Before we explore this question, please understand that by law every homeowner has the right to use the contractor of your choice. Don’t be pressured into using your insurance agents friend or a contractor that is sent out from your insurance company. The chose is up to you. The question still remains, “should I hire my insurance companies roofer?”
This is a question that many Colorado homeowner’s have to address after a hailstorm, wind storm or other weather related events. In all practical aspects it would seem that this would be a good idea, but is it? Whether the roofing company is on a preferred vendors list or network program the insurance company assumes no liability for the quality of work. Additionally, if a roofing company is a preferred provider for an insurance company there are probably strings attached. You’ll have to decide if working with a preferred vendor is right for you. Please look at Colorado House Bill 07-1104. You can choose any contractor that you want. An insurance agent, adjuster or vendor is not to coerce a homeowner into using an insurance vendor. This is a legal issue and can be tried as such in the court of law.
You don’t have to use your insurance companies’ roofer
The state of Colorado allows the insured the right to choose a contractor.
Briefly, let’s look at why insurance companies may suggest that you use their preferred contractor.
Insurance companies vendor programs typically state they can help the homeowner in the following ways:
- Time will be saved when using their vendor
- The vendor meets insurance criteria
- The insurance vendors will personally give a five year warranty
Let’s look at the following information to see how using a preferred vendor saves the insurance company time and money. The homeowner isn’t the one that usually benefits from this arrangement. But, in all fairness the preferred vendor program may still be right for you.
Is saving time really your goal in the insurance claims process?
Insurance companies state that their preferred vendor or any roofer on their network of contractors will save you time. The insurer’s presupposition sounds like, if you work with their contractor then it will save you time. What a nice and inviting proposition, which may result in a quick yes from a homeowner. Please consider that this may actually be bad news and an unintended result for you. The insurance contractor is going to follow insurance protocol, even if it’s to your detriment. You may want to consider the following.
It may be to your advantage to work with a non-insurance vendor who will report accurate findings on the scope of repairs that are really necessary rather than doing the minimum amount of repairs, which would financially benefit the insurer. The insurance vendor must follow insurance protocol. The strings that are attached will cause the vendor to not share their personal recommendation when the adjuster has already adjusted the claim for scope of repairs. The insurance vendor wants more work from the insurance company and even if they disagree with the adjuster’s findings they will be more apt to accept the insurers findings. Who is it that a homeowner wants to work with after a storm? That’s really a good question and one that you may need to investigate.
Saving time is certainly on most everyone’s to do list. However, saving time shouldn’t be the goal in the claims process. Restoring the property to pre-storm condition in a timely manner is a worthy goal.
Insurance vendor programs have a high turn over rate
The turnover rate on the roofer vendor program is reported as being high. The preferred roofing contractor will be working at a disadvantage most of the time. In order to work as a vendor they will work for less than present day fair market value. Typically, the contractor will be working with an Xactimate price that has been reduced by the insurance carrier.
Xactimate is the standard price estimating software in the insurance restoration industry. Insurance adjusters use this program to build an insurance loss statement. Contractors that are on a PSP program often times are paid less than the present day market value for a roof replacement. The preferred contractor has no incentive to use high quality products on the roof. In order to survive they may resort to using less than quality materials and unfavorable trade practices.
Insurance companies have a high turn over rate of preferred vendors. These contractors either go out of business or leave the preferred insurance network. There is no incentive for the contractors to produce high quality work while making low profit margins. The only benefit for a vendor is the possibility of a high volume of work, but with low profit margins how can a vendor stay in business?
Does the fact that the contractor passed the insurance companies’ vetting process to meet insurance criteria guarantee good work?
The answer is “no.”
If you’re really considering an insurance vendor and the vendor goes out of business will the insurance company honor the roofer’s 5-year warranty?
If you’re still considering working with an insurance provider ask them:
- How many years have you been in business?
- How many years have you worked with my insurance company?
- How many roofs have you installed while working with my insurance company?
Ok, the insurer’s preferred roofer provides a five year warranty. That sounds good, but a five year warranty must be specifically defined. If the extent of liability for a roofer’s labor defect only results in a repair then that’s not much of a labor warranty.
The profit margin of an insurance companies’ preferred roofing contractor is minimum at best. In order to survive inferior methods and products may be used. The quickest warranty repair is for a roofing contractor to apply a mastic sealant on top of a leaky area and call it fixed. We see this all of the time and this is not a professional solution.
With the low margins and unlikelihood of sustainability, is a five year warranty of any value to a roof system that probably has inferior products and installation methods? Will the insurance company honor a five year roofer warranty when they go out of business?
Working with a local roofer without insurance ties may result in the highest quality roof and service
There is no need for you to meet with many contractors. If you already like your roofing contractor, have them do the work. We make a similar decision each time we visit our physician. There is no need to interview many medical providers. Whenever we’re sick or injured we seek immediate medical attention without interviewing many providers. Both, roofer and physician are in the insurance industry. Why not do the same thing with your roofer. Continue using the same roofer if you’ve been satisfied with their services.
Every experienced roofer in our community has the capacity to work with the insurance company and to do the things that are beneficial for you. Remember, if they don’t work for the insurance company then they work for you.
Integrity Roofing and Painting is one of the many roofing companies in Denver, however one of the things that sets us apart is that we have a former insurance adjuster on staff. In addition, several of our project managers are certified by Haag Engineering for roof inspections. If we can be of assistance please contact Integrity Roofing and Painting.
Of course, these observations that have been made are in no way desiring to speak of any roofing company or insurance company with malicious intent. This information is from personal experience, observations and research. These opinions are not the opinions of Integrity Roofing and Painting or Integrity Roofing and Painting, LLC.