer a check, they don't sign a contract with the roofer-- you do.
None of us come out of the womb knowing everything about getting a roof or making a claim. I am constantly asking questions and repeating back the answers so I know we are all on the same page. I often ask the question-- What am I not asking about that I should be aware of?
HIRING A CONTRACTOR
1. Don't go with the first person you meet for the job. Get at least three offers to see the differences in prices. Remember, the cheapest isn't always the best.
2. Get a price and the time frame of the job from start to finish, estimated price, and later a firm price. Don't forget references. To be perfectly clear, get all of this in writing!
3. Be sure the person you hire is licensed and insured, that's really important. And even if they're referred by someone, Google them and check with the Better Business Bureau to see if they have done business under a different name. If so, that could be a red flag. A Google search might also turn up a criminal record. That may not disqualify a contractor but it's at least good to know.
4. If you are going to use an app-based service to refer someone to you, don't assume they have been checked out.
5. When you check the insurance, see the paperwork, don't take their word for it.
The biggest take-a-way is to NEVER pay all the costs upfront. You should pay 1/3 before the project begins, 1/3 at the start of the project, and the last 1/3 at the end when work is finished.
At times, there are discounts for paying in cash. Make sure you get written invoices for each payment. The rule of thumb is to use a credit card so in cash you need to dispute or withhold payment for some reason, you can.