Tips For Working With Your Insurance Company

Atlas Construction Group works with all major and independent insurance companies. We know what they need to process a claim most efficiently and properly.

Here are a few tips for you to follow when working with your Insurance Company:

  • Contact Atlas Construction Group to schedule a free on-site inspection to determine if damage was incurred.
  • If damage has been verified, you should contact your agent to request an inspection.
  • Your agent can authorize any temporary repairs necessary to prevent further damage to your property.
  • Your insurance company will usually require receipts for any emergency repairs you have done in order to reimburse you correctly.
  • We suggest that you take pictures of the damage prior to any repairs.
  • Do not make any permanent repairs until the adjuster has had the opportunity to inspect the damaged area.
  • Once the inspection is complete, you will receive a claim sheet outlining the scope of damage and the funds being made available for the repairs, less your deductible.
  • Atlas Construction Group offers free insurance claims assistance.

Can Atlas Construction Group help with your entire claims process? ABSOLUTELY! Many commercial building owners and residential homeowners rely on Atlas Construction Group to analyze the damage, take pictures, make any necessary immediate temporary repairs and schedule the adjusters meeting with the claims representative from the insurance company. We will go over everything with you so you have the maximum comfort level with the entire process. Guaranteed!

Insurance Claim Process and Set of Procedures

  1. Contact Atlas and set up a complimentary inspection of your roofing system.
    1. During this initial evaluation, Atlas will take photographs of any visible evidence and determine if an insurance claim is warranted.
      1. If Atlas determines that there is not sufficient evidence to validate an insurance claim being submitted, you will know that upfront and as agreed, there will be no charge for the inspection.
    2. Upon determining that sufficient evidence exists, the following will need to be approved immediately.
      1. An Insurance Authorization form will need to be signed by whomever the authoritative figure is that has the ability to make the final decision in moving forward with the claim process.  More and more insurance companies are requiring that Contractor’s obtain permission upfront, so that the line of communication can be established in the beginning of the claim process and most importantly, to verify the insured has given permission to the Contractor to represent them throughout the claim.
  1. Upon receiving the signed Authorization Form, Atlas will determine the exact storm date as well as compile all of the necessary data through a specific set of procedures in order to provide the insurance company factual evidence to support the claim.  Those procedures include but are not limited to the following:
    1. Obtaining a core sample to determine how many layers compile the entire roofing system, as well as, identifying what the layers are comprised of.
      1. All core sample penetration holes are properly filled and sealed.
    2. Infrared scanning to determine if water has penetrated the top layer of the roofing system, as well as, to determine its path to locate the point of origin.
    3. Moisture meters will also be used to determine the level of surface saturation.
    4. Larger core samples, 12”X12” squares, may also be needed to take to the laboratory for further testing.  This typically entails built-up roofing systems in which there are multiple layers of asphalt between the top layer of the roof and the roof deck.  Atlas will use what is known in the industry as the “freezing method” to freeze and separate the asphalt layers thus locating fracture points in the membrane caused by hail.
  2. Once a claim is approved, the Insurance Company will send a copy of the paperwork to the insured, who agrees to provide a full and complete set of the paperwork to Atlas.  This paperwork shows in detail all of the materials and labor that the insurance company is paying to replace/repair(s) the roofing system.  The dollar amounts are broken out in several categories; as follows:
    1. Replacement Cash Value:  (RCV) this is the total amount of the claim including all materials, labor, tax and general contractor overhead and profit.
    2. Actual Cash Value:  (ACV) The actual cash value of a roof and what it may cost to replace it are, most often, two separate things. When a roof is older, it is not necessarily worth the same amount as when it was installed. This is what is called the actual cash value, or the replacement cost of your roof minus the amount the insurance company has depreciated it based on its age. This is the amount after the insured’s deductible has been subtracted from the RCV total amount.  This also represents the amount that the insured will be receiving from the insurance company for their first check to go towards the roof replacement/repair(s).  Upon receipt of this initial check the insured will immediately endorse; “Payable to Atlas Construction Group” and after funds have cleared will begin ordering materials for the roof replacement.
    3. Recoverable Depreciation:  This is the trickiest portion of the roofing insurance claim. The recoverable depreciation is basically the difference between the replacement cost (total claim) and the value of an older roof (actual cash value). The insurance company holds this money back based on the difference between the full replacement amount and the actual cash value. It is deemed “recoverable” because the insurance company will reimburse you, up to this amount, for having your roof/other work repaired. Once Atlas completes the replacement/repair(s) a final invoice will be submitted and emailed/faxed to the insurance company.  A final check will be mailed to the insured and upon receipt, will immediately be endorsed by the insured; payable to Atlas Construction Group and given to Atlas as final payment.
    4. Supplements: During the course of the replacement/repair(s) there may be a situation that arises in which additional damage is discovered.  This is typically consistent with the removal of the top layer of roofing.  AS a result and per the insured’s specific policy, the insurance company is responsible for these additional expenses.  If the need arises, Atlas will submit via fax/email a supplemental invoice to the insurance company.  Upon approval the insurance company will add the amount either to the final depreciation check amount, or, they will mail a third check to the insured.  In either case, Atlas will be fronting the expenses so the full amount of the supplement is also awarded to Atlas for reimbursement.  The insured will also endorse any additional supplement check; payable to Atlas Construction Group.

Insurance companies spend HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS to protect their financial interests by hiring professional engineers to do their own laboratory testing and analysis of roofing systems when a claim is submitted. These professionals are PAID by the insurance companies for their results and findings.

Understanding the Insurance Appraisal Process 

Has your insurance company forced you into the Appraisal Process?
What? When? Where? How? Allow us to help you get the answers you need.

First and foremost, realize you are not alone.  Most policyholders are unaware of how to dispute and resolve their claim with the insurance company.  The good news is policyholders have a choice, as well as, a voice within their policy for this very purpose. It’s called The Appraisal Clause – also known as The Appraisal Provision. Now, don’t let this scare you.  Some people hear the word “clause” or “provision” and think that it would take a law degree to understand. A simple way to understand it is that it’s the insurance industry’s version of arbitration. Although similar, the Appraisal Process is NOT a method of arbitration or mediation and the umpire is not an arbitrator, mediator, or judge. Insurance Appraisal, Mediation, and Arbitration are separate things.  In short; Arbitration and/or Mediation requires attorneys and a legal process, where as, the Insurance Appraisal route does not require attorney’s or a legal process at all.  As a result and due to many years of supporting our clients through insurance claim disputes, we have found that the highest success rate that yields the greatest awarded claim dollar value amount for the insured, combined with the least amount of frustration in dealing with the insurance carrier, is through the Appraisal Process and more specifically, our recommended appraiser.  We will only support recommending going to “Appraisal” as a last resort and only if we strongly feel the insured is truly entitled to additional monies that the insurance company is simply refusing to pay.
Most policies have the, “Insurance Appraisal Clause”If you feel your at a stand-still with your insurance company and want to resolve your claim you’ll need to check your policy for the Appraisal Clause. Most policies will have the provision listed under the “What to do after a loss,” section or the “Conditions“ section of the policy. Below, you will find a sample of a typical Insurance Appraisal Clause included in most policies. Keep in mind that policies can be different in each state. Therefore, you should read your own policy to see if this clause exists. To make it easy, simply provide a copy of your policy to your Atlas representative and he/she will be more than happy to search and locate this provision in your policy if it exists.  It will say something similar to the following;

APPRAISAL – If you and we fail to agree on the amount of loss, either one can demand that the amount of the loss be set by appraisal.  If either makes a written demand for appraisal, each shall select a competent, independent appraiser.  Each shall notify the other of the appraiser’s identity within 20 days of receipt of the written demand.  The two appraisers shall then select a competent, impartial umpire.  If the two appraisers are unable to agree upon an umpire within 15 days, you or we can ask a judge of a court of record in the state where the residence premises is located to select an umpire.  The appraisers shall then set the amount of the loss.  If the appraisers fail to agree within a reasonable time, they shall submit their differences to the umpire.  Written agreement signed by any two of these three shall set the amount of the loss.

Although Atlas Construction Group is not representing itself as an Appraiser, we do hold over 20 years of combined experience in the construction industry pertaining to insurance claims from storm damage and therefore consider ourselves experts in this field.  Your signature below only acknowledges that we have gone over the “Appraisal Process” with you and you fully understand when it may be applicable and support and agree to move forward at any time throughout the claim process, should Atlas Construction Group deem it is necessary.  If that should occur, there will be no out of pocket money for the insured with this expense and you agree to allow the Appraiser recommended by Atlas Construction Group to represent you as your appraiser and agree to sign a separate Appraisal Agreement endorsing that.

ATLAS CONSTRUCTION GROUP works for the insured to protect their financial interests and securities.  Don’t accept “NO” for an answer when through preparation, proven procedures and strong track record a “YES” is most attainable.