Understanding a Contractor’s Estimate

Your contractor’s estimate should contain all the items listed in your insurance estimate. It should also include any agreements you’ve made with the contractor to maintain a clean work space, protect your landscaping, and follow safety regulations. Carefully review potential exclusions (e.g., damage to driveway or sidewalk). Check for warranty or guarantee information. The bottom should provide space for signatures. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and request changes before signing. A good contractor will help you understand the work without pressuring you.

Hail Hero can handle all of this for you. Our home restoration experts will make sure contractors and claims adjustors don’t miss a thing. Find out more about our hail restoration concierge service.

Hail Repair Estimates in Plain English

You can’t take control of restored your home without understanding your estimates. But insurance claims can be tricky for industry outsiders to untangle. Here's how to read your insurance company's estimate.

The first part of the estimate states basic information: contact info, claim number, identification of damaged locations, and your adjustor's name.

The main part of the estimate will describe the labor, materials, and any other costs associated with your claim. (It’s often a line-item list.) Below is a sample of the way your provider might categorize an estimate.

  • Description, Quantity, Unit Cost: Each line of your insurance company’s estimate will describe the kind of work that needs to be done, how much work, and the price per unit of work.
  • Tax: Sales tax on materials
  • Replacement Cost Value (RCV): The RCV is the total estimated cost. It’s essentially the value of the new or restored roof.
  • Depreciation: Unless your roof was brand spanking new when the hail hit, it probably has some wear and tear. The Depreciation is the total amount of deductions taken for the roofs age and other factors that lower its value. (Think of used cars. New cars lose value as you drive them, which is why used cars are cheaper. The Depreciation is the value your car—or roof—has lost with age.)
  • Actual Cash Value (ACV): The ACV is what your “used” roof is worth today.

The last part of your estimate will contain a separate total for each damaged location and summary of the total coverage. These usually include:

  • Materials Sales Tax: The total for sales tax on all materials
  • Line Item Total (or Subtotal): The total for labor and materials
  • Replacement Cost Value (RCV) = Materials Sales Tax + Line Item Total
  • Deductible: The amount you owe out of pocket according to your insurance policy
  • Net Claim: The amount your insurance company will pay for your roof damage claim. Usually, the Net Claim is the RCV minus your Deductible. But double-check your policy because some policies only cover the ACV (from above) minus your Deductible.

Hail Hero can handle all of this for you. Our home restoration experts will make sure your claim is fully optimized. Find out more about our hail restoration concierge service.

How to Find a Trusted Roofing Contractor

Employment for roofers is projected to grow 13 percent from 2014 to 2024. This is way faster than the standard 6.5 percent growth rate for most other occupations. However, this number doesn’t necessarily mean more qualified roofers on the job.

To find a qualified roofer, check with your friends, family, and neighbors. Neighborhood groups ofter have useful referral lists. Search online. But above all, ask the following questions:

Is the contractor…

  1. Patient? Make sure he’s not in a hurry and that he answers any and all questions you have. If he doesn’t have answers at your initial meeting, make sure he gets you answers and follows up soon after.
  2. Comprehensive? Your contractor should fully review all agreements, work schedules, supplier options, material purchases, and labor requirements.
  3. Organized and clean? A good contractor cares about his personal appearance and the appearance of his company. Ask around about his organization and clean up habits during and after a project. You can even request that these areas are covered in the contractor’s agreement. A good contractor won’t mind you doing some digging to make sure you feel secure because he has nothing to hide!
  4. Reliable and prompt? Did the contractor show up at the time he agreed to? Did he bring the appropriate documents and materials to your meeting? The first meeting says a lot about how the rest of the project will go.
  5. Experienced and reputable? Is the contractor in good standing with your local Better Business Bureau (BBB)? Is he eager to supply a list of local customer references for you to follow up with? He should provide a minimum of three (3) local references per your request. Call them!
  6. Insured? Your contractor should provide you with proof of two types of insurance: General Liability and Worker’s Compensation. These policies release you from any financial liability. A General Liability policy covers any potential damage incurred during the repair process. A Worker’s Compensation policy covers costs if a worker is injured during the project. Each policy should provide a minimum of $1 Million in coverage. Above and beyond these essential policies, an excellent candidate will have a $2 Million Umbrella Liability Insurance policy.
  7. Respectful? At the initial meeting he should show respect for you and your property and shouldn’t park in your driveway or walk on your lawn if other options exist.
  8. Warrantied? He should provide a 6+ year structural and workmanship warranty. He should have been in business at least as many years as his warranty covers.
  9. Experienced? He should have been in business at least as many years as his warranty covers. A roofer who has been in business a few years or more will have established his business practices and a reputation. Look for someone who has displayed staying power in the industry.
  10. Licensed? He should hold a license to operate his business in your state. If you own a home in a state that does not have licensing requirements, be absolutely sure the roofer meets all of the other criteria on this list.
  11. Eager to earn your business? A contractor who wants to serve you will usually be willing to defer the bulk of the payment until they have finished the job. (However, it’s reasonable to require your deductible as a deposit.) Be warned: A contractor who wants a large lump sum up front, may not have your best interest at heart.
  12. Above suspicion? Last, but certainly not least, you need to trust the contractor you choose. Don’t be afraid to go with your gut if something doesn’t feel quite right. Your instincts may be telling you something…even if everything else checks out.

Want someone else to find the right contractor for you? Hail Hero will identify qualified contractors and evaluate any who may already be on your list. Find out more about our hail restoration concierge service.

Hail Creates a Lucrative Marketplace

Hail damage ushers the homeowner into a lucrative marketplace for roofing contractors. In 2010, hail damage across the U.S. was estimated to have cost home owners $1 Billion. 75% of U.S. cities experience at least one hail storm a year, so many people are vulnerable. A 2012 hailstorm in Dallas, Texas caused upwards of $2 Billion in property damage for home and business owners.

A hail storm can also pave the way for unqualified contractors to take advantage of home and business owners. They may not all be swindlers, but that doesn’t mean they have the skills or knowledge to get you what you need.

The good news is that quality roofing contractors are out there. To find out how Hail Hero helps homeowners get the best workmanship and warranty coverage, contact us.

Getting Started with a Hail Claim

A sense of urgency enters the neighborhood after a major hail storm. It can be nerve-wracking, but it shouldn't be.

  • Take your time. Most insurance companies allow 6-12 months following the damage to report your claim.
  • Make sure you actually have hail damage before filing your claim. Filing a claim will probably make your rates go up—even if there is no damage. (Hail Hero offers an objective inspection.)
  • Once you're sure you have hail damage, ask your insurance company to send out an adjuster for an inspection.
  • Find a trustworthy, reliable roofing contractor to repair your roof.
  • Learn how to make sense of roof repair estimates.

If you want to skip the hassle entirely, Hail Hero is at your service. Learn more about our hail restoration concierge service.

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Your Home Has Hail Damage

Hail Hero was founded by roofing professionals who want homeowners to navigate the hail restoration process successfully. And success definitely doesn’t look like getting taken advantage of by someone who doesn’t have your best interest at heart. Avoid doing business with any roofing contractor who:

  • Pressures or rushes you during the claims process. (Only very large hail causes leaks, so there's no rush. Just make sure you file your claim within the timeframe set by your insurance company.)
  • Insists on a down payment greater than your deductible.
  • Pulls up in a car with a fold up ladder tied to the roof. (Trust us. It happens.)

Contact Hail Hero to find out how we help keep your home and your finances secure.

What You Need to Know after a Hailstorm

The hail has stopped falling, but the storm has only begun. Hail damage claims can be a hassle. If you’re stressed, you are definitely not alone. Many homeowners feel overwhelmed and uncertain when navigating the roof repair process—that’s why we’re here. Hail Hero helps homeowners navigate through the roof restoration process and live to tell the story. We’ll get through it together.

Hail damage can leave you vulnerable to underpaid claims and even theft. There are two main reasons for this:

  1. Restoring homes with hail damage can be expensive, so not all insurance companies want to want to pay policy holders everything their policy entitles them to.
  2. Contractors and roofing companies stand to profit significantly. A popular expression among some "storm chasers" is that when it hails, "God drops off stacks of $100 bills, and our job is just to go out and scoop them up."

As a hail restoration concierge, Hail Hero takes the risk and hassle out of the process. Contact us to find out how we can help you.