We sat down recently to speak Ana Sanchez Rivero, the President of Allied Property Management Group. In our discussion, we had a chance to outline who we are, a unique roofing company born of the experience and diverse service offerings of 4 owners, who now handle roofing matters from the Panhandle to Miami. We also offered some good advice on how to handle roofing issues, both before and after a hurricane.
Before a Hurricane
We discussed several actions to take before a storm approaches. Some of the most relevant include:
- Knowing exactly what your declaration page says. Do you have a windstorm exclusion? A hail exclusion? Do you have coverage for Ordinance or Law? How much is your Hurricane Deductible and can you afford to pay it in the case of a hurricane?
- Keep an eye out for any correspondence from your insurance carrier. In the state of Florida, an insurance company is required to inform you of any amendments made to your policy. Don’t miss a major change by not looking at the paperwork sent to you.
- Create a relationship with a good roofing company. Make arrangements with them for a response strategy before disaster strikes. Discuss their catastrophe response plan. Make sure you are on their list for tarping and other emergency damage mitigation.
The most important piece of advice is to have an annual inspection done well before a storm. This will allow you to correct any issues before a storm turns them into much larger problems. Your roofer should also be able to tell you about any items which may need to be removed (like improperly mounted satellite dishes) or any actions that may need to be undertaken just before a storm approaches. Taking these steps before a storm approaches means you and your staff can wisely use those precious hours before a storm arrives.
After a Hurricane
When the storm has ended, it’s time to survey the damage. First and foremost, make sure it is safe for you to proceed. If there’s dangerous debris or possible electrical issues, wait until it is cleared. Don’t get on an unsafe roof, leave that to a professional roofer. When you do venture out, the following things are recommended:
- Document everything. Take pictures. Make notes. Make sure your roofer is doing the same.
- Mitigate damage. Most insurance policies require you to tarp your roof. Finding a tarp after a major storm can be a daunting task. This is a good time to have an arrangement in place with a roofer that will respond to your immediate needs.
- Make the phone calls: to your insurance company, to your roofing company, and if you’re securing one, to your public adjuster/attorney.
Dealing with adjusters
Always remember that adjusters work for your insurance company, not for you. As soon as you file a claim with your insurance company, you’ve transitioned from customer to a liability. It is their responsibility to protect the insurance company. They read the policy, interpret the verbiage, determine what is and isn’t covered, and then decide on the scope of the company’s responsibility. They are not your friend, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be nice to them. Provide them with the documentation they need. Accommodate any inspections they or their engineering staff need to conduct on your property. Don’t make their jobs more difficult simply because you have an adversarial relationship.
After a major catastrophe, like a hurricane, you’ll often find third-party or rookie adjusters making the rounds as “field adjusters”. They may be collecting information for a desk adjuster, or they may be trying to streamline claims. If you can have your roofer or another qualified construction professional available when they visit, this can expedite the process and improve the chances for a positive outcome to your claim. If your claim is obvious and your policy is crystal clear, then you may be receiving a check with very little confrontation.
If you do end up in the long haul with an adjuster, rely on your professionals. If you have a meeting scheduled, then make sure your roofer is there. Remember, you’ve paid your premiums diligently for years, you deserve to have your roof repaired or replaced properly and professionally. Never lie to the adjuster or be deceptive. Listen to your roofer if they recommend hiring your own adjuster or an attorney. Your roofer knows the local code, they know how to repair a roof, and chances are the insurance company’s adjuster doesn’t. They are trained to interpret insurance policies and not in the complex science of construction. Finally, always make sure your roof is repaired to code. Your policy should have an ordinance or law provision, meaning your insurance company is required to foot the bill to not just repair your roof but to bring it up to current building codes.
Speaking with Ana allowed us to learn more about Allied Property Group and the important role that property managers can take in the days following a storm. To learn more valuable tips that apply to various roofing situations, learn more about our company, or just gain new knowledge, view the webinar. If you need a dependable association management company contact Allied today. And as always, if you need roofing services, contact us or call us at 866-6SunFlo.