- Work With an Experienced Contractor
- Take Lots of Pictures
- Share The Estimate
Understanding The Roofing Claims Supplement Process
Whether you are a homeowner who has recently sustained damage to your roof or a contractor working with an insurance company, it pays to know the most commonly omitted items from claims.
A lot of times, it’s just a harmless oversight. Other times, adjusters are trying to get away with paying out as little as possible for their company. In either case, it can be a nightmare for both homeowners and contractors.
In our never-ending quest to provide contractors and consumers with helpful resources they can use in the real world, we have put together a quick guide on how to supplement a roof claim.
Not only will the following items make it so you get your customer the most insurance assistance, but it will also make the claims process go quicker.
Believe it or not, some insurance companies will request what they deem to be missing information. Therefore, it is beneficial to know how best to supplement your roofing claim to ensure a speedy (well, as swift as possible with insurance companies) claims approval.
Below, Roofer’s Guild outlines a roofing supplement list, along with tips for maximizing your insurance process.
Roofing Supplement List
Gable Cornice Strips
One of the best ways to supplement a roofing claim is to include detailed information about the gable cornice strips. Unfortunately, because these roofing components aren’t readily visible with a cursory inspection, many insurance adjusters will omit them from their estimate.
Even when they seem to be intact, the cornice strips will have been damaged by a storm in many cases. In any case, it is best to replace these strips to stay up to code in most states.
If you are a contractor or a homeowner, ensure that your adjuster has not left gable cornice strips off as one of their line items. If so, you should ask your contractor to check them out or ask the adjuster to take a closer look and at least include them as one of the line items.
The Drip Edge
The drip edge is another roof component that frequently gets left off of adjusters’ reports. The drip edge comes into play when shingles need to be torn off to be replaced.
The problem is that some insurance adjusters will argue that you don’t also need to replace the drip edge when you replace adjacent shingles. However, whether they are damaged in a storm or not, drip edges aren’t very durable.
If they are intact after a storm, chances are they won’t be reusable if they have to be removed to replace shingles.
If starter course shingles don’t have to be replaced as part of your roof repair claim, you probably don’t have to worry about the drip edge unless they are visibly damaged. However, if the water & ice shield has been tucked under the drip edge, the drip edge should also be replaced.
All the flashing on your roof should be thoroughly inspected and included in the adjuster’s report, especially step flashing and end wall flashing. The problem is that it may seem like these types of flashings could be easily reused at first glance.
What most adjusters don’t realize (or choose to ignore), however, is that face-nailing flashing will generally render it unsuitable for reuse. That’s because the previous nail holes will pose a leak risk no matter how snugly the new nails fit inside the holes.
The whole purpose of flashing is to shore up any potential weak points where water can permeate. Reusing flashing is, therefore, counterintuitive in almost every scenario. Be sure that your adjuster’s report includes headwall flashing, end wall flashing, and step flashing in particular.
Starter Course Shingles
Start course shingles aren’t your ordinary shingles. It takes more time and labor to install them as opposed to field shingles. During insurance claims, the problem that arises is that adjusters will count the cost of new starter course shingles in the waste material for regular field shingles.
Adjusters assume that the contractor will make starter course shingles from regular field shingles and save a few bucks. As you can imagine, this often results in a disconnect between adjusters and contractors.
The fact is that some shingle materials are tough to convert into starter course shingles. In the first place, it takes more time and skill to install starter course shingles (yes, even manufactured starter course shingles), so if your adjuster leaves it out of the estimate, you will be missing some money because the contractor will likely charge more for the work.
For this reason, you have to make sure that the adjuster has included starter course shingles in the estimate (both the material and the labor for it) or risk having your repairs held up.
General Tips for Supplementing A Roof Claim
We have covered parts of a roofing system you should include in the adjuster’s report. Still, more goes into supplementing a roof claim than that. So here is what you need to know about supplementing a roofing insurance claim before even looking at an estimate:
- Work with an Experienced Contractor: For contractors, we always advise getting to know the insurance claims process – it’s a huge aspect of the business. For homeowners, we strongly recommend hiring a roofing contractor with years of experience with roof insurance claims. That is the best way to ensure that any estimate you get will align with the required work.
- Take Lots of Pictures: Whether you are a contractor or a homeowner, you can never take too many pictures of the roof. The best way to document any aspects of the roof that we covered in the previous section is to take pictures of them. Pictures will be your most substantial evidence when supplementing a roofing insurance claim.
- Share the Estimate: Contractors must see the actual insurance estimate and review it thoroughly before doing a lick of work. Homeowners typically have it included in the estimate and are advised to share the estimate with any contractor they hire. Getting on the same page with your contractor and your insurance company is imperative to the process. It will help protect the homeowner against inadvertently committing insurance fraud and is the best way for contractors to determine whether further supplementation is needed.