Choosing the Right Home Insurance Company (5 Questions to Ask)
Choosing the Right Insurance Company (5 Questions to Ask)
How can you be sure that you’re choosing the right insurance company? As roofing contractors in Omaha, we’ve had the privilege of working with several insurance companies. As an “insider” we have learned some of the tricks of the trade.
We believe that informed homeowners are the best protected. Here are 5 questions to ask:
1. Will you collaborate with my roofing company?
It can be frustrating for roofing contractors and homeowners when things get delayed from bad collaboration. We work alongside homeowners and insurance companies by creating a win/win/win for all parties involved.
As such, is the insurance adjuster willing to meet onsite with us? Will they be communicative during the initial inspection and throughout the supplementing process?
Lack of communication will delay the claims process and create a bigger gap from the time of damage to repair.
2. Is there a local brick and mortar office?
Many online insurance companies have greats rates and coverage. However, there is an extra assurance to the homeowner to have a local, accessible office.
Having a local representative can provide more peace of mind as field your questions or concerns with someone who’s easily accessible.
3. Is it a fixed or variable deductible? How will that affect my premiums?
Lots of factors go into determining whether or not your insurance carrier has a fixed or variable rate. This includes (but not limited to) age of your roof, location of your property, and how much they paid in premiums the previous year.
Understanding ahead of time what you can expect will allow you to set aside the necessary funds to file a claim if/when the need arises. Additionally, you can price out your deductible rate against monthly premiums to pick the best plan for your policy.
4. What does my policy actually cover?
Don’t assume that everything is covered, because sometimes it’s not. We’ve seen instances where policies don’t have metal coverage (think gutters, vents, etc.) or code coverage (which is paying to bring your home up to code).
As your roofing contractors, we will always bring your home up to code no matter the circumstance, however, it does help if your insurance policy covers it.
5. Is my coverage an RCV or ACV policy?
This is a key difference and often misunderstood part of home insurance policies. An RCV (Replacement Cost Value) will give you the full amount needed to get your roof back to pre-storm condition whereas an ACV (Actual Cash Value) will only give you the original amount less depreciation.
For example, if you drive a 2009 Jeep Cherokee and you have an RCV policy, your insurance will replace it with a 2018 Jeep Cherokee. If you have an ACV policy, they will pay you cash the current value of a 2009 Jeep Cherokee.
While an ACV policy isn’t terrible, the conflict it presents is that you have a fixed amount of money to use and therefore need to “bargain” shop for a roofing company that can replace your roof within that limit. An RCV policy will pay for a brand new roof regardless of which roofing company you use (therefore you don’t have to go with the absolute cheapest roofing contractor there is).
As a homeowner, we feel these questions will help you make better decisions when choosing the right insurance company. If you have any more questions please give us a call at (402) 889-3381.