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.


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.


5 Myths about Tile Roofing

Blue mix tile roof

Blue Mixed Tile Roof courtesy of 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.


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


Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!



Top 3 Ways Roofers Can Grow an Online Presence for Free

Three of our favorite, free ways to roofers can grow their online presence.

Making sure your roofing company has a solid online presence can be time-consuming and expensive, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

While it is true, that most search traffic doesn’t make it past the first page of Google, below are three ways you can bolster your online presence, improve your page ranking, and develop your website without spending any money on Pay-Per-Click, SEO, or web developers.

#1 – Be Easy to Find – Use Google My Business

Over 80% of consumers search for local business online before doing business with them.  If you want to grow your roofing company’s online presence, then whether this is your 2nd or 20th year in business, make sure your business is easily found.   Since most people search using Google, make sure your business is in Googles’ business directory called My Business 

Google My Business is free and easy to use and you can set it up without having to call your web developer.   Just go to and choose Start Now.  When complete, Google will build a profile for your roofing company similar to ours.

RoofBidders Gogle My Business

#2 – Use Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., are free and offer a great way to grow your roofing company’s online presence.

If you are new to social media or have limited time, we recommend roofers start with Facebook and then move to Twitter.   You can create a Business Page for free by going to or clicking    When you are ready to start with Twitter, go here or click

Take lots of pictures of job sites, employees, happy customers, etc., and post them over time to your social media account. You can also run specials and coupons to help draw extra attention to your business. Both Facebook and Twitter have extensive help sections that will walk you through each stage.

At times it can be daunting to manage multiple social media accounts and try to stay current.  If you find you are struggling to do so, then pair back to just one or two. It is more important to do one or two social media accounts well than 4-5 of them poorly.

Finally, remember to not be overly aggressive in selling your business. It is easier to earn business when potential new customers see you as a knowledgeable, local, and a friendly face versus a hardcore sales machine.

#3 – Blog

Every roofer has stories and knowledge worth sharing.  Your blog is the perfect place to share it. 

Leveraging a blog is one of the best ways, over time, to grow your roofing company’s online presence.

Setting up a blog is easy and almost every website already has a blog component built into it. Blogs are a great way to tell potential customers about your values and your company. Blog articles do not need to be long or exhaustive in detail. Most readers will not make it past 300-500 words so be brief and to the point. .

If you are just starting out or struggling to come up with topics, then consider customers’ success stories or articles about your impact in your community or neighborhood. Remember, people do business with people, and preferably with people they like and trust.


Need more tips on how you can grow your roofing business?  Email or Call us 888-392-8515




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


In search of St. Patrick

Happy St. Patrick Day Shamrock RoofBidders

Happy St. Patrick Day!  

As someone who is 1/8 Irish and has never been to Ireland,  I wondered to myself who is the real St Patrick?

Here’s what I discovered.

In Search of St. Patrick

by John Murphy Ball

St. Patrick’s Day has little significance. Outside of Ireland, it isn’t even a national holiday–I don’t know anyone who gets the day off.

However, if there was ever a man who deserved to have a day named in his honor, it is Patrick. He was a Christian hero of incredible bravery, a man who changed history, and a man of faith who richly deserves to be remembered–and not only by the Irish!

As with many early heroes, history and legend have combined when it comes to Patrick. From his own few writings we know he was born near the end of the fourth century in Britain, an outpost of the crumbling Roman Empire.

It was a terrible time in the western world. Many Christians believed the end of the world was near. The imperium was disintegrating, and along with it the settled, ordered way of Roman life.

Decades of defensive warfare against a thousand foes along the empire’s vast perimeter had consumed soldiers and resources at a rate impossible to maintain. Internal strife and corruption had further destabilized the great empire. Rome was slowly shrinking, drawing its troops inward to more defensible positions, and leaving remote provinces and colonies perilously isolated. Britain was such an orphaned outpost, without real protection from blood-thirsty raiders who swept in from the sea to rob, rape, pillage and kidnap children for slaves.

Irish raiders

These raiders were the Irish–members of the same fierce Celtic race that had, in earlier decades, confronted Roman troops and fought them to a standstill on the borders of Roman Britain. In those days they had fought naked with their bodies painted in vivid colors. To the civilized Romans they were frightening savages with modern swords, shields and other weapons.

The Irish made jewelry and tableware from the bones of their victims, and they worshiped horrible, murderous monster gods. They practiced human sacrifice and were accused of cannibalism by the Romans, who never conquered them or their neighbors, the Picts. Instead, the Roman army steered clear of these natives and built sturdy walls across Britain in an effort to keep them at bay.

One of the unfortunate children stolen in a raid by these pirate warriors was Patrick, a Christian Roman boy dragged off one dark night, along with his two sisters, and carried across the sea to the remote mountains of Ireland. He was sold to be a shepherding slave. He was forced to live in horrible conditions, often hungry, often cold, threatened by the elements, and abused by his captors. Patrick survived, though, and over the years, he learned the language of the Irish and their ways.

In his Confession, one of two documents that have been attributed to St. Patrick, he tells us that he had not been particularly religious before his capture. But shivering alone in his mountain cave, with only his master’s sheep for companions, he turned earnestly to the Lord.

During his six years in bondage Patrick prayed and meditated. One day, he tells us, God sent him a surprising vision in a dream. He was to go to a certain harbor, where a boat would be waiting to take him home to Britain. He believed the message, walked to the harbor, and events happened as he had been told. Now a young man, Patrick was free and at home with his parents once again!

He spent only a short time with his family, for he received another message, in another dream. Patrick tells us this dream was vivid and startling. He was to return to Ireland, the land from which he had just escaped, not as a slave, but as a minister of God. The Lord had chosen Patrick, he believed, to turn the Irish from their Druidic paganism to Christ.

Obediently, Patrick set to work on what was to be a lifelong task. He studied for years, became a priest, and began to petition to be sent to Ireland. His petitions were repeatedly denied, and he was given other work. A decade passed, and then another. Patrick was made a bishop, but he was not allowed to go to Ireland. Most men would have given up, but Patrick worked, prayed and petitioned. Still more years passed. Another bishop, Palladius, was chosen to take the Gospel to Ireland–Patrick would not be the first missionary to Ireland after all.

Palladius’ mission failed. It lasted less than a year. Finally, Patrick, now perhaps 60 years old, after waiting, praying and petitioning for most of his life, was given permission by the Pope to undertake his very dangerous mission to Ireland.

What followed is an incredible story.

Patrick’s return

Ireland was a warrior nation divided into tribal districts. It was rich from years of raiding and from its booming slave trade. This was a world ruled by handsome, fierce, fighting nobles and black-hooded Druid priests. Here pagan, magical arts were practiced and the great idol Crom-Cruach, surrounded by 12 lesser deities, towered over a field dedicated to blood sacrifice. This was also a land where wandering poets sang songs of mythical heroes while chieftains feasted with their warriors in torchlit halls.

According to tradition and to the stories passed down to us, in about the year 432 Patrick and a small band landed their boat in Ireland and, singing a hymn for divine protection, proceeded inland. They soon found themselves face to face with a party of armed warriors led by two Irish princes who had orders to kill the Christians. However, as Patrick spoke a few words to the soldiers, the Holy Spirit swept in, converting the majority, whom Patrick baptized on the spot, including the two princes. The warriors joined Patrick on his inland march. (The princes eventually became priests and bishops themselves.)

Eventually, Patrick arrived at the court of King Leoghaire at Tara, where Druid priests displayed their demonic magic, theatrically plunging the hall into darkness. Instead of cowering in fright, Patrick observed aloud that these priests could create darkness but that they could not dispel it–which they could not. He then proceeded to use this incident as the theme of a sermon, in which he likened Christ to the light. Many of the assembled nobles converted to Christianity that day, and Patrick gained the king’s respect and protection.

The Druids claimed his mere presence sucked the magic power out of their practices. Other war parties sent to kill Patrick were converted by him instead. Tribal kings and queens fell in love with his charity and fearlessness. Even those who did not convert respected him. In about 434, after only two years of preaching in Ireland, Patrick himself used a long pry bar to topple the stone idol of Crom-Cruach.

He often faced certain death unafraid. He argued, preached and brought Christ with him everywhere he traveled. In his path he left converts and churches under construction. In about the time it took Patrick to walk across it, Ireland converted from paganism to Christianity. Ireland outlawed slavery and stopped raiding its neighbors. Never before in the history of the world and never since has such a dramatic and sudden cultural and religious change taken place without force of arms, solely through the Word of God.

An Irish hero

In many ways, Patrick was more Irish than the Irish. He loved Irish legends, poetry and songs, and he insisted that this heritage be documented and retained. For their part, the Irish loved him and embraced him. Patrick lived his life in Ireland and died there. He left behind a Christian people, a civilized people, and he left behind towns, schools, seminaries and a love of learning perpetuated to this day.

Perhaps the story I have just told is as much myth as truth. We know that there were probably small groups of Christians in Ireland before Patrick’s arrival, not in the least because of the kidnapping raids by Irish pirates. St. Patrick probably did not really drive all the snakes from Ireland either, as the legends say (biologists tell us snakes have never been native to Ireland), but we can agree that Patrick surely helped drive out one deadly serpent from that green garden!

A few years after Patrick’s death, Germanic barbarians sacked the city of Rome, burned books, tore down buildings, melted priceless artifacts, and dragged the western world into the Dark Ages. Western civilization was almost lost, but the Irish, on their island beyond the reach of the barbarians, remained a bastion of Christianity and learning. Irish monks sought out, copied and protected the few manuscripts that survived the barbarian onslaught on the continent. They protected not only Christian manuscripts, but influenced by Patrick’s love of literature and history, copied and maintained secular and pagan literature as well. Thanks to their efforts, we have the Illiad of Homer, the lectures of Cicero, and a thousand other cultural wonders that might otherwise have vanished. In short, for centuries Irish monks preserved our western heritage for us.

It was also Irish missionaries, following in Patrick’s footsteps, who risked their lives to bring the Gospel to those barbarians who had conquered Rome and spread across Europe–the Germans. Along with Christianity, Irish monks brought the same gifts to these barbarians that Patrick had carried to them not so many decades before: art, literature, learning and a new way of life.

The “Apostle of Ireland,” as Patrick is sometimes called, is also associated with the shamrock, a plant sacred to the Druids, to explain the Trinity. Preaching in the open air, Patrick is said to have plucked a shamrock from the grass growing at his feet and showed it to his listeners as an illustration of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

So, we should give a bit of honor to Patrick, a Romanized Briton who began his letters, “I, Patrick, a sinner . …” He was a man who trusted God, became a powerful witness for the Lord, and changed the world. He was truly a hero.

About the author: A physicist and writer, John Murphy Ball is a member of Ascension Lutheran Church, Huntsville, Ala. This story appeared originally in the March 1999 Lutheran Witness. LCMS congregations may reprint for parish use. All other rights reserved. Text copyright © 1999 by John Murphy Ball. 



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


Merry CHRISTmas! The Reason For The Season

Merry Christmas God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen RoofBidders

Merry Christmas to all our customers and roofers who make RoofBidders possible!




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.