Insurance Sent Me a Check for Roof What’s Next? Your Guide to Action!

Insurance Sent Me a Check for Roof. What's Next
Insurance Sent Me a Check for Roof. What's Next

Insurance Sent Me a Check for Roof. What’s Next? Your Guide to Action!

Getting a check from your insurance company for a new roof can seem like a dream. But before planning how to spend that money, you must understand what steps to take next. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know after your insurance sends you a check to replace your roof.

Don’t Cash That Check
Running right to the depositing deposit or cash that insurance can be tempting check. But it’s crucial to hold off on that until you have a full plan for using the funds. Cashing the check starts the clock ticking on getting your roof repaired or replaced within a certain timeline.

Instead, keep the check safe while you make arrangements for your roofing project. This also gives you time to get multiple quotes and find the best roofer for the job.

Understand Any Stipulations

Before doing anything with the check, read over all paperwork from your insurance company about the claim. This should explain any stipulations, limitations or requirements about how you can use the money.

For example, your insurer may require you to use a licensed contractor or get a permit for re-roofing. Not following the rules could make the check void. Know the fine print before moving forward.

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Interview Roofers

Now it’s time to find some roofers to fix or replace your roof. Get at least three quotes from licensed, reputable professionals. Ask for their license number, proof of insurance, and references from past clients.

Steer clear of anyone asking you to pay the full amount upfront. Never hand over your insurance check until work is completed to your satisfaction. A reasonable down payment is 30% at most.

Choose Your Roofer Wisely

Don’t automatically go with the roofer who gives the lowest quote. Make sure to consider experience, quality of materials, warranty and overall professionalism too.

Check reviews on Google, Yelp and the Better Business Bureau. Visit homes where they’ve done work when possible. Choosing the right roofer protects your investment and home.

Negotiate a Fair Price

Be upfront with roofers that you have an insurance check to pay for the project. See if they can get close to that amount or honour your insurance adjuster’s estimate.

It’s common for contractor bids to be a bit higher than the check amount. But inflated estimates can indicate less reputable roofers. Negotiate reasonably to find a fair price.

Avoid Paying Out of Pocket

Work with your roofer and insurance company to use the check funds without paying extra costs. If the quote exceeds the check, ask about less expensive roofing materials or a smaller scope of work.

You can also file supplemental claims with your insurer for any remaining costs. As a last resort, you may dip into savings or choose a payment plan with the roofer.

Read All Contracts Carefully

Never sign a roofing contract or hand over your check without reading it. Ensure the contract specifies start and end dates, materials used, warranty details, and the exact payment schedule.

A solid contract protects you in case anything goes wrong with the project. Don’t let a roofer rush you through signing.

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Pay in Increments

A reputable roofer will not expect full payment upfront before working on your roof. Stagger payments in increments based on progress milestones outlined in the contract.

For example, you could do 30% down to order materials, 30% halfway through the project, and the final 40% only after passing the final inspection. This ensures your money motivates job completion.

Hold Back 10% Until the End.

It’s smart business to keep roughly 10% of the total project cost until the roofer finishes the work and cleans up properly. This incentivises them to address any last punch list items and not leave you hanging.

Only do a final walkthrough and release that last payment when your new roof meets your expectations. A little holdback goes a long way to ensure satisfaction.

Know When to Pay by Check

For large down payments or instalment payments, paying by check gives you the most protection. If any issues arise, you can stop payment on a check much more easily than recouping a cash payment.

Just be sure to document when payments are expected and delivered in your contract. Get receipts for any payments as well.

Maintain Open Communication

Connecting regularly with your roofer throughout the re-roofing process is essential. Discuss timelines, expectations, and any concerns as soon as they arise.

Good communication minimises misunderstandings and helps projects stay on track. Build a collaborative relationship for the best outcome.

Don’t Make the Full Payment Until the Job is Done

It can be tempting to pay everything remaining in full once the roof looks finished. But hold off on that final payment until the job meets all specifications you agreed upon in the contract.

Inspect the roof carefully at completion before cutting the last check. A reputable roofer won’t rush or pressure you to pay before you feel satisfied.

Refuse Payment for Poor Workmanship

If the new roof has flaws or issues, do not pay the remaining amount until those are addressed. Put concerns in writing, pointing to areas in the contract that were not fulfilled.

You have leverage refusing payment for inadequate work. Most roofers will return to fix problems promptly when money is on the line. If not, consult an attorney about next steps.

Get a Lien Waiver

In addition to refusing final payment, ask the roofer to sign a lien waiver when the project finishes. This legal document states they will not put a mechanic’s lien on your home for nonpayment.

Without a lien waiver, the roofer could still sue you for additional compensation even after paying in full. Protect yourself with this important paperwork.

Educate Yourself on Your State’s Laws

Construction and payment laws can vary significantly between states. Research specifics about mechanics liens, the right to cancel contracts, and other consumer protections in your area.

Knowing relevant laws empowers you in the rare case a roofing project goes south. Never assume all states handle things the same way.

Plan for Using Leftover Funds

If your roofer’s final bill is less than the amount of your insurance check, you get to keep those extra funds. Before depositing the check, consider how to use that leftover money best.

Putting it toward your deductible or into savings are both smart options. Just be sure to get proof of the final costs for your records showing the remaining money.

Request Copies of Permit and Inspection Records

For your ownership and insurance records, ask your roofer for copies of any permits pulled for the project and passed final inspection reports. This document has important details should you ever need to file a future claim.

It also proves that the work was done properly to code, protecting your home’s value. Don’t forget these key pieces of paperwork.

Know Your Rights if Things Go Wrong

Despite the best efforts in selecting a roofer, sometimes things can go awry. Work may be subpar, or disputes can arise over payment. If issues occur that can’t be resolved mutually, you have options.

Consult your state’s consumer protection agency or an attorney about steps you can take based on the specifics of your situation. Don’t let a shady contractor take advantage of you.

Success Comes From Doing Your Homework

Getting a new roof paid for by your insurer takes some legwork upfront. But following these tips will set your project up for an ideal result.

Do your research, get multiple quotes in writing, communicate regularly, and stick to a payment schedule. Staying informed and vigilant leads to a smooth process.

With your new roof installed properly and on budget, you can enjoy peace of mind and improved property value for years. Your due diligence will pay off every time it rains!

Frequently Asked Questions About Cashing an Insurance Check for a New Roof

Q: How long must I use the insurance check for a new roof?

A: Most insurance policies require you to repair or replace the roof within one year of receiving a claim check. Check your policy and with your claims adjuster about specific timeframes.

Q: Can I do roof work with the insurance check during any season?

A: If possible, it’s best to avoid winter when contractors may charge more. Discuss with local roofers their schedule availability to determine the ideal timing.

Q: What if I want to use a different roofer than my insurance recommended?

A: You have the right to choose your own roofer, just be sure they are properly licensed. Confirm with your insurer that the new roofer meets their requirements.

Q: Should I give the roofer the insurance check upfront?

A: Never give your entire insurance check to the roofer before work is done. Follow a payment schedule with reasonable increments, holding at least 10% back until the end.

Q: What if the roofer’s estimate is higher than my check amount?, negotiate the quoteuote down with the roofer based on your insurance’s assessments. If needed, file supplemental claims to cover extra costs.

Q: When will my mortgage company release the insurance funds?

A: If your mortgage servicer is listed on the check, they will release funds after you submit required paperwork, including signed contracts and invoices.

Q: What kind of warranty should I get on a new roof?

A: Aim for at least a 25-30 year manufacturer’s warranty on materials and a 5 year workmanship warranty from your roofer.

Q: Can I upgrade to a better roof with my insurance money?

A: Generally you can only use the funds to replace existing materials and features, unless your policy has extended replacement coverage.

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