The only dumb question is the one you don’t ask. Take a look at some Frequently Asked Questions related to our Storm Damage Inspections. If you can’t find what you are looking for, feel free to contact us!
How Much Does the Inspection Cost?
Storm damage inspections and assessments are free.
How Long Does the Inspection Take?
It generally takes 60 – 90 minutes to complete a full inspection of your home, roof, interior and exterior, which includes an attic inspection if applicable to be thorough.
What Does Home Repair Inspect?
We start by inspecting interior walls at the ceiling level for any evidence of water stains. Next we check in the attic to see what’s happening under the roof for any early warning signs of a future leak. From there, we do a complete exterior evaluation which includes siding, windows, metal trims, fences, gutters, roofing and outbuildings such as a shed, garage, barn, poolhouse, or other exterior structure. We even inspect your landscaping! Remember, we treat this like a crime scene, and evidence of what happened is sometimes found in unlikely places. Every small detail detected by our Storm Team Experts is important information that your adjuster will likely need to help with your claim, but may not have the time or knowledge to look for him/herself.
Why Does the Inspection Take So Long? My (Insurance Adjuster/ Other Contractor/ Insurance Agent/ Friend/ Family Member) Said It Would Only Take About 15 Minutes.
It would be impossible and an injustice to you to complete a “full inspection” in anything less than 60 – 90 minutes. Oftentimes, insurance adjusters don’t have time to do an in-depth inspection, or simply don’t have the training to do it successfully. Remember that they are hired by the insurance company writing the check, so there is a potential for conflict from the get-go. Whose best interest is it to find ALL THE DAMAGE? We can’t speak for other contractors, friends & family members except to say this, our main concern is you and your home. We are licensed, accredited, trained and certified to complete what we call the ‘CSI’ inspection on your home for storm damage. As experts in the field, second to none, there is no value in taking shortcuts or speeding up an inspection that will benefit you, our client.
Do I Have To Be Home For the Inspection?
Yes! In some instances we can start an inspection on the exterior of your home and have our inspector wrap up the inspection inside your attic and interior, but it does take longer that way because it could require a second trip on the roof for a second look at anything identified in the attic.
Should My Spouse/ Partner Be Present As Well?
Yes, if possible! Everything we inspect is documented with photographs so that after the inspection is complete, we can show you what we have found to help you make an informed decision on your most valuable investment, your home. If you both aren’t present for the free inspection, you don’t get to hear firsthand our findings, which can leave room for error in the communication cross-over. Remember, we specialize in this. We don’t expect you to. We find that when both decision-making parties are present, it’s most beneficial for everyone. Plus, if we do find that you have damage that could be covered by your homeowners insurance, we have color and style choices to consider and discuss. And this discussion usually involves all parties.
Am I Obligated To Buy Anything?
Absolutely not! We spend the time to provide a full, comprehensive, expert property inspection because we’re good at what we do and have over 25 years of positive references and testimonials on a wide variety of homes, properties and roofing systems to back that up. Customer service is at the core of our services. We’re confident that if we do find damage, you will decide on your own that we are the best and safest choice to work with in getting your home “Back to Beautiful”. If for some reason we have to “talk you into it”, it’s just not a good fit for either of us. Our service speaks for itself, and we are grateful for the numerous happy clients we have served who provide glowing testimonials, and the numerous referrals they continually provide.
What If I Don’t Have Any Storm Damage?
We inspect homes every day that don’t have storm damage and will be the first to tell you NOT to file an insurance claim. There are sometimes hundreds of hours that go into the red tape of an insurance claim, behind the scenes, on our end. It’s a waste of time for everyone to try to force something that’s just not there! Nobody wants to work for free, including us. Our Service Agreement clearly states that the way we get paid is through the actual work performed as allowed by your insurance company. So, to say there is damage when there is not would almost guarantee free labor on our part, dashed hopes for our clients, and a reputation we could not afford to maintain. On the other hand, if we say there is damage and we are willing to take you on as a client, that means we will go to work for you 100% and take that risk of working 100 hours on your claim as per our Service Agreement! You can rest assured that we would not take that risk unless we knew we have the evidence from the ‘crime scene’ that makes for a winning case.
Will Your Inspection Damage My Home?
No! In our inspection phase, we use specialized lighting, chalk that washes away, and a specialized camera app to allow for more annotation. In some cases, AFTER your repair or restoration process has been approved by your insurance company and the project has commenced, things like siding, roofing or flooring may need to be removed from an inconspicuous location to be sent off for lab reports. Again, this would happen only after your insurance company has agreed to make repairs to that item, so it would be getting replaced anyways. In the case of roofing or siding, we patch the spot up where needed to keep you water tight!
How Long Does The Insurance Claim Process Take?
On average, the process takes 6-8 weeks. We are extremely efficient on our end with producing documentation, photos and reports requested by your insurance company, but unfortunately, we can only go as fast as they can. Sometimes insurance adjusters are bogged down with multiple property inspections simultaneously which can delay your claim. Sometimes your adjuster may disagree. At that point, we call in our expert resources including engineers, public adjusters, appraisers, architects, and attorneys to ensure that you get everything you deserve!
What If My Insurance Company Says That I Don’t Have Any Damage?
This actually happens about 10% of the time and is usually the result of a poorly educated or poorly trained insurance adjuster. There are nationwide reports of insurance agencies being unethical because their profitability bonus is dependent on keeping claims low and hoping you will go away with a simple “no damage”. In any case, if we find damage, we are here with you through the long haul! If we say it’s damaged, it’s damaged! Functional or non-functional, damage is damage and we will produce the documentation required that usually allows for a second opinion look. If that still does not work, (some insurance adjusters pull out the boxing gloves), again, we bring in the big guns for you which can include engineers, appraisers, public adjusters and even property claim attorneys. Home Repair is a proud member of the American PolicyHolder Association (APA), which is a nonprofit 501c4 watchdog organization that promotes integrity, honesty and best practices in the property loss adjustment sector of the insurance industry. The APA promotes best practices with licensing agencies and governing bodies and monitors, identifies and reports on insurance fraud against property owners. The APA also advocates for policyholder benefits and promotes solutions in insurance coverage, the insurance claim process, and the repair and rebuilding process for policyholders in every state.
How Does The Restoration Project Only Cost Me My Deductible?
As stated in our Service Agreement, you really only pay your deductible if we find storm damage. Just like a medical co-pay when you visit the doctor to fix your body, you are responsible for the “co-pay” or “deductible” to fix your home. Everything over and beyond your deductible is covered by your insurance! That’s why it’s so important to have a thorough inspection by a licensed, accredited expert, because it can literally save you tens of thousands of dollars.
What If I Cannot Afford My Deductible Or Another Contractor Said They Would Pay It For Me?
You are absolutely legally bound to pay your share or you could be committing insurance fraud. If a contractor offers to pay your deductible, that’s illegal too. Those are risks we don’t take at Home Repair. If you can’t afford your deductible, we offer financing options and accept all major credit cards. Heck, sometimes, we have even given homeowners a “side job” to earn the extra money to cover their deductible! It’s not hard to overcome this one and it’s worth it! You can potentially have a complete home makeover for a mere deductible of $500 – $1,000 (Average deductible) that could increase the value of your home by over $10,000!! This is an easy and worthwhile hurdle to overcome!!!!!
What If Insurance Does Not Want to Pay The Full Cost of the Repairs You Recommend?
At the end of the day, this is your home. Your insurance company is writing the check for repairs, so we do have to be respectful of that. With that being said, we are licensed, accredited experts with over 25 years of experience, and we will make the case on your behalf. Our Service Agreement states that we will do the work for what the insurance company allows as their pricing matrix as a fair representation of the industry average, or we will decline the work and walk away without you owing us a single penny. This happens less than one out of a thousand times though, so we typically just do the work, even if it’s not the most profitable, because it’s the right thing to do! If the discrepancy is too wide and under our cost, we consider recommending our professional resources to assist in closing the gaps. THIS IS OUR SPECIALTY OF SPECIALTIES by the way, so we welcome this challenge and resolve to help!
What About Upgrades?
If you would like additional work done to your home while it’s being repaired, such as replacement windows that were not damaged but you’ve been thinking about an upgrade for awhile and know it would be a good time considering the siding is being replaced, we offer many selections and upgrades. These of course are not the responsibility of your insurance company, just like an “elective surgery”, but we might as well take care of your other needs while we are at it right? As a licensed general contractor, we do it all! We offer financing options, accept all major credit cards and in some cases, for small upgrades, offer in-house zero interest financing with automatic debits on selected dates.
What If My Insurance Company Says I Have to Use Their Contractor?
Sometimes this does happen, but it’s not common, again, probably one in a thousand. This is your home and most likely your biggest investment in life, so you also should have some say on who is allowed to work on your property. In these rare cases where your insurance company requires you to work with their “preferred vendor”, we can help you vet the proposed contractors and installers. We will thoroughly check their finished work nail by nail for inconsistencies and/or poor workmanship to help ensure you are not accepting inferior craftsmanship in allowing your insurance company to save money using their “preferred vendors”. At the end of the day, you might have to accept their installers, but we will still be there to assist in making sure the install is correct, no matter how many times they have to do it over to get it right. The fact is, cheap labor usually comes with a lot of negative repercussions now and in the future and rarely works in your favor. We cannot work for “preferred vendor” pricing and maintain our quality, reputation and client experience. We can stand up against the “price fixing” though. We do our best to protect our clients and their homes.
Will Filing an Insurance Claim Make My Insurance Go Up?
NO! Home insurance is not like car insurance. You cannot drive your home into a tree and be found at fault, like in a car accident, and have your insurance go up for being a bad “home driver”. Property claims are no-fault events and do not by themselves increase your rates. Let us be clear here though, we are not your insurance company and they all have their own ways of staying profitable that may involve rate increases. What we do know is this: If a catastrophe hits or your neighborhood experiences higher than normal claims, they do sometimes impose a rate hike for a zip code to help spread the cost of the losses out amongst the region. Simply put, if your town was hit with a hail storm and thousands of claims are being submitted, you will probably see a rate increase whether you file a claim or not because you are in that region. We have found that usually these rate increases are less than $100 per year after talking with many past clients who ultimately become our raving fans and friends! So, if it’s a catastrophe or large storm event, you filing a claim will have nearly zero influence on your rates. We have also seen examples such as a “no claims discount” for being “claim free since 93”. If you have a claims free discount, typically 5-10%, you may lose that discount, but that’s up to your insurance company. Unfortunately, none of us can control the weather, and discount or none, it’s imperative to get your property restored immediately after a storm to prevent further damage, leaks, premature aging and deterioration.
What If You Discover More Damage That Was Hidden During the Restoration Phase?
If we find damage that was previously hidden and a direct result of the reason for the claim, we simply document it and produce a supplemental estimate for your insurance company to review, approve and extend the additional funding to cover. If we discover damage that is not a result of the reason for the claim however, insurance will not pay for that. A common example of this would be: We discover rotten decking that is a result of a flashing that has been leaking for years. Insurance will not cover that because it’s not a result of the event that triggered the claim. That being said, we include up to 100 square feet of FREE wood replacement if needed on every new roof so that we can eliminate this concern for minor dry rot repairs!