You just endured a nasty hail storm or howling wind event. Mother nature left your roof looking like it lost a heavyweight fight! After filing an insurance claim, you find out that your roofer will get a second check to cover additional costs. “Wait a minute,” you think, “Shouldn’t I get the depreciation check? It’s my house and my policy!” An excellent question, my friend. Let’s walk through this together, so you understand precisely why the roofer gets that extra payment.
Brushing Up On Insurance 101
Before we dive into depreciation checks, a quick insurance claims refresher is helpful. There are two primary types of coverage for roof replacements: actual cash value (ACV) and replacement cost value (RCV). ACV covers the depreciated value of your roof, while RCV includes materials and labor to replace it new. Most homeowners have RCV since it offers more protection.
When you start an insurance claim after storm damage, an adjuster inspects your roof and provides an itemized estimate. The insurance company will pay this initial amount minus your deductible. However, they hold back depreciation until the work outlined in the estimate gets completed. We’ll explore why in more detail soon!
Navigating The Claims Ladder
Now let’s break down the step-by-step process for an insurance claim. After the initial approval, your insurance provider sends the first check to cover a portion of the roof replacement cost minus the deductible. Think of this as a downpayment on the work to be done.
Next, you choose a reputable local roofer and supplement the insurance estimate if needed. The roofer you select will follow the scope outlined in the claim documents precisely. Once the new beautiful roof gets installed, you or the contractor provide proof that everything in the claim got addressed correctly. This critical phase is called “proof of completion.”
Finally, after passing inspection, your insurance company releases the second check to pay the roofer the full amount owed for their services. This payment, known as recoverable depreciation, covers labor and any supplies not included in the first check. Let’s talk more about why the roofers get this money directly next!
Why Contractors Receive The Depreciation Check
You might be wondering why the roofer gets this second insurance check instead of repaying you or giving it to the homeowner. Here are two compelling reasons:
First, roofers complete the work thoroughly as outlined in the original insurance estimate and claim documents. They must follow the scope expecting no payment beyond what gets outlined by the adjuster.
Second, depreciation money pays for the remaining labor, materials, permits, and any hauled-off debris that the initial check didn’t cover. The contractor has to front all these costs until reimbursed for fulfilling the work through the depreciation payment.
Essentially, the check pays your roofer what they are still owed. Without it, their firm eats significant expenses out of pocket.
Now let’s talk about why taking that check without finishing the work considered insurance fraud!
Maintaining An Ethical High Ground
As a homeowner, making an insurance claim can feel frustrating when cost confusion and coverage complexities arise. Some may feel tempted to cut corners with contractors or keep leftover claim money. However, failing to complete all repairs defined in the approved scope of work constitutes insurance fraud.
Unfortunately, fraud frequency grows after severe weather seasons, accounted for nearly 10% of property claim dollars in 2022. However, you can avoid this slippery slope through transparent communication and trust with contractors.
Reputable local roofers aim to follow insurance guidelines to protect homeowners. They will openly share pricing tied directly to your claim’s specifications without padding costs or upselling unnecessary products. Developing rapport with contractors dispels distrust about who gets reimbursed through depreciation.
Working as a team with mutually understood expectations, roofers make repairs correctly the first time while homeowners gain peace of mind. Now let’s explore tactics for getting your insurer to cover complete roof replacements after storms!
Securing Full Roof Replacements
Did you know that insurance will finance entire new roofs after severe weather in certain cases? If damage originates from covered events like hail, high winds, falling trees, or heavy snow, you may qualify for a roof replacement.
Criteria often depends on the age and condition of your existing roof alongside the intensity of the storm. For example, tornado force winds can destroy enough shingles and decking to warrant full tear-off and installations rather than minor repairs.
Use smartphone cameras to document damage right away before cleanup begins. Capture wide images of the full roof plus zoomed-in shots showing dents, missing granules, and fractures in shingles. Thorough photo evidence helps justify roof replacements to hesitant adjusters.
If inspectors deny full replacements after severe storms, request a detailed reason explaining why in writing. Sometimes pushing back on sketchy denials opens the claim back up for further review to get you the coverage you deserve. Don’t hesitate to call BS if an adjuster’s report seems suspiciously superficial or dismissal.
Bumping Up The Claim Value
In some cases, you might complete the insurance process only to receive underwhelming claim checks despite having replacement cost value policies. Sadly, this outcome gets reported frequently after impactful hail and wind events.
If payouts fall critically short, first verify what coverage limitations exist for roofs over ten or twenty years old in your policy fine print. Next, call the claims manager to walk through the adjuster’s itemized estimate. Ask thoughtful questions about material price points, labor rates, waste disposal fees, and permitting costs.
If the claim value appears less than local fair market prices, request supplemental payments while sharing contractor quotes verifying realistic overages. Print photos, inspection reports, and even statements from neighbors can add legitimacy to claims appeals.
Persistence and politeness pay off more often than not. One family I know secured an additional $12,000 for their roof replacement by providing documentation from three reputable area contractors. Their insurance provider realized the original payout wouldn’t cut it. Remember to stay solution-focused in these talks instead of accusatory.
Let’s Wrap Up What We Learned
We’ve covered extensive ground explaining why roofers receive depreciation checks, how to avoid insurance fraud, and strategies for maximizing claim value. Here are some key takeaways:
- Replacement cost value insurance pays to restore storm-damaged roofs to like-new condition. Actual cash value covers the depreciated value but leaves financial gaps.
- Roofers receive depreciation checks from insurance companies as reimbursement for completing repairs/replacements according to approved estimates.
- Failing to finish roof work specified in insurance estimates yet still collecting claim checks constitutes fraud. Work closely and transparently with reputable contractors to avoid this risk altogether.
- Even after severe weather destruction, insurance providers may initially deny financing for full roof replacements. Provide thorough documentation through photos, multiple contractor estimates or statements from neighbors supporting your request.
While insurance claims include headaches at times, arming yourself with knowledge about the process, coverages, and working collaboratively with local contractors helps smooth out the road to getting your roof back in top shape!