As spring approaches, so do the storms (and storm chasers!) that come with it. When hit by a hailstorm, some homeowners may wonder about the best course of action to take and it can get confusing when being bombarded by storm chasers telling everyone to make a claim with their insurance company. I just had a friend tell me today that last week his wife had seven different roofing companies knock on their door, in just one day, offering a roof inspection (some even offered to waive or "eat" the deductible, which is illegal!). We recommend obtaining a roof inspection from a local, qualified roofing contractor PRIOR to making an insurance claim. In some circumstances, the damage may not really warrant a valid claim and only minor repairs may be required.
How can you find a reputable roofing company? You can visit the North Texas Roofing Contractors Association (NTRCA) or the Roofing Contractors Association of Texas (RCAT) to find a member in your area. (Check your local/state roofing association or BBB if outside of Texas.) NTRCA has a wonderful list of questions you need to ask to help you in making your selection. And remember, if a roofing contractor offers to waive your deductible, BEWARE, this is illegal and can make you a party to committing insurance fraud. It is the law that you must pay your deductible!
If a claim is warranted, it should be made in a timely manner. Most insurance companies allow you one year from the date of loss to make a claim, while some have even lowered that window down to six months. We recommend making a claim while the hail damage is "fresh" and clearly visible. After time, UV and weather exposure can begin to affect the hail damage. Markings on wood and metal can begin to fade. Excess granular loss on the shingles can occur leaving the matting exposed to further weathering and damage. Such damage can even begin to appear as what is called "blistering". True shingle blistering is usually caused by either a manufacturer's defect or improper ventilation and is not covered by homeowners insurance policies. If a claim is made several months after the hail damage has occurred, the insurance adjuster may have a hard time determining the true cause of loss. We have seen instances (while often rare), where insurance companies have denied older hail damage claims due to "blistering" or "manufacturer defect", leaving the homeowner to replace the roof at their own expense to avoid cancellation of the policy.
At Outback Roofing, we are Haag Engineering Certified Roof Inspectors and are members of the North Texas Roofing Contractor Association (NTRCA) and Roofing Contractors Association of Texas (RCAT), as well as the Dallas Better Business Bureau (BBB). We work with several local insurance agents to provide free roof inspection services to their clients, to determine whether making a claim is necessary. While we cannot act as a claims adjuster, we educate our customers on the insurance process and we go over all the property damage that was found, so they can make sure all damage is accounted for in the claim. Call us today to schedule your free roof inspection and see how we can help you.
- Jennifer Crutcher
Jennifer is a licensed insurance adjuster in the state of Texas, a Haag Engineering Certified Residential Roof Inspector and is passionate about consumer protection and education. She works at Outback Roofing, a family owned and locally operated company, where she is responsible for daily office operations. Jennifer resides with her family and two German shepherds in the Dallas area. A little known fact is that she secretly aspires to be an ice dancer!