Property Owners

8
Mar

5 Home Insurance Decisions you Shouldn’t make on your Own

When shopping around for insurance, many companies allow you to pick and choose your coverage limits, deductible, and optional coverages. Policyholders can select several parameters and see how these coverage options affect the cost of the policy. But some of these home insurance decisions should be evaluated by a professional.

When it comes to insurance that protects your biggest investment, it’s a good idea to rely on independent professional advice instead of doing it yourself. That doesn’t mean there’s no need for your own research, but there are steps in the process that really need a second look. Here are five home insurance decisions you shouldn’t make without careful research or input from a professional.

Determining the amount of Coverage you Need

Dwelling coverage is the portion of your home insurance policy that protects your home from disasters such as fire, wind, and hail. The amount of coverage you buy plays a big role in determining how much you’ll pay for protection.

Most people would be tempted to set their dwelling coverage low to keep their premium costs low. This is a terrible idea. While this does save in premium costs, it also means that if you need to make a claim, you might not have enough in coverage to pay for all your stuff. So take that into consideration if you don’t have sufficient savings to make up the difference.

So how much coverage should you purchase? Enough to completely rebuild your home should it be burned to the ground. It won’t be the same amount you paid for the home of course, but it will be enough to start over. To figure how much coverage you should purchase, multiply the square footage of your home by the local building costs in your area. If you aren’t sure what it would cost to rebuild, contact your local home builder’s association or ask an insurance professional.

Deciding on your Deductible

Your deductible is the amount you pay toward a covered claim. Many “experts” will advise you to set your deductible high because it will decrease your annual premium. That is true, but what happens if your deductible is so high and you can’t pay it? You won’t be covered if there aren’t enough funds to cover the entire loss.

Take into consideration the amount of money you have or can set aside in savings to make up the high deductible difference.  If you’re unsure, ask your agent for help.

Protecting your Possessions

Most home insurance policies include coverage for your possessions. Normally your coverage limit is set between 50 and 70 percent of your dwelling coverage limit. Except certain high-value items like jewelry, furs, and even collectibles can have a limit on payouts. This means your most valuable possessions may not be fully covered if they’re stolen or destroyed by a natural disaster. So, adding a rider to your policy that covers specific high-dollar items might provide the best coverage.

Also, consider additional coverages such as flood insurance.  Most people skip out on flood insurance because they don’t live in a “flood zone”, but this can be a costly mistake.  Flood insurance is inexpensive in non-flood zones.  Sadly, after most hurricanes or major flood catastrophe, historically about 70% of those who had damage, didn’t have flood coverage because they live outside of the “flood zones”.

Establishing Liability Limits

Standard home insurance policies also have two types of liability coverage that can help you if someone gets injured on your property.

First, personal liability protection can assist if an injured person sues you. It can help pay for your legal defense, but only up to your coverage limits. That limit is typically set at about $100,000, but if your case exceeds this limit you’re responsible for the balance. paying up.

And second, medical payments coverage can assist if the injured person doesn’t end up suing you. The coverage limit is typically set at $1,000 and again, you would be held responsible for any expenses that exceed that amount.

Most people don’t realize that these limits exist or even know that you can extend them for a relatively small additional amount.

Dropping Coverage when you pay off your Mortgage

There’s no law that requires you to have home insurance; but, your mortgage lender will require that you carry a policy to protect the bank’s investment.

So what happens when your mortgage is paid off? You could drop your policy, but without adequate home insurance, you would have to pay the full cost of any damage to your property should an incident occur. So instead of dropping coverage, consider lowering the policy amount and/or increasing the deductible to minimize premiums.

DIY projects are great for updating an old dresser, but when it comes to protecting your most valuable asset, you should do your research and take advantage of the expert advice an independent insurance agent can provide.

31
Jan

What Drives Home Insurance Rate Increases?

Scared that filing an insurance claim might cause an insurance rate increase? You are not alone!

 

The good news is that with the right reason, your home insurance company is not allowed to increase your rate. But what is the “right reason?”

 

There are a few things that are taken into consideration when you file a claim. Let’s walk through an example to see how these factors affect rate increases.

 

Assume a fire started in your home. It burned to the ground, and you lost everything. A fire is a serious type of claim; and, a fire that causes a total loss is obviously a large claim. This is the type of claim that could result in an increase in your rates. This last factor is quite important. The reason why the fire started.

 

If you talk to people on the street about this same scenario and asked if they believe their rate would increase. Most people would answer, “Yes,” without a second thought.

 

This is wrong. The correct answer is, “It depends on the reason why the fire started“.

 

Why do so many of us have this fear?

 

We have been conditioned to assume that filing a claim, any claim, will cause our rates to go up.

 

Auto insurance has worked this way for a long time, so we expect all insurance companies, including home insurance, will operate this way. But, making a claim doesn’t always equal a rate increase.

 

Why is the reason for the claim so important?

 

Back to our example, we’ll say your house fire started due to a lightening strike. While your claim is still both serious and large. The reason is due to a naturally occurring accident or sometimes called an “Act of God”.

 

Because the reason for the claim is due to an accident and isn’t from your own doing, the insurance company cannot increase your insurance rates solely due to just filing a claim.

 

Alternatively, if your home caught fire because you were consuming a large amount of alcohol while teaching yourself how to juggle flaming batons; and, then passed out while subsequently setting your home ablaze – that would be an accident due to a poor lack of judgement, not something naturally occurring.

 

Why doesn’t a naturally occurring incident cause an increase in homeowners insurance rates?

 

Simple. The key words are naturally occurring. A naturally occurring event was not caused by you and therefore by law cannot be used as a reason to increase your homeowners insurance rates.

 

But if by any chance, the reason behind your insurance claim is the mentioned flaming baton scenario. The insurance company may still pay what’s due under the claim. If that’s the case, count on either being dropped by your insurance company or expect a rate increase to cover the cost of your future lack of good judgement.

 

My advice is, file a claim. Don’t be afraid your rates will automatically increase and take advantage of the help you deserve. Keep in mind, you pay premiums every month for a reason.

20
Jan

5 Myths about Tile Roofing

Blue mix tile roof

Blue Mixed Tile Roof courtesy of InnovativeRoofing.com St. Louis, Mo

Tile Roofing Myths

While many homeowners love the look of a Tile roof, common myths surrounding Tile shingles have resulted in homeowners often considering only Asphalt shingles.

What are some of the common myths preventing homeowners from considering Tile roofing?

Myth #1: Tiles absorb water causing them to eventually collapse

Truth #1:  Older, inferior tiles manufactured 20+ years ago often absorbed water and failed prematurely.  Today’s modern tiles are better made and coated with erosion and water-resistant agents.  Tiles today are expected to last 50 to 100 years.

Myth #2:  Tile roofing is more expensive than asphalt

Truth #2: Tile roofing is more expensive upfront, but it is very cost-effective in the long-term.  The typical Asphalt roof rarely lasts 20 years in the Texas heat or Wisconsin cold.  A modest hailstorm can shred even “Lifetime” Asphalt shingles, while sturdier clay or concrete-style Tile shingles can repel that same size hail with little or no damage.  Tile shingles can last two to three times longer than Asphalt shingles and Tile provides superior ventilation and drainage.

Myth #4:    Tiles are food for lichen and moss

Truth #3:  Mosses and lichen do not eat Tile.  But if left unchecked and not removed, lichen or moss can begin clogging drainage areas.

Myth #4:    Tile roofs have to be painted

Truth #4: Tile roofs can be painted, but it is by no means necessary.  In fact, Tile comes in a variety of colors straight from the manufacturer.

Myth #5:  Tiles easily break and offer less protection

Truth #5:  While some argue that Metal roofing is tougher than Tile, it is undeniable that Tile offers superior protection compared to Wood or Asphalt shingles.  Tile shingles are thicker, stronger, and better able to repel hail, branches, and storm debris.

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Want more information?  Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us. 

No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

30
Apr

Why You Need To Vent! Roof vent that is…

GAF Air Flow Example

Does your roof vent enough?

Lately we have noticed more and more roofing companies trying to woo customers with the latest uber-vent.  Is this a new fad?  Does every house need a roof vent?

The simple fact is that while each of us need to vent every now and then, roofs need to vent all the time.

Why do roofs need to vent?

The simplest answer is to let the air out of your attic.  Whether it’s warm or cold air, attic vents (and ventilation in general) help the roof last longer and can prevent many serious and expensive issues from popping up later as the moisture and stagnant air will begin eating away at the roof system.

As Spring is here and Summer is near, let’s focus on hot air.

Ventilation helps to exhaust hot, moist air as it rises within the attic.  It can escape naturally, via the ridges on top of the roof (ridge vents), OR it can be forced out via powered exhaust vents; also known as roof vents (or attic vents).

Hot air, especially if it is moist, will soon cause a whole host of issues if it is not properly vented.  But just adding a roof vent will not solve this problem.   For the hot air to escape, fresh air must be able to flow INTO the attic.

TIP: Do not buy roof vents without knowing if your roof has adequate inflow capabilities.   Below is an illustration of how air moves (or does not) based upon ventilation.

attic roof airflow

What happens to a roof without roof vents or proper ventilation?

First, excessive heating or cooling bills are a certainty.  Additionally, poor ventilation creates excess moisture which will eventually cause metallic materials, including nails, to rust and break.

Further, the roof decking itself will begin to deteriorate from rot and various types of fungi.

Finally, mold will develop and wreck havoc everywhere it grows.

How do you ensure the attic and roof system has proper ventilation?

The best way to is to make sure there is adequate air ventilation and movement at each ventilation point.  Roof vents alone are not the answer.

Proper attic ventilation will be balanced between inflows and outflows.  This requires using ridge vents as well as exhaust vents (roof vents) along with intake vents at the eave, soffit, or fascia area of the roof.

Most experts agree, you need 1 square foot of ventilation for every 150 square feet of attic space; 50% should be intake and 50% exhaust.

Still have questions, the experienced roofers within the RoofBidders’ network understand what it takes to properly install  adequate ventilation for your home.



Want more information?  Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us. 

No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

30
Jan

Will Filing an Insurance Claim After a Storm Increase Insurance Rates?

damage storm increase insurance rates

Scared that filing an insurance claim after a storm will increase insurance rates? 

You are not alone!  But fortunately, your insurance company is NOT ALLOWED to increase your insurance rates from damage due to storms (or Acts of God).

“But my friend, neighbor, brother-in-law, co-worker, (FILL IN THE BLANK) once told me that filing an insurance claim will make my rates go up.”

Why do most people assume that filing a home insurance claim will increase their rates?

Because we have been conditioned into assuming that a claim, any claim, will cause rates to go up.

Auto insurance has worked this was for so long, we assume all insurance, including home insurance, will operate the same way.

Home insurance does NOT work this way.  

How is home owner insurance different?

The reason behind your claim is the determining factor in whether or not the insurance company can increase your rates (or drop you).

The reason behind a storm claim is very simple – a storm.

Your insurance rates CANNOT be increased due to claim related to a storm.

The answer is simple.  If you have storm damage, make a claim!

Get the money your are owed, WITHOUT the fear of increasing insurance rates.



Want more information?  Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us. 

No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

21
Nov

5 Reasons You MUST Notify Your Insurance Company After A Recent Storm

recent hail storm map texas

Why You Must Notify The Insurance Company After A Recent Wind or Hail Storm?

One of the most frequent questions asked is “Do I need to notify my insurance company?” or similarly, “Do I have to call my insurance company?”

The simple answer is YES.  Call and make an insurance claim.  Not only does it makes sense but you most likely must do it or you breach your insurance contract.

Homeowners often are nervous about making an insurance claim, even after storm damage.  Usually this fear stems from past experiences related to auto insurance.  That being, that rates will increase after a claim.  But property insurance contracts and State insurance laws are different.

Top 5 Reasons To Notify The Insurance Company After A Recent Hail Storm

1. If you have recently received damage you are more than likely REQUIRED to notify the insurance company under your policy.

2. In the future, they can deny a roof replacement claim due to undisclosed and previous damage.

3. There exists a statute of limitations on insurance claims.  Once this run out, the insurance company can deny your request to replace the roof.

4. You are paying for insurance in case of storm damage or similar reasons.  Why would you not use it?

5. Your rates CANNOT be raised for making a claim, whether approved or denied.  Repeat the words: CANNOT be raised.

So in the immortal words of Nike, Just Do It!

Notify the Insurance Company after a recent hail storm by making an insurance claim.  Get the estimated damage and monies available to replace your roof from the insurance company.

Bid out the job to at least seven different companies to find the best contractors at the best price.  Save tons of money. Enjoy your new roof.


Confused or want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us.  No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

12
Oct

How does RoofBidders offer cashback on a roof?

Cashback on a Roof?How can RoofBidders offer cash back when traditional roofers cannot?

Replacing a roof costs thousands of dollars, which means someone (or multiple someone’s) are PAYING thousands.  However, RoofBidders claims to be able to give cash back.

How does this work?  Is RoofBidders rebating the deductible?

No, we are not rebating the deductible. We are not absorbing the deductible. Nor are we doing anything else  else that is considered a crime or could put a property owner in legal jeopardy.

REMEMBER: Slam the door shut if someone promises to replace your roof without you paying the deductible OR promises to absorb it or give it back. Insurance fraud is a felony.

Honest roofers, such as those who are either BBB or RCAT members, pledge to operate in a manner that keeps everyone away from insurance fraud and out of jail.

How does RoofBidders’ system save money and at the same time create cash back on a roof?

In the past, it was costly, as well as time and labor intensive, to estimate roofing or similar contracting jobs. This is even more so when a contractor is competitively bidding.  The contractor needs to know exactly how much the job will cost to determine a profitable bid.

Our ability to leverage highly sophisticated satellite technology that did not exist several years ago gives us a unique edge.   Couple this with competitive blind bidding and we get massive cost savings which in turn allows us to generate profits and share them with you.

We provide a unique platform for consumers and roofers – one in which both win.  All without anyone stepping foot on the property and most times you get cash back on your roof.

How does saving money for roofers help property owners?

Roofers spend a tremendous amount of money in sales and marketing.  Most roofing contractors send sales teams into neighborhoods to knock doors.  But RoofBidders bring the roof jobs directly to the roofer, saving 20-30% (typical sales commissions run 25%).

With huge cost savings, high quality roofers can afford to lower their prices and competitively bid on jobs.

This is why we save When Roofers Bid, You Win!


Confused or want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us.  No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

25
Jul

5 Secrets Roofing Storm Chasers Don’t Want You To Know

Sleazy roofing storm chaser

Sleazy Storm Chaser

What sneaky tactics do roofing storm chasers use?

Large-scale storms with wide spread damage attract contractors who know that reputable businesses are overwhelmed.

Roofing storm chasers do what their name describes. Chase storms around the country to hawk their roofing contractor services.  While some companies are legitimate, many of these storm chasers are unscrupulous.

What are these shady tactics?

  1. Prey on the elderly.  Roofing storm chasers amp up their aggressive sales tactics when an elderly person answers the door.  Many elderly tend to be more trustworthy or give people the benefit of the doubt and therefore do not research the roofer. Storm chases will inflate the cost or ask for money on top of the insurance proceeds.
  2. Ask for cash up front. When widespread damage occurs, it might seem reasonable for a contractor to ask for a deposit to reserve their services.  Sadly, the day the homeowner gives the storm chaser $2,000 or more is usually the last day they will see them.
  3. Fake or create damage. Ball-peen hammers. Spoons. Golf balls. Dimes.  The list can go on and one. Roofing storm chasers have a terrible reputation for faking damage.  Creating or “adding” damage where none exists and collecting insurance money can carry criminal and civil penalties.
  4. Paying for the deductible. It sounds so good.  Get insurance money, get roof fixed, and never pay a deductible.  Disreputable roofing storm chasers pay for or absorb the homeowner’s deductible to get the business.  A homeowner is committing insurance fraud if the contractor promises to pay the deductible and does so.
  5. Negotiate for more money. In 44 out of 50 states, roofers cannot legally negotiate an insurance claim without an adjuster’s license.  Contractors can defend their pricing but not negotiate a claim settlement.  If negotiations are necessary, property owners should hire an experienced Avvo-rated attorney since they are paid only a percentage of any new money they negotiate for the homeowner.

REMEMBER:  Only use local roofers with great BBB ratings and outstanding reputations.  Get at least 7 bids from roofers before making a decision.


Confused or want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us.  No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

23
Jun

Hail Damage in Sienna Plantation and Fresno, Texas

May 25-26th Hail Storm Swath near Sienna Plantation and Houston

May 25-26th Hail Storm Swath near Sienna Plantation 2-3″ Hail

Did your roof sustain hail damage in Sienna Plantation or the Fresno/Arcola area this past April or May 2015?

Not only hail damages roofs.  Strong winds also cause damage to your roof, fences, and trees.

It has been roughly two years since Missouri City (77459, 77489) or Fresno / Arcola (77545) areas saw hail of this size.  The last hail storm of any significance was April 2013.

Hail paths show the center of the hail storm and its concentration point.

Note that the hail path shows just the center of the storm; the actual swath of the storm is much, much larger.   What does this mean?  If a property was anywhere near this path it got hit.  The question of course is how much damage did the hail or wind cause.  This image was taken by the NOAA and the HailStrike weather service at 2:29 AM, May 26th.  Their radar shows 3 inch hail.

The first image shows the path ONLY.   The second image below shows the swath of the storm and areas affected along the path.

May 26th @ 2:29 AM Hail Path without Swath

Hail 3 inch @ May 26th 2:29 AM

Did you get large or small hail?

Even small hail can cause significant damage in large volumes or high winds.  Ever seen a picture of hay needles or branches stuck into the side of a barn from tornado winds?  Even small hail such as pea or marble-sized can do significant damage when thrown at 60-70 mph.  The latest Sienna Plantation and Fresno/Arcola hail storms had very high winds.

Extremely strong wind and hail damage in Sienna Plantation on May 26 @ 2:34 AM

As you can see in this snapshot the radar is showing hail size of 2.5 inches.  But the entire storm lasted from May 25th @ 3:29 PM to May 26th @ 7:29 AM.

The tricky part is that small hail “pock marks” cannot easily be seen from the ground.  Also, much of the damage is likely from the wind.  Wind can lift up the shingles essentially tearing your roof apart; BUT at the same time if the damaged sections do not literally detach from the roof they will settle back down and the damage cannot easily be seen from the ground.

Do not let this opportunity pass by!  Have your roof examined by your insurance company free of charge and without risk of a rate hikes.  Then get a new roof!

Sienna Plantation Hail 2.5 inches May 26th 2:34 AM

Hail 2.5 inches May 26th 2:34 AM

What to do if you suspect you have hail damage in Sienna Plantation or Fresno/Arcola areas?

Call, Examine, Act

  • Call your insurance company, open a claim, and have your roof examined. REMEMBER: Your rates cannot be increased for making a storm related claim.
  • Examine the results of the insurance company’s estimate of damage before doing anything else.
  • Act by taking advantage of the insurance company’s estimate and their money:
    • If they agree to replace your roof in full then start by:
    • If they DO NOT agree to replace in full, but only part of your roof then:
      • Get 3 roofers to look at your roof to get their opinion OR
      • Hire a licensed insurance adjuster (not a Public Adjuster) to verify the actual damage OR
      • Contact RoofBidders and we will advise you AT NO CHARGE based on satellite imagery and ground spotters.
    • After getting multiple bids by high quality roofers, put a new roof on your home, and save tons of money.

NOTE: If the insurance company denies your claim and you know you have damage from the latest Sienna Plantation or Fresno/Arcola hail storms (or any other storm) then contact an attorney.

REMEMBER:  Take advantage of infrequent but powerful storms to upgrade your home by having the insurance company buy you a new roof whenever possible.


Confused or want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us.  No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

28
May

5 Reasons To Notify The Insurance Company After A Recent Hail Storm

recent hail storm map texas

Thunderstorms Bring Hail to Texas

Why Notify The Insurance Company After A Recent Hail Storm?

One of the most frequent questions asked is “Do I need to call my insurance company?” or similarly, “Do I have to call my insurance company?”

The simple answer is YES.  Call and make an insurance claim.  Not only does it makes sense but you most likely must do it or you breach your insurance contract.

Homeowners often are nervous about making an insurance claim, even after storm damage.  Usually this fear stems from past experiences related to auto insurance.  That being, that rates will increase after a claim.  But property insurance contracts and State insurance laws are different.

Top 5 Reasons To Notify The Insurance Company After A Recent Hail Storm

1. If you have recently received damage you are more than likely REQUIRED to notify the insurance company under your policy.

2. In the future, they can deny a roof replacement claim due to undisclosed and previous damage.

3. There exists a statute of limitations on insurance claims.  Once this run out, the insurance company can deny your request to replace the roof.

4. You are paying for insurance in case of storm damage or similar reasons.  Why would you not use it?

5. Your rates CANNOT be raised for making a claim, whether approved or denied.  Repeat the words: CANNOT be raised.

So in the immortal words of Nike, Just Do It!

Notify the Insurance Company after a recent hail storm by making an insurance claim.  Get the estimated damage and monies available to replace your roof from the insurance company.

Bid out the job to at least seven different companies to find the best contractors at the best price.  Save tons of money. Enjoy your new roof.


Confused or want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us.  No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.