When faced with possible storm damage, what is a homeowner to do? What steps ensure greater success with your insurance company in approving your claim if damage is found? Phillips Home Improvements suggests that you first contact a professional roofing company to walk you hand-in-hand through the process. Phillips’ CEO and President, Jason Phillips, suggests the below steps to a smoother claim experience.
The 11-Step Process for Navigating Homeowners Insurance
- Call a trusted roofing company like Phillips to perform a free, thorough inspection of your property to identify damage.
- If damage is found, ask the company about the last storm date in your area if you’re unsure of the date of occurrence.
- Instead of calling your local insurance agent, call the National Claim # for your home insurance provider. They are open 24/7. You can refer to The Insurance Information Institute major insurance carrier phone number list to quickly and easily find the number for most national insurance carriers.
- Once you’ve placed a claim, your insurance company will assign an adjuster and he/she will call to inform you of his/her contact and an adjuster appointment will be set within 48 hours.
- Notify your contractor of the date and time of the adjuster meeting.
- A reputable company will be happy to meet the adjuster with you. If only exterior damage is found, the homeowner does not need to be present for the adjuster meeting.
- If your insurance carrier denies the claim, a good home improvement company like Phillips Home Improvements can triage the problem and escalate the process. Scroll down to find out what to do if insurance denies your claim.
- If your insurance carrier approves your claim, the adjuster will provide a claim summary and first insurance check to you, the homeowner.
- When you’ve received the first insurance check and summary, notify your contractor ASAP to schedule a contract signing.
- Once the contract has been signed and the contractor has received your initial insurance check, the roof repair or replacement and any other contract work can begin. (Remember that Texas state law HB2102 requires that your deductible be paid in full to the insurance company. Did you know that Phillips Home Improvements offers financing to help with deductible coverage? We’re happy to help!)
- A reputable contractor will take over from this point and you can breathe a sigh of relief. When you work with Phillips Home Improvements, we make the rest of the process easy! On occasion, insurance companies miss items needed to perform a repair or roof replacement. This is known as a supplement. Phillips Home Improvements will handle all supplements and advocate on the homeowner’s behalf with your insurance company. Any approved supplements you receive will then be due to your contractor. You will need to endorse supplement checks and provide them to your contractor.
Sometimes it’s challenging to know who to call when disaster strikes your home or one of your appliances breaks down. How do you know whether your issue is covered by your home warranty service or your homeowner’s insurance policy?
Remember this simple rule of thumb. Mechanical problems are generally covered by your home warranty. Damage incurred to your home or its contents as a result of a storm or acts of God such as fires or floods, or bazaar accidents caused by people, such as damage incurred from a drunk driver plowing into your home, are covered by your home’s insurance policy.
Do I Call a Contractor or my Home Insurance First?
Why should your home improvement company help you navigate the insurance process? Your homeowner’s insurance company’s primary objective, while helping you with your claim, is to pay as little as possible on your insurance claim. That’s why it’s so important to have a reputable contractor who knows the local and international codes and will work to advocate on your behalf with your insurance company.
Phillips recommends to our clients certain safety standards and codes enforced by the cities in which they reside and the International Roofing Code (IRC), a code updated every three years, which the construction industry is obliged to follow. Phillips doesn’t cut corners. Sometimes insurance companies leave out line items that are necessary for compliance with city and IRC codes. For example, insurance companies often argue the point that hip and ridge and starter shingles are included in roofing waste. This, however, is an outdated and largely unpracticed way of installing a roof. Companies used to flip field shingles upside down, cutting them in half for use as starter shingles; and with hip and ridge shingles, they used to take a field shingle and slice it twice and use this as a hip and ridge shingle. This, however, is an unethical practice when it comes to modern roofing codes. Phillips Home Improvements uses a specifically made starter shingle, also known as a starter strip, that is only made for this purpose. We also use a specifically made hip and ridge shingle known as Prostart. These are recommended upgrades that we pass on to insurance in the form of a supplement.
Due to city permitting, these “insurance upgrades” are actually requirements for final inspection, even if the insurance company doesn’t pay for the work to be performed up to code. These costs are often passed on to the homeowner. Phillips is unable to quote insurance policies, but most policies generally have upgrades available. They often will not be added in, however, without someone advocating for the process. The insurance company’s job, though, is to indemnify the homeowner and make them whole after receiving storm damage, so performing work by the necessary city and IRC codes is a must. Upgrades are based on the current construction codes in your area and the specific needs of the home in terms of such issues as ventilation, valley and chimney protection, etc. Phillip Home Improvements would love to help you remain compliant and navigate the entire insurance process with ease.
What Else Should I Know?
Note that a contractor cannot use an assignment of benefits form or power of attorney form (signed by the policyholder) to transfer the insurance claim rights or policy benefits directly to themselves. Nor can a home improvement company act as a Public Adjuster and then do the repair work themselves. These are violations of the Public Adjuster statute according to Tex. Ins. Code Sec. 4102.163. If a contractor tries to have you sign such a form, do not comply.
You may ask, “What happens if my mortgage company’s name is listed as the payee on my insurance check?” Every mortgage has different requirements, but if listed on your insurance check, most require:
- A copy of the signed contract
- Receipt of an insurance claim summary
- Your insurance check
You will need to mail these three items to your mortgage company. If your mortgage is with a major bank, you may be able to have the process handled quickly in person at a local branch with a mortgage representative present. Your mortgage company may have their own requirements before endorsing the check and returning it to you, the homeowner. Each mortgage company’s requirements are different and must be handled on a case-by-case basis.
If a waiver of lien is requested from the mortgage company, most home improvement contractors will only sign the waiver of lien once the project has been completed and all payments have been received. This is true of Phillips Home Improvements.
If the homeowner is behind on the mortgage for any reason and must turn the insurance check in for endorsement, the mortgage company has the right to deduct the default amount from the insurance amount. If this happens, Phillips Home Improvements and the homeowner will need to reevaluate the project, or the homeowner can pay the difference out of pocket.
If the mortgage company requires payment installments, most reputable companies collect the total amount of the first check before work begins. Then the process for handling remaining payments and work can be reevaluated.
The mortgage company may send their own independent inspector to look at the property before approving endorsement of the first insurance check. Usually, once the first insurance check has been endorsed, the process goes more smoothly. Regardless, Phillips will be there every step of the way.
With a reputable roofing contractor on your side, any bumps in the insurance claim process can quickly be smoothed out. Phillips Home Improvements would love to ease the headaches of the insurance claim process for you. If you suspect storm or wind damage, fill out the form or call Phillips at (972) 867-9792 for a free, unbiased property inspection.
What to Do When Insurance Denies Your Claim
What should you do if your home has incurred damage from a recent storm, but your insurance company has denied your claim? Do you give up because the insurance company is always right? Certainly not!
With a reputable roofing contractor behind you, receiving an initial claim denial from an insurance company is just like pressing “Go” after “Ready? Set?” Your Roofing Contractor is your advocate and knows just what to do. He or she will not abandon you.
If your claim has been denied, a reputable roofing company such as Phillips Home Improvements will go to bat for you by helping you implement the following steps:
- Upon the first denial, the homeowner has the right to call their insurance company and request reinspection with a different insurance adjuster.
- If your claim is denied after reinspection, a reputable roofing company can assist you in hiring a Public Adjuster. Eight times out of ten a Public Adjuster is able to secure claim approval. They are very thorough and take hundreds of photos to provide as proof of claim validity. It takes longer than a normal insurance claim, but has a stronger chance of success.
- If your claim is denied again, there is a process known as appraisal. An independent firm appraises your damage in a dollar amount to the penny and takes legal action with the insurance company on your behalf.
- Upon appraisal denial, the last recourse is to hire a lawyer and sue your insurance company. However, if you know your home has incurred damage and you have done your due diligence with a reputable roofing company by your side, this occurrence is extremely rare.
Phillips is happy to assist you every step of the way! For more information on the claim process, claim denial or to schedule a free, thorough storm damage inspection, simply fill out the form or call Phillips Home Improvements at (972) 867-9792.