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Roof damage post hurricane? Here's what you need to do

Posted at 10:15 AM, Sep 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-11 10:15:30-04

It might be the Sunshine State, but Floridians see their fair share of rain. In fact, a year after Hurricane Irma hit the state, Florida is still reeling. If you suffered loss or damage, you’re certainly not alone. The National Hurricane Center estimates Irma caused $50 billion in damages, making it the fifth costliest hurricane to ever hit the United States.

Under the circumstances, a roof over your head is certainly something to be grateful for. That said, if you still haven’t repaired or replaced a roof damaged by the hurricane, now’s the time. Here’s how to get started.

Do no (more) harm

Your roof might not have sentimental value, but what’s underneath it certainly does. Even if the hurricane didn’t damage the contents of your home, the aftermath certainly can, particularly if you don’t protect your home through emergency tarping. A good roofing company will tarp your roof immediately to keep a damaged roof from getting worse (and to protect what’s underneath it). That gives you some peace of mind while you work on roof repairs.

File your claim… now

If you’ve ever filed a homeowner’s insurance claim, you know the process can take a while – a long while. In fact, as of April of this year, only 57 percent of the nearly 1 million insurance claims opened post-Hurricane Irma have been closed. With Florida already in another hurricane season, it’s time to get those claims closed – or, for procrastinators, opened. Why the rush?

Under Florida Law Statute, 627.70132 Notice of Windstorm or Hurricane Claim, you have 3 years to file a claim within 3 years after the hurricane first made landfall or the windstorm caused the covered damage.  But your insurance policy may have deadlines to file within one or two years of the event to receive your benefits.   

And your benefits may not be what you expected.  Insurance companies are cutting corners and tightening their ‘purse strings’ because of the high dollar amount paid out on post Hurricane Irma roof claims.  Your insurance company might only approve repairs, although your neighbor received a new roof last year for the same damages.

An experienced company like E-Z General and Roofing Contractors can help navigate your insurance claim to make sure your insurance company fulfills their pre-storm condition obligation

Choose the right roofing company

An experienced roofer can inspect your home to determine the best course of action – for right now and in the long term. Find a Florida licensed and insured roofing contractor with a long history in the state of Florida, as this will help ensure your roofer is equipped with the best solutions for hurricane damage.

Before committing to a roofer, be sure you read any reviews or ratings you can find online. The Better Business Bureau provides ratings that reflect a company’s time in business, customer complaints, resolution of those complaints, transparency of business practices and other factors. Don’t settle for a roofing company with a low rating – or worse, no rating at all.

Additionally, be sure your roofing company guarantees its work. A good roofer will offer you a warranty. For example, E-Z General and Roofing Contractors provides a 30-year warranty – much longer than the common five-year offered by most companies.

Leave insurance issues to the pros

Dealing with confusing, difficult insurance companies after a hurricane is like adding insult to injury, especially when you’ve been waiting months (or a full year) to get the repairs you need to have completed. This is where a good roofer comes into play. The right contractor will have an insurance specialist on staff to do the heavy negotiations. These specialists have experience working with those all-too-common adjusters looking for any reason not to pay your claim. Many insurance companies will end up paying only 40% to 80% of the true cost of damages - a big savings for them.

“(A good roofer) serves as an advocate for their customers and will assist the homeowner with their insurance company at no additional cost to the customer,” Ney Dias, president of E-Z General and Roofing Contractors said.

Another hurricane season is here, so don’t just be prepared. Make sure you’ve also fully recovered from the last one – it’s not too late.   Make an appointment today with E-Z General and Roofing Contractors to find out how quickly your roof could be repaired.