Hurricane Irma Insurance & Restoration Questions

1. What does the Florida State Emergency Executive Order 17-235 issued on Sept. 15, 2017 mean for Homeowners, Property Managers and Property Owners?

Good news: The State of Florida has made it easier for contractors out of state to provide repair and restoration services in a time of urgent need. We applaud the State for helping Florida residence to get the help they need as quickly as possible.

Bad news: The State of Florida has not lifted any regulations concerning the inspection or installation process. During a roof repair/replacement process, contractors are required to pass THREE inspections. If an out of state contractor, or less experienced contractor receives the proper licenses there is a risk that they may not be aware of the inspection requirements and therefore may further delay your restoration process.

Good news: American Building Contractors (ABC) has been a local contractor in Florida since 2004 and has helped with over $600 million dollars in insurance restoration service claims resulting from Hurricanes. Our team is experienced with each phase of the inspection process and will guide our customers through the entire project.

2. Do I have to file a claim before you begin the work?

No. We will begin mitigation work immediately upon signing a Subject-To Agreement with American Building Contractors (ABC). The Subject-To Agreement allows ABC to inspect your home or property for damage, determine a scope of work, meet with your insurance adjuster and designates ABC as the  contractor who will perform the work on your roofing system upon your insurance claim being approved. The Subject-To Agreement is appropriately named because it is literally subject to your insurance company’s approval. If after all of our effort to help get your insurance company to pay for what we believe is damaged, ABC will NOT charge you anything for all of the time spent meeting with your adjuster and developing a scope of work or for any mitigation work provided if we are unsuccessful in getting your insurance company to replace what we honestly feel you are entitled to receive.

3. Why is my roof replacement taking so long?

American Building Contractors has tarps, crews to install the tarps and crews to replace your roof. We can get your home or property watertight and dried in immediately. So, in other words we can get your home or property safe from rain and water intrusion right now. However, four other factors besides crew availability determine how quickly your roof will be replaced: the insurance adjuster, the Florida Building Permit process, the city or county inspector and the availability of materials. ABC has been working with the insurance adjusters since 1998 and we’ve helped tens of thousands of homeowners and property owners with their insurance restoration needs. Because of our buying power and relationships with the leading manufactures and suppliers, we are normally able to get materials even after a major catastrophe like Hurricane Irma. Of course no contractor has control over the city or county regarding building permits or construction progress inspections but at ABC we realize that they are under enormous pressure and we do everything possible to help them do their job.

4. What happens if my insurance claim is denied, but I know there is hurricane damage?

Occasionally, a particular insurance company or adjuster will either refuse to pay for everything that is damaged or they will completely deny the claim. In these cases, we will suggest that you request a different adjuster re-inspect your property. If we still feel you are being treated unfairly there is an appraisal process with experts and an umpire and we will be present at every meeting. Of course you are welcome to attend but if you prefer not being actively involved or climbing on the roof, we will keep you apprised daily on how things are progressing. Learn more about your rights here.

5. Can I file a claim and get paid to replace my roof then just do a repair?

Sure. However the immediate gain could be minuscule in comparison to the potential financial loss. Not having to pay the deductible or getting a big check from the insurance company for a full roof replacement and then just having a relatively inexpensive repair done might seem practical or like a very attractive alternative. In reality it could be financially devastating because with most every insurance policy, your insurance company will know if your roof has actually been replaced as they require a final invoice from the contractor who did the work. Attempting to sell a home with a compromised roofing system could obviously be problematic. Also, ask your insurance agent about your insurance policy and if you would have any coverage at all for an interior loss resulting from a leaking roof after your insurance company paid to have it replaced and you elected not to have the work performed

6. How can I protect myself when deciding upon a contractor?

First - Always ask for proof that they are a licensed contractor in the state of Florida. You can take the number provided to you and confirm their legitimacy here. American Building Contractors Insurance Restoration Services, Inc. is licensed in Florida as a General Contractor (#CGC1514761) and also as a Roofing Contractor (#CCC1328490).

Second - There are a number of “Red Flags” to beware of when selecting a contractor:

  • Asks you to pay money at the time you sign a contract

  • Asks you to pay in cash or write a check to an individual rather than the licensed company

  • Wants you to pull the building permit

  • Can’t provide a copy of their liability insurance policy

  • Doesn’t provide you with Florida State Mandated Disclosures

  • Proposal/timeline seems unrealistic (too good to be true)         

Third - Check them out online. Are they A+ rated by the BBB, do they have good or bad reviews.

Last - Select a contractor who is experienced dealing with the insurance restoration process and is fully qualified to help you through this time consuming and oftentimes complicated ordeal. Most properly licensed local roofing contractors can install a perfectly good roofing system. However most local roofing companies simply aren’t accustomed to dealing with the insurance restoration process because it’s been decades since there was widespread hurricane damage in Southwest Florida.

7. If I file an insurance claim, will my insurance rates increase?

Typically, insurance rates increase for all policyholders who reside in an area that was affected by a catastrophic event regardless of whether or not a claim is filed.

Ironically, the policyholder who doesn’t file a claim potentially loses three ways.  The damage doesn’t get fixed, the rates still go up and if problems manifest themselves after the time period expires to file a claim then the insurance company is no longer under any obligation to pay you. Ask your insurance agent if not filing a claim will mean that your rates will not increase.

8. How does the Marco Island City Council decision to grant free permits help me?

When filing an insurance claim for this type of claim the insurance company will pay for the Building Permit. So, normally there wouldn’t be any expense to a homeowner or property owner for a Building Permit regardless of the City Council’s decision.

9. My tile roof looks alright and it isn’t leaking, how would I know if it’s damaged?

If your tile roof suffered wind uplift damage, it wouldn’t necessarily be visible but eventually it will leak and you quite possibly would qualify for a full roof replacement. Furthermore, in the State of Florida, if you’re missing tiles or you have broken tiles and the manufacturer no longer makes the color or style of tiles you have on your home, your insurance company is supposed to pay to have your roof completely replaced. ABC is accustomed to helping homeowners and property owners work with their insurance adjuster in these types of situations.

10. Should I consider hiring a Public Adjuster?

A Public Adjuster can interpret your policy or coverage and will charge you at least 10% of the total amount your insurance company pays to help you settle your claim. This means a properly licensed Florida Contractor, who is already busy must be willing to work at a reduced rate. A contractor won’t charge you anything to inspect your home for damage, meet with your adjuster and explain the damage and develop a scope of work to help you settle your claim. The problem is most General Contractors or Roofing Contractors don’t have much experience dealing with the complexities of the insurance restoration process. The solution is to find a contractor who has insurance restoration experience. ABC has helped tens of thousands of homeowners and property owners with their insurance restoration needs.

Insurance Restoration Services

Since 1998, American Building Contractors has helped tens of thousands of Homeowners and Property Owners with their insurance restoration needs. Our years of experience enable us to help you in two distinctly different ways: Helping you with your insurance company and repairing your home or property.

Roofing companies replace roofs. Siding, window and gutter companies replace siding, windows and gutters. They do not as a normal course of business have to help their customers deal with all the complexities of working with insurance companies before they can do their job. We've been successfully helping our customers with their insurance restoration needs for years.

  • The Insurance Restoration Services | Phase I

    The first phase of our involvement deals with the insurance restoration aspects of the project. This includes inspecting your home or property to determine the extent of damage, meeting with the insurance adjuster on your behalf to discuss the scope of damage and help you through the insurance restoration process. If you feel your insurance company is treating you unfairly and refuses to pay for something that has been damaged, there is an appraisal process and we will help you through that as well. This first phase is oftentimes much more complicated and time consuming than the construction process. As a service to our customers, all of the work American Building Contractors performs in the insurance restoration phase of activity is done at no cost to you.

  • The Insurance Restoration Services | Phase II

    Once your claim has been settled, American Building Contractors will begin the second phase of activity and we will replace your roof, siding, windows and gutters correctly and safely. One of our Certified Project Managers will be at the job site every day. Each Project Manager has successfully passed a background check and has received training from the various manufactures on proper installation procedures and also training on the OSHA safety guidelines.