But what we’re doing is we’re getting out there and we’re trying to educate the homeowner. Yes, there were three major storms last year. Those storms directly affected your home, and you more than likely have this type of damage and there’s no way for us to know unless we physically do an inspection.
Then the problem becomes, well, how do you know who are the real insurance restoration companies and who are the storm chasers, and who are the scammers who are going to knock on my door and take your check or your deposit and just run? Well, you want to research who you’re dealing with. Just because somebody’s knocking on your door doesn’t mean that they’re bad. You as the homeowner need to do your due diligence and look the company up online, verify the licensing, see if they have special certifications, verify those certifications, and know who you’re dealing with. And once you do a little research on them, you should be very comfortable in knowing that they’re here for your best interest.
Markus: Absolutely. Sounds like those are some of the common fears that people have about insurance restoration. “What if it doesn’t work?”, “What if it’s a scam?” That sort of thing. So that’s good that you help them to get past those fears.
Steve: Absolutely. And I would say the only other apprehension that we run into is, “Well, are my rates going to go up if I file a claim?” The insurance companies call it an act of nature – an act of God type of claim where the homeowner can’t just pick the house up and move it when there’s a storm coming or build a structure over it to protect it. It’s what’s called a no-fault claim – the claim can’t be held directly against the homeowner. It’s not like somebody was smoking and left a cigarette on the couch and caused a fire or left the stove on that could be traced back to an accident that was avoidable. This is something that the homeowner just can’t avoid or the business owner can’t avoid, so it’s a no-fault claim.
Insurance companies are in the business to make money. So generally, when there’s a substantial storm, they would have already raised the rates regionally because they expect that these type of claims are coming in. So in a way, you’ve already paid for your neighbors to get their roofs, their siding, their windows replaced if the damage is there, and you’re entitled to get that as well.
Markus: For sure. Are there any other perceived obstacles that you see which might be preventing homeowners from seeking help from an insurance restoration contractor like yourself?
Steve: Yeah, absolutely. So their deductible and the amount of their deductible is one. The insurance company not covering the roof and then the knowledge that they do need to replace the roof, and it might not be claim worthy is two. They’re thinking to themselves, “Now where am I going to get the money to do this?”
So let’s discuss the deductible. It’s the law that the homeowner has to cover the deductible. Any company that would come out and tells you, “I can save your deductible,” there’s something fishy going on there because it’s against the law to do that. I would be skeptical. So what we’ve done is we have financing plans available for homeowners that might have a high deductible or might need some help, but a lot of times, cash is tight. We all know that with certain investments, it takes time to free up cash. So we take credit cards and we will finance the deductible at very low-interest rates.
And the other thing is if it’s not claim worthy and they know that their roof definitely needs to be replaced. It’s a pretty substantial investment for a roof, for siding, for windows, for doors, etc. So when it comes to that, we have financing available to help the homeowner. We always try to have a solution to help with the situation and through experience, working with a lot of customers, we’ve been able to put things in place to help them take care of the problem and get it rectified.
Markus: You really are a contractor advocate for them, fighting for them and helping them to get this major problem resolved as quickly and painlessly as they can. That’s fantastic. So, what are some of the little-known pitfalls or common mistakes you see homeowners make on the road to having their roof or siding replaced after a major hail or windstorm?
Steve: Well, a big common mistake I see them make is that they call the insurance company before having their own inspection done. You would think that having the insurance company adjuster come out to do an inspection is a good thing because they’re trained to do it. You figure, “they’re going to come out and inspect my home and they’ll know if I have the damage, and then I can make up my mind who I want to use if they approve it.”
Well, the problem there is the adjuster that they’re working with is overworked, he’s tasked with doing many inspections per day. He comes out, he does a quick look over. If he doesn’t see anything that interests him, he’ll just deny the claim and move forward, and tell the homeowner, “There’s not enough here, it does not seem to be claim worthy.”
However, when we come out, we do a full inspection no matter what. We just don’t do a quick overlook. We’ll go through every inch, we’ll double check from gutter to gutter, and we’ll go through everything to make sure that nothing’s missed, and we find it time and time again that we need to help the insured file for a re-inspection so that we can get the adjuster back out there and very respectfully show them what they missed.
And we run about a 99% closing rate when it comes to insurance claims because you’ve got to remember, we don’t want to tarnish our name with insurance companies either. We’re not out here to hurt the insurance company, we’re just here to advocate for the homeowner and get the homeowner or the insured everything that they have coming because that’s what they’re paying for. Insurance companies are supposed to indemnify the homeowner, and we’re just here to hold them to that contract.