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1175 S Huron St.
Denver, CO, 80223

Office: 303 437-4075
Sales: 303 525-6523
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Should I get three estimates before having my roof done?


      If you are paying out of your own pocket to do your roof replacement, the answer is definitely, ‘YES.’ However, if your insurance company is paying for the reroof, then the answer is likely ‘NO.’ Here is why:

      Many years ago, when a homeowner filed a storm damage claim on their roof, the insurance company would quite often pay the homeowner for the full value of the roof replacement in one lump sum. At that point, the homeowner would often try to get estimates and find someone willing to replace the roof for less than the insurance amount.

      Due to multiple homeowners pocketing their insurance checks and never having the work done, most insurance companies now will only give the homeowner the depreciated value of the home in the first check. This is what is known as the Actual Cash Value amount or ACV. (Often this check is also made out to your mortgage company if you are buying your home.)

      To ensure the homeowner gets the work done, today most insurance companies hold back a check for the depreciation amount (which is typically thousands of dollars) until the job is completed. The first check the homeowner receives will only be for the ACV (minus a deductible), and the balance is mailed to you at the end of the job after your insurance has been billed by your contractor. For example, even though the Replacement Cost Value (RCV) on your roof may be $15,000, the insurance company may hold back $5,000 for depreciation, giving you a check for $9,000 because they expect you to pay your deductible ($1,000 in this instance) to your contractor.

            $15,000 = RCV
            -$5,000 = depreciation
            -$1,000 = deductible
            $9,000 = first insurance payment

      As your insurance has not paid you in full for the roof replacement, it typically doesn’t make sense to try to get someone to do your entire roof for the cost of your first check. The RCV amount is the current market value for your roof replacement and amount your insurance company has told you the job is worth. Your insurance policy specifies that they will cover all of that amount except for the deductible which is your portion to be paid to the contractor.

      In the claim paperwork, the insurance company presents line-by-line detail of the work they are expecting to be accomplished in the job by your contractor. Things like shingles, gutters, window repairs, etc. will be itemized in the claim paperwork, and the contractor needs to invoice for these items to show that the job was completed according to specifications.

      Will getting three estimates save me money?

      If you are working with an insurance company, and want the best quality work done, then ‘NO.”

      In the above scenario, if your roof is worth $15,000, you could, for example, get three estimates for repairs at $10,000, $15,000 and $20,000. No matter which contractor you use, according to insurance laws you are still legally required to pay your deductible ($1,000 in the above example), regardless of which contractor you choose to use. So if you use the cheapest contractor at $10,000, you are asking the contractor to do the job for $5,000 less than what your insurance company has told you the job is worth. The only one who would be saved any money is your insurance company, as they now pay $9,000 for the job and you still are required to pay your $1,000 deductible. However, you will never be sent the additional $5,000 they held back for depreciation which could have been used towards the full roof replacement cost.

      In order for a contractor put on a roof for $5,000 less than the market value, he will likely have to cut corners somewhere. He may have to use cheaper materials, or may not be using a crew that is fully insured. He also may not put the roof on in a manner that meets current building codes.

      Getting estimates to find the cheapest roofer if you have an insurance claim provides no benefit to you. Instead of looking for the low price, instead look for someone you can trust and cares about your needs. Rather than asking about price, consider the following questions:
  • Is it a national company that cares nothing about you?
  • Is it a company that comes to town chasing hail, and leaves as soon as the storm surge is over?
  • Do the owners and managers care about you?
  • Are they trustworthy?
  • Do they follow the law and have liability insurance, workers comp and commercial insurance on their vehicles as well as require the deductible be paid?

      When working with insurance claims, the key to choosing a roofer is not price, but integrity.


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