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  • Writer's pictureLindsey Six

The Insurance Claims Process

Updated: May 2, 2023

Making the insurance claims process easy for you.


Being a homeowner can be stressful at times. Upkeep on your home, making sure insurance premiums are up-to-date, and paying taxes are just a few anxiety-filled homeowner tasks. When your home is damaged in a storm, the last thing you want to worry about is filing paperwork. At Evoke, we want to make the insurance claims process as simple as possible.


Things you will need to know/find out:

  • That your roof is damaged

  • Your insurance company

  • Your insurance policy number

  • What type of insurance policy you have: Do you have an ACV or RCV policy? You will need to know if you have an "Actual Cash Value" policy or a "Replacement Cost Value" policy.

  • Your insurance deductible.


Your roof is damaged--now what?


1. Inspection: Call us for your complimentary inspection. We will determine if your roof is damaged enough to warrant an insurance claim. If so, we'll move to step #2. If it just needs some minor repairs, we can do, that, too! Your sales rep and inspector will let you know what your next steps will be if you just need some minor repairs. Sometimes, our inspector or your sales rep can fix it that day if it's minor.


2. Claim: We will help you call in your claim. We will sit with you while you call your insurance company, so you will feel confident in your interaction with the claims team. Some insurance companies allow for homeowners to file their claim online or in their app. Using our state-of-the-art storm tracker, we will determine the exact date your roof was damaged to be able to report accurate information to your insurance company. You will be assigned a claim reference number, and an insurance claims adjuster will be assigned to your case.


3. Adjuster: After a few days, the insurance adjuster assigned to your case should contact you. It's usually by phone, but your adjuster could e-mail as well. Your adjuster will make an appointment to come to your house and inspect the roof and other structures himself to look for damage. Let your sales rep know when the adjuster appointment is, so he/she can meet with the adjuster. Your sales rep will have you sign a "Release of Information" form which authorizes us, Evoke Roofing, to speak to your insurance company on your behalf.


4. Buying the Roof: The adjuster will determine if the damage is extensive enough to warrant a full roof replacement or just repairs. The adjuster will send you a detailed claim outline what exactly is damaged, and how much they will pay for your roof (including vents, pipejacks, chimneys, drip edges, etc.). The claim will also include any other structures or parts of your house that could be damaged, as well. You will forward this document to your sales rep, and we will be able to give you an estimate of our services according to your insurance company's claim. We are typically able to complete your entire roof with the amount the insurance company is offering. If we feel it will cost more than the estimate, we have specialists who will talk with the insurance company to meet your needs.


5. Contract: Once you have given us the OK with the estimate, we will meet with you to outline the specifics of what you want your roof to look like and the products and brands you would like. Our experienced sales rep will have brochures to choose the highest quality products that meet your aesthetic desires as well as protecting your home for the long-term. If you would like to upgrade your gutters, drip edge, paint the soffits, upgrade your ventilation system or even completely re-paint your house, your sale rep can talk with you about your options. Your sales rep will write your contract outlining the work we will do for you, as well as your financial obligation. You will sign and date it, then keep a copy for your records. Lastly, your sales rep will fill out and have you sign a Disbursement Agreement. This is a form that will outline the amounts you will pay, as well as your deductible or any upgrade fees. It's a way to keep track of your payments for both you as a homeowner, and for our front office to track your payments, as well.


6. Payments: The first check you will write to us will be your deductible payment. The exact deductible amount will be on your claim from the insurance company. This is separate from the money you receive from the insurance company.


The next payment will be for any upgrades you chose for your roof. Your sales rep will give you the cost, and it will be written into your contract.


Next is insurance money and how to handle it. If the insurance company decides to buy your roof (replace the entire thing), you have two options. You can sign an "Assignment of Benefits" form, and the insurance will pay us directly. This is by far the easiest option, and you don't have to worry about payments, writing checks or making sure they clear the bank.


The second option is to have the insurance company pay you, then you will pay us. If you choose this option, you will not receive the insurance money all at once. You will receive it in two separate payments. Sometimes, insurance companies use direct deposit, but many will still send a check through the mail.

  • ACV Check: The next check you will give us will be the "ACV Check." This is the actual cash value of your roof. This is the amount that the insurance company has determined your roof is worth as it sits on your home. They will send you this exact amount of money, and you will then pay that to us. Once these funds have cleared and are deposited into your bank account, you will pay your roofer, and your roof can get put on the scheduling books. We order your materials, and get your project under way. Typically, your roofing day will be scheduled about 2 weeks from the time we receive your ACV check.

  • RCV Check: Upon completion of your roof, your sales rep will make sure your insurance company is aware that the roofing job is complete. Some insurance companies require photo evidence, while some require an adjuster to come out and inspect the roof. After roofing verification, your insurance company will send you the last installment of your insurance claim money. This is called the "Replacement Cash Value" or the "Depreciation" check. This is the difference in the amount of money that your roof was worth vs. what it costs to actually replace your roof. For example, if your roof was only worth $7,000, but it cost $10,000 to replace it at market value, then your depreciation check would be $3,000. Again, once these funds have cleared your bank account, you will get with your sales rep to pay this exact amount for your roof.

  • Supplement Check: Sometimes, we run into unexpected issues once we remove the old roof. For example, the decking on your roof could be decaying. It will need to be replaced, but that wasn't a line-item on your claim, so insurance didn't give you money for that item. In these instances, we will do what we call a "supplement." We will call the insurance company on your behalf and submit these extra items for them to cover under your original claim. Sometimes, they will send the check to us, sometimes they will send it to you--if it gets sent to you, then your sales rep can get that money from you once it has cleared your bank account.

7. Measuring: A project manager will be assigned to your home. He will come out and measure your roof and any other surfaces we will be replacing or adding. This is to ensure we order the correct amount of materials. Most of the time, you do not need to be home for this, but we are always willing to accommodate the homeowner to make you feel most comfortable.


8. Roofing Day: Your sales rep will provide you with information about your roofing day. Some of the info you'll need to know:

  • Clear out your driveway the night before. The roofers will need access to your driveway throughout the project. Many times, materials will be delivered the night before, so be prepared for that as well.

  • Our crew will need access to electricity, so you will need to make sure your outside plugs are functioning.

  • Our crews arrive early in the morning. Did I say early? Because they want to beat this Texas heat.

  • We will need access to the entire perimeter of your home. Dogs and other pets will need to be kenneled or put inside. They do not need to be in the back yard as our crew is working.

  • It's going to be loud, so plan accordingly if you work from home or have small children.

  • Gutters will usually not be installed the same day as your roof. Once the new roof is completed, we will send someone out to measure for gutters and downspouts, and the gutters will be installed usually within a week or two of the new roof.

9. Quality Control: We will have a quality control manager come out to your home for inspection. He will ensure the crew is meeting and/or exceeding all of your expectations. In addition, he will sweep the property with a metal detector to make sure debris and nails are not left behind in your yard or driveway. Upon completion of the project, the quality control manager will sweep the yard again for nails and debris, and make sure you are pleased with your new roof and any other upgrades needed. Most single-family home roofs can be completed in one day, but sometimes it will require the crew to come out a second day. Leftover materials are usually picked up the day after completion of the project.


10. Enjoy Your New Roof and Upgrades: Most insurance companies give discounts on their premiums when you get a new roof--especially if you upgraded to luxury shingles or a higher quality roofing material. Make sure to talk to your insurance agent about what discounts your insurance company offers. Also, remember that your RCV check should be coming in the mail, so you will need to get that to your sales rep.


 

Replacement Cost vs. Actual Cash Value Coverage

Homeowner insurance policies provide either replacement cost coverage or actual cash value coverage. To be fully protected, make sure your policy has replacement cost coverage.

  • Replacement cost coverage (RCV Policy) pays to repair or replace your house and personal property at current prices. For example, say you bought a new roof 10 years ago and the current price for a new roof is $10,000. If you have to replace your entire roof after a storm, a replacement cost policy would pay for a new roof at today’s prices. If you have a $2,000 deductible, your company would pay $8,000.

  • Actual cash value coverage (ACV Policy) pays replacement cost minus depreciation. Depreciation is a decrease in value because of wear and age. In the same example of the 10-year-old roof, the actual cash value might be $7,000. After your $2,000 deductible, your company would pay $5,000. You’d have to pay the rest of the cost of the new roof yourself. This means your total out-of-pocket costs for an actual cash value policy would be $5,000, compared with $2,000 for a replacement cost policy. The premiums for an ACV policy are usually much more inexpensive, making it an attractive choice for many homeowners.

Deductible

Each insurance policy has a deductible which must be paid along with the claim. Most homeowner policy deductibles are a percentage of your home's value: usually 1% or 1.5%. It is important that you know the deductible on your policy. Texas HB 2102 requires contractors to take an insurance deductible payment from homeowners who have filed insurance claims. Be wary of roofers who claim they will waive your deductible--it's against the law.


Not All Insurance Companies Are the Same

It's important to remember that each insurance company is different. Some companies require a specific paper trail, while others do not at all. Some companies require their adjuster to inspect your roof before and after the job is complete. Some companies will write their check to the homeowner and the contractor together, requiring the homeowner to endorse the check prior to surrendering it. Some companies don't write the homeowner a check at all, but rather write the check to the mortgage company, who then has to send a separate check to the homeowner and/or contractor. What is written here is what is typical, so you have a better idea of what to expect in the process. This is not a guarantee of what your specific experience will be. However, your sales rep can walk you through the process and make you aware of changes or deviations from the norm.


 

Frequently Asked Questions


What is an insurance adjuster?

An insurance adjuster works for the insurance company. The adjuster will come out to your property and assess the damage that occured. He or she will usually get up on your roof, take pictures and ask you questions about the damage. He or she will then go back to the office and determine whether the damage is significant enough to have the insurance company pay for you to get a new roof. If other structures or parts of the house were damaged, then the adjuster will take those into account, as well. If the answer is yes, you need a new roof, the adjust will complete a claim form that will outline exactly what the insurance company will pay for, and how much they will pay for it.


My claim was denied, but I still think I need a new roof. What do I do?

We work with several public adjusters who can work with you to get your adjuster to re-evaluate your roofing needs. A public adjuster only gets paid if you get a new roof, so there's no worry about a public adjuster trying to take advantage of you. A public adjuster works for you, and he/she wants to see you get a new roof. If that is also denied, the next step is an appraiser. Your sales rep will let you know more information about appraisals if your claim reaches that point.


I got a check in the mail. What do I do with it?

Call your sales rep, and he/she will help you determine if it's your ACV, RCV or supplement check. Most likely, you will either sign that check over to Evoke Roofing, or you will deposit it, let it clear your bank, then write Evoke Roofing a check for that amount.


What is a "Disbursement Agreement"?

This document will outline your financial obligation to Evoke Roofing. It will have a line for the total amount you owe for the project, which is usually the insurance payment + your deductible + any upgrades. It has lines for your deductible check, upgrade check, ACV check and RCV check. In your insurance claim, you will know how much the insurance will give you for both the ACV and RCV checks, as well as your specific deductible amount. This agreement serves as a receipt of payment, as well as a a way of bookkeeping your payments throughout the duration of your project.


What is the "Release of Information" form?

A Release of Information form basically just allows us to speak to your insurance company on your behalf. You no longer have to be the middleman. It outlines that the purpose is for sharing and obtaining payment in detail in a timely manner. It remains in effect until the project is completed, unless revoked in writing. all information obtained will be used in compliance with all applicable laws. It is limited to what is authorized to be shared by the homeowner.


What is the "Assignment of Benefits" form?

An Assignment of Benefits form is a release form where you authorize the insurance company to send their payments directly to Evoke Roofing. This option makes it easier for the homeowner, because you no longer have to worry about checks clearing, writing checks or keeping that balance in your account. The form outlines that the insurance company will pay Evoke Roofing directly for the contractual expenses allowable under your insurance policy for professional services rendered.


Some info taken from https://www.tdi.texas.gov/pubs/consumer/cb025.html

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