How to Avoid Future Deductibles

Aerial View of Shingle Roof
Aerial View of Shingle Roof

There are all types of shingles and manufacturers with all types of warranties from 25 to 50 year warranties, but some can help you avoid future deductibles.

Here is some insight into what to do, and how to help you cut through all the noise and claims that roofing companies pitch to you when a storm strikes your community.

Your deductible is based on a percentage of your premiums and the value of your home.  Most are 1-3% of the value of your home.  So if your house is worth 300,000.00, your deductible would be in the range of 3000.00 to 9000.00 depending on what you choose when visiting with your agent.  Most homeowners would rather pay more on their monthly premiums in order to be on the lower end of the spectrum should an out of pocket expense arise and you have to contact your carrier for damage.  

Let’s say you have damage from a hail storm, and you have a 30 yr architectural builder grade shingle, which most homeowners have on their home.  You contact your carrier or a roofing company to come out for a roof inspection. You have damage and the carrier sends out an adjuster to handle your claim, and he adjusts for a full roof replacement!  Great news and a relief to you as a homeowner, but wait you’re not out of the woods yet.  You have to find a reputable contractor that will install the right shingle on your roof in order to protect the your family’s largest investment, your home.  So you do what most people would do and you decide to get multiple bids, and the natural progression is to look at them lowest to highest.  You have many things to take into consideration; reviews, years in business, your gut feeling, what types of shingles they install, and referrals from friends and famly.

In Texas, there  is usually one contractor who will also offer to assist in helping with your deductible.  Let’s give him a name for the purpose of this article; let’s call him “Chuck”.  You think ,“Wow! what a great guy Chuck”, he is trying to help offset my out of pocket expense, which I agreed to pay when I signed on with my carrier.  Chuck must not be as greedy as those other contractors.  What to do now?  First off, when this happens, you and the contractor are both breaking the law and committing insurance fraud.  What Chuck is doing is putting you and your family at risk, you ask how?

Besides the obvious legal ramifications, let’s talk about the install.  Ninety-Nine Percent of homeowners don’t know much about shingles, proper install, what affects warranties, or the warranties themselves.  Let’s start with shingles, which can have a “no impact rating” up to a “class 4 impact rating”. A class 1, 2, 3, and 4 impact rated shingle is resistant to impact damage from hail, and they are classified through Underwriters Laboratory.   We have all heard the definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.  Why do homeowners continue to put the same old types of shingles on in hail prone zones and are surprised the following hail season when their roof gets damaged again?  They call “Chuck”,  he comes out and we go through the whole process again dealing with the hassle of insurance and another roof install.  Solution, go with an impact rated shingle like a “Malarky Vista” shingle class 3 impact rated that actually lowers your insurance premiums 12-15% per year.  A roof that actually pays you back and prevents you from paying out future deductibles. So, “Chuck” offsets his expenses by installing cheaper builder grade shingles or surplus shingle he gets at a rock bottom price. 

Also, Chuck tells you we never take off the old felt paper because it helps protect your home, but it will add another layer of felt for added protection.  Three things just happened. First, he pays less on labor for tear off.  Each layer of felt is more cost per square for tear off, do to more cleanup, nails, and weight at the dump. Second, he didn’t have to inspect your decking to make sure there wasn’t any rot to your plywood. Third, he has now saved the expense of the labor and materials to fix the decking.  Chuck, is winning and you’re losing, but he is your buddy now, you thought.  Chuck wouldn’t do that to me. It gets better from here. Five to eight years down the road, you start noticing shingle granules on your concrete driveway.  You think that’s odd so you call “Chuck” and his number is disconnected because he is no longer in business, because “Chuck” didn’t understand that a business has to make a profit in order to stay viable and be there after the sale when warranty issues arise. You, as the home owner, call another reputable contractor that you researched last time. The contractor does his inspection, and sees that there are multiply layers of felt underneath your shingles. The contractor informs you that multiple layers of felt cause shingles to retain heat longer, and that causes the issue of premature granular loss that you are seeing on your driveway after heavy rains.  You tell him “Chuck” said, that it was better to leave the felt  when you replaced your roof last time around.  What Chuck failed to tell you is that by leaving all the layers of felt there is no Manufacturer Warranty from the day that roof was replaced.  The fine print for any manufacturer states that multiply layers of felt voids the warranty and the whole warranty process!  Now you have no storm damage to file a claim on your home and you are stuck with a roof that is not going to last even close to the 30 years that “ Chuck “ told you it would. This in turn will cost you thousands of dollars in out of pocket expenses.  In closing, it is illegal not to pay your deductible, and any reputable contractor will not even offer that as an option. Thank of it in this regards, if a contractor if willing to commit insurance fraud how trustworthy are they?

It comes down to pay for a proper install upfront, or pay somebody more to do it right later.  With the price of roofing products skyrocketing, I would highly suggest using a reputable local contractor that will install an impact rated shingle in order to save on premiums and future deductibles.

Published by Mat

Hi I am Mat the general manager of Rock-Crete and a full time firefighter in our great community.

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