We sat down to speak with 2 of SunFlo Roofing partners Francis Fasco and Robb Marsch. This unique roofing company was born of the experience and diverse service offerings of 4 owners, who now handle roofing matters from the Panhandle to Miami. They offered some good advice on how to handle roofing issues, both before and after a hurricane.
Before a Hurricane
We discussed several actions to take before a storm approaches. Some of the most relevant include:
- Knowing exactly what your declaration page says. Do you have a windstorm exclusion? A hail exclusion? A flood exclusion?
- Keep an eye on your mail. In the state of Florida, an insurance company is required to inform you of any amendments made to your policy. Don’t miss a major change by not looking at the paperwork sent to you.
- Create a relationship with a good roofing company. Discuss their catastrophe response plan. Make sure you are on their tarping list.
The most important piece of advice is to have an annual inspection done well before a storm. This will allow you to correct any issues before a storm turns them into much larger problems. Your roofer should also be able to tell you about any items which may need to be removed (like improperly mounted satellite dishes) or any actions that may need to be undertaken just before a storm approaches. Taking these steps before a storm approaches means you and your staff can wisely use those precious hours before a storm arrives.
After a Hurricane
When the storm has ended, it’s time to survey the damage. First and foremost, make sure it is safe for you to proceed. If there’s dangerous debris or possible electrical issues, wait until it is cleared. Don’t get on an unsafe roof, leave that to a professional roofer. When you do venture out, the following things are recommended:
- Document everything. Take pictures. Make notes. Ask your roofer to do the same.
- Mitigate damage. Most insurance policies require you to tarp your roof. Finding a tarp can be a daunting task. This is a good time to have a roofer that you trust and knows your property.
- Make the phone calls: to your insurance company, to your roofing company, and if you’re securing one, to your public adjuster/attorney.
Dealing with adjusters
Always remember that adjusters work for your insurance company, not for you. As soon as you file a claim with your insurance company, you’ve transitioned from a customer to a liability. It is their responsibility to protect the insurance company. They read the policy, interpret the verbiage, determine what is and isn’t covered, and then decide on the scope of the companies’ responsibility. They are not your friend, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be nice to them. Provide them with the documentation they need. Accept meetings from them or their engineering staff. Don’t make their jobs more difficult simply because you have an adversarial relationship.
After a major catastrophe like a hurricane, you’ll often find third-party or rookie adjusters making the rounds. They may be collecting information for a desk adjuster, or they may be trying to streamline claims. If possible, have your professional, whether it be a public adjuster or a roofer, available when they visit, this can expedite the process. If your claim is obvious and your policy is crystal clear, then you may be receiving a check with very little confrontation.
If you do end up in the long haul with an adjuster, rely on your professionals. If you have a meeting scheduled, then make sure your roofer is there. Remember, you’ve paid your premiums diligently for years, you deserve to have your roof repaired or replaced properly and professionally. Never lie to the adjuster or be deceptive. Listen to your roofer if they recommend hiring your own adjuster or an attorney. Your roofer knows the local code, they know how to repair a roof, chances are the insurance company’s adjuster doesn’t. Their focus is on reading the legalese, not building roofs. Finally, always make sure your roof is repaired to code. Your policy should have an ordinance of law provision, meaning your insurance company is required to foot the bill to not just repair your roof but to bring it up to current building codes.
We wanted to thank Francis and Robb for sharing a wealth of valuable information with us. Please view the webinar above to learn even more. If you need an amazing roofing company, contact SunFlo at 866-6SunFlo and as always, if you need an association management company that you can count on, contact Allied today.