For two days now the city of Calgary and surrounding areas have been pummeled with golf ball sized hail. Leaving cars wrecked, dealerships in dismay, farmers and gardeners upset, and homeowners looking up in despair.
One home owner in Redwood Meadows just outside Calgary has had his very nice cedar roof damaged, sky lights broken, and had hail and rain pouring into his living room!
Mother nature is not nice, and although MOST of the time Edmontonians are more than happy to take a jab at Calgary, when times get tough history has proven that we are friends and neighbours and always here to help.
This isn’t the first time, two years ago, hail hit Calgary so badly that damaged farm land could be seen from SPACE! Click here!
I want to say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and knowing that the weather is coming would certainly help matters, and properly protecting your belongings can save you a lot of trouble and money. However, this isn’t always a possibility, and after the hailstorm, the first step is to assess the damages. We have a GREAT article on our blog, with an infographic showing how to find a leak, and what to do about it. If you are unsure, or feel that climbing on the roof is not your cup of tea, hire a professional to do an inspection.
The second step is knowing how to tarp your roof. Whether its before and during the storm, or after springing a leak, it’s worth knowing how to waterproof an area of your roof until help can arrive. Especially when you get a large series of hail storm events in a small area. In the last few weeks of July, to the beginning of August, weather damage has been caused to roofs from cities and towns all over Alberta. From Lacombe, to Red Deer, to Calgary and the worst being in Redwood Meadows.
So even if you follow all the steps on this list, and get your roof fixed under insurance, you will still have to wait until someone can come do the work. You are on a very long list and since you aren’t the one really paying for it you will be put into a queue that will be mostly built around making the logistics of the project as cost efficient as possible. The infographic should cover it but if you would like more instructions, here is a GREAT WIKI-HOW link to give you an in-depth step by step with materials needed in a nice list.
The third step is to prepare for the insurance company, the evidence is melting and some things can always be left up to a discussion. If you feel that your roof has been damaged. Take photos! Get photos of the hail on your lawn, take video of the storm, get pictures of the hail. Make sure to use a common object like a pop can, coin, or golf ball for relative size. Take pictures of any debris found on the roof and communicate with your neighbours.
Know your shingle warranty! There may also be ways to have the damage covered under warranty from your shingle manufacturer or the roofing contractor. Always keep your invoices, and receipts, and make sure you have been explained your warranty carefully as not all warranties are created equal! Who’s the best in the business? Email us!
The fourth step is to call your insurance company, everyone has a different claims process. Some require you to file a complaint online, others over the phone or email. Some you have to physically write a complaint and mail it! You really learn a lot about your insurance company when it comes time to make a claim. I am thinking we can do a blog post reviewing hail insurance policies. Let us know what you think of that idea in the comments section below?
Typically the process flows like this:
- Call insurance company, learn and begin claim process.
- Insurance adjuster will come inspect your home. More commonly a larger roofing company has a kickback program with the insurance company, and they send one of their salesman by.
- Adjuster/Estimator will look for damage to shingles, missing shingles, water damage, or dents in your mental vents or whirlybirds to determine damage.
- An estimate will be provided and what costs you will incur as a homeowner.
- Once agreeing you will be put in line to have your roof fix so TIME is of the essence! Call today!
Some things you need to know about how this industry works, can save you some headaches down the road. We do not want to throw mud at other companies, and no one size of company is better than the other. What we can say is that when hundreds of homes are damaged, there is a sudden surge in demand for roofing contractors, more than the typical market demands. Which means it becomes a roofers gold mine of sorts. Now since the gatekeeper is the insurance company, and insurance companies are not roofers, they need to partner with someone. When the sudden workload exceeds the workforce, they are put in a position to:
- Take the work and the money
- Turn the work and money away
When confronted with this choice, it doesn’t take an MBA graduate to figure out that systems and procedures are to be put in place to respond to this sudden demand for services. The solution to the lack of workforce is to post on job sites, for subcontract work, where pretty much anyone looking for a buck can apply and the standards for hiring can suddenly deteriorate from the norm. The lowest bidder can often win, and be masked under an otherwise reputable brand or company. There is no guarantees that a small company won’t and a big company will, or vice versa. So you need to ASK a few key questions.
- “Will your employees on payroll be doing the work, or outsourced sub-contractors?”
- “If I have problems with my roof, do I contact you, or the workers that are on site?”
These two simple questions can save you a world of headaches!!!
Another way to protect yourself is to ask for a DETAILED quote including all materials, and process of installation, so you can price shop. The great thing about insurance is that you are not FORCED to give the work to their preferred contractors. We are on a few lists for insurance companies as preferred contractors and we do not get every job that we are assigned. This is because you have some options which brings us to the next step.
Know your Deductible!
Once the estimate has been provided, they will tell you what your deductible is. That means if the roofing company states it will cost $6500 to fix your roof, and you have a deductible of $1000, then they will give you two options.
1. Have your roof fixed by their preferred contractor, pay your $1000, and they will arrange the work date for you.
2. Be paid out $5500 (The quoted price, less your deductible) and you pay for the roof, with your preferred contractor.
The benefits of #2 is that sometimes another contractor might actually do the roof for $5500 and you will pay no money out of pocket. However you will need to usually wait to get paid for 30 to 60 days. This can sometimes be prohibitive to home owners budgets, and this is why the insurance companies like doing it their way. Because the quote WOULD have been $5500, but as long as their preferred contractor gives you a quote for $6500, and you pay for the $1000 deductible, they can settle up later for only $5500 and their TRUE cost of fixing your roof is only $4500 because you paid $1000 of the bill.
Not saying it happens all the time, I am just saying that it happens some of the time, and some of the time a home owner is left out in the rain, literally.
The most important factor is of course being an EDUCATED, TRANSACTION READY CUSTOMER.
We hope our Flaming Friends (Sorry… had to) down South are doing okay, and as usual, if you would like our assistance, we WILL be offering our services to select Southern Alberta residents. Call us today for more information!
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“The website guy”