What to Know to Make Sure Your Roof is Covered In Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy

We are excited to introduce Dean Hansen, of Farmer’s Insurance, in this month’s newsletter. Dean has been a local insurance agent since 2008. He is sharing critical information on homeowner’s insurance and what you need to to know about protection, specifically for your roof. 

dean

 

From the Desk of Dean Hansen:

 

Insurance and Your Roof

When it comes to your Texas Homeowners insurance, proper coverage for your home’s roof is vital. While shopping for home insurance, many quotes that you receive will not disclose all of the coverage and exclusions; including weather-related damage claims to the roof. Low prices for homeowners polices are enticing. Policy documents can be long and confusing; hence the truth about your coverage may not be exposed until a Wind or Hail claim is reported and an adjuster explains how exclusions are limiting the claim settlement amount.

 

The key to having proper coverage is to have a relationship with an experienced Insurance Professional who is interested in your financial well-being. A proactive agent should make time annually (at minimum) to review and discuss your insurance needs with you. This will enable you to be smarter about your insurance, make educated adjustments and eliminate surprises.

 

Remember that the agreement that is in place when damage occurs is the agreement that your insurance company will honor at the time of a claim. There are no do-overs or backdating for changes to coverage after the damage occurs.

•             Does your policy cover “Replacement” of the roof or just pay for the remaining life value? “Actual Cash Value” (ACV) will reduce the amount of your claim payment.

•             Know your deductible. This is the amount that will be deducted from the claim total before the claim payment is paid. Homeowners policy deductibles for Wind and Hail are a percentage of the reconstruction cost of your home listed on your declarations page (minimum is 1%). For example if your home is insured for a reconstruction cost of $250,000, then your Wind and Hail deductible of 1% would be $2,500 and 2% would be $5,000, etc..

•             Are the metal components of your roof covered? Many policies exclude cosmetic or “Marring” damage to the gutters, vents, pipe jacks and other metal roof components. Coverage to replace marred metal roof components can be added onto some policies for an additional premium.

•             Within what time frame are you required to file a claim with the insurance company? How long do you have to complete the repairs once reported?

•             Should you call your agent first or are you required to call the carrier directly?

For help with those questions and more information on home insurance and claims processes call the home insurance experts at 972-727-9705.

 

Dean Hansen

Hansen Insurance Agency, LLC

780 N Watters Rd Ste 140

Allen, TX 75013

 

dhansen3@farmersagent.com

http://www.farmersagent.com/dhansen3

Office Hours: 8:30-5:30 M-F and Saturday by appointment

 

Getting Your Gutters Fall Ready

Are your gutters fall ready? Fall can take a toll on your gutter system and home if it is not cleared and running properly. Make sure to check that your downspouts are cleared out. Your gutters will be filled with debris and fallen leaves over the next few months. It is important to make sure all gutters and downspouts are ready for this season’s heavy load. For a thorough gutter cleaning, give us a call and we will hop to it!Gutters Fall Ready

Beat The August Heat With This!

August is historically the hottest month of the year! Check out SolarHide which is the reflective underlayment we use sometimes to beat the heat. We love SolarHide because of the following reasons:

  • Attic temperatures up to 30 degrees cooler when properly installed as a radiant barrier
  • Synthetic & 100% recyclable
  • One step underlayment & radiant barrier
  • Very durable, exceeds Miami Dade specifications
  • 10 sq. roll (48″ wide x 250′ long)
  • An energy saving addition for any roof system, including asphalt shingles

solarhide-roll

This radiant barrier sheet helps to reflect up to 97% of the heat that occurs. It assists with energy savings and substantially helps with cooling your home. This underlayment is versatile and can be used with most roofing systems including metal, wood, slate, clay tile, stone, coated steel, concrete tile, and asphalt shingles.

Kangaroo Contractors can give you a free roof inspection and can also provide a free energy audit to see if SolarHide or any other radiant barrier/ventilation option is good for your home. Give us a call, and we will hop to it!

This SolarHide information and more at http://ecochiefproducts.com/solarhide/.

 

Waiving Deductibles: Legal? Ethical?

new roof

Curious if Kangaroo Contractors can “absorb” your deductible? And how this works? Our peer, Chris Tulp of Premier Roofing Company in Denver, Colorado nailed this topic right on the head. Check out what he has to say about this situation:

“How is it that roofing contractors are “waiving” deductibles?

Well, in the simplest of terms, they’re fibbing to the insurance and mortgage companies. A homeowner’s insurance policy is a contract between the homeowner and the insurance company. Per this contract, homeowners trade annual premiums in exchange for protection from catastrophic damages to their properties minus a deductible. Just as you would have the legal protection if your insurance carrier were in breach of contract and refused to pay a claim, your insurer has legal protection from you if you fail to meet your obligations (i.e. you or your contractor provide inaccurate information to save on your deductible or premiums). Many contractors will advertise that a yard sign can be used as an “advertising credit” for the deductible amount. If they are planning to invoice for the full insurance claim, they must divulge in their invoice to the insurer the cost of work to be provided on the project. If they are charging the insurance provider $10,000 for work they actually do for $9,000, the roofer is inflating the price for goods sold to account for this discrepancy. Insurers would balk at the notion of subsidizing advertising for contractors…if they knew about it of course.

If an insurance company knows the work is being completed for less, they will provide less money. For example: If the insurer finds out that the homeowner was able to complete the work for $9,000 instead of $10,000, they would only release $8,000 total instead of $9,000 – again forcing the insured to pay the $1,000 deductible to the contractor. Long story short – the discrepancy between the price billed to the insurer and the price billed to the homeowner is technically a breach of contract between the insured and the insurer – regardless of whether it was facilitated by a contractor.

Some roofers will argue that it is entirely up to the contractor to decide what they are doing to get the work. If they want to pay a customer $1,000 to get their business, they should be allowed to do that regardless of whether an insurer is involved because the market should dictate what the acquisition cost of a customer should be. If the contractor is literally cutting a check back to the homeowner for “advertising” technically this would require that a Form-1099 be issued to the homeowner as the Federal Government requires transactions greater than $600 to be declared and for the homeowner to pay income tax on that transaction. I doubt contractors that cut checks back to homeowners are collecting Social Security numbers and properly filing their taxes for them – leaving another important detail out of the conversation.

Whether this is a crime for which homeowners or restoration contractors are likely to get caught is an entirely different argument as I wouldn’t recommend trying it either way. It strikes me as sketchy at best to falsify information you give your insurance company or to work with someone offering to do it for you. How many legitimate companies have at the center of their business model a plan to provide misleading information to the party cutting the checks?

By the same token, I can see why it happens so often: If I were new to the insurance claim process and a seemingly legitimate restoration contractor offered to absorb my deductible, I wouldn’t think for a minute that I could be in breach of contract.

In the end, if your insurer were to catch you or your contractor, my guess is that your contractor wouldn’t take all of the blame. So be cautious with contractors like these, they may be cutting corners on your project, or worse yet, putting your name on a falsified invoice they provide to your insurer. In the end, the old adage: “If it sounds too good to be true- it is,” explains everything better than I can, so be sure to do your research and choose a company with a long track record of customer satisfaction. Don’t let your guard down; check references, never give money to a contractor before the materials show up, and make sure you’re not getting put in a situation where you may be breaking the law just to get a “better deal.”