Why “Free” Roofing Estimates Can Cost You!
In the wake of every heavy storm damage event the storm chasers swarm like locusts down upon unsuspecting home owners in the form of salesmen, handymen and roofers, looking for an opportunity to sell their services. This in and of itself is not bad, but one of the tactics they employ could cost you a lot in the long run if you are not aware of the consequences. This tactic is the “free estimate“.
You may not need an estimate
The problem with this is, you may not need an estimate! That’s right, it is possible that you roof suffered no serious repercussions from the hail storm. What you do need is an inspection to determine if you have any damage at all, and if that damage warrants repairs, replacement or is non functional. This may sound like an argument in semantics, where both people mean the same thing, but they don’t.
Here’s why; the roofer that approaches your property from the “estimate” side, only makes money if in fact you do need a roof. He may say things like, “Yeah, I don’t even need to go up there, I can see the damage from here.” and spend a half hour on your roof circling bird poop with a white crayon, but what does he know? Once he has completed his estimate, your insurance company is sure to send a well seasoned professional adjuster who will examine the roof through the lens of a forensic storm damage specialist, to determine if damage exists and what the cause of that damage is.
Most roofers are well meaning
Most roofers are well meaning and if hired, will provide services that are adequate, if not stellar, but there are other issues. Most home owners know that hail is considered an “act of God” and that filing a claim based on such an incident cannot be cause for cancellation, or immediate rate hikes. What you may not know is that this information will become a part of your permanent claims record and can be viewed adversely when renewal time comes. In fact, this one claim, if not warranted may well be the cause of rates going up, or even having your insurance policy canceled which can lead to issues with your mortgage, and the problems just snowball from there.
to get an honest opinion
So, to get an honest opinion, you need to have an inspection from someone who starts from the assumption, not that your roof is damaged, but that your roof was originally sound. Looking for issues from this perspective, without the assumption of damage is a much more objective. Look for someone with a Haag certification, or professional experience as a licensed insurance adjuster. This individual has received specific training in the identification of damage and the determination of what type of damage it is. While it may seem like a great time to get a new roof, the last thing you want to deal with is the repercussions from a claim that was unwarranted.
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