If you want to know what the best insurance company is, ask somebody that has to work with them every single day.we take just a few minutes to answer your questions about roof repairs, roof replacements, and the insurance claim process. But today we’re going to answer a question we get a lot,
WHAT IS THE BEST INSURANCE COMPANY?
So homeowners know that we have to encounter and deal with and interact with insurance companies on a daily basis so we get that question pretty frequently, what’s the best insurance company, which is the best insurance company to work with, which insurance company do you guys like working with the most? Well I promise that I am going to answer that question in this video, but there are a few things that I want to share with you that will help you kind of walk through that process of making a decision on your own, because it’s not going to work for me to try to tell you which insurance company I think that you should go with, you’ve got to do your due diligence and make those decisions on your own, and so I’m going to try to give you some information that will help you through that process.
HIRE A EXPERIENCED LAWYER
Now quick disclaimer, I am not an insurance agent, I do not work for an insurance company, therefore, you may rightly question my qualifications on explaining to you how to choose an insurance company, however, so as an a homeowner and if you are contractor that has to deal with insurance companies and I’ve worked through hundreds and thousands of insurance claims with homeowners and so, that is where I’m deriving the limited knowledge that I have to hopefully help you through this process.
DO RESEARCH BEFORE BUYING INSURANCE
One of the key suggestions that I can make for you as you’re trying to do this research is, make sure if you’re shopping different insurance companies, make sure that you’re getting apples to apples comparisons between the different companies policies that you’re looking at.
For example, you want to make sure that you have what’s called ordinance and law coverage on your policy, we’ve talked about that in several different videos, but basically what ordinance and law does for you is that if you have to have a rebuild of your property or a re-roof on your home or restoration work of any kind, if there are things that need to occur to to make your home or your roof meet code as part of that restoration project you want ordinance and law coverage on your policy so that your insurance company pays to make sure that you’re code compliant.
The other thing that you’re going to want to find out about is about any exclusions.
So, if you’re looking at different insurance policies, you want to find out what are the exclusions and is one policy excluding something that another policy isn’t, because that’s going to affect the price of the coverage for you.
So, for example, we’ve talked in article on about cosmetic exclusions, so if there are things that are damaged on your roof that your insurance company says is just simply cosmetic, well, then they’re probably not going to cover that as part of a restoration project.
Another very important thing to consider, is what type of coverage are you getting and what is your deductible amount.
We had a potential customer who had the unpleasant surprise of finding out that when he told his insurance agent that he wanted better rates, the insurance agent raised his deductible to like five or six thousand dollars, so, when he had a claim for his his roof, which the total claim for the roof was like only seven thousand dollars, he came out way on the short end of that stick.
But you also want to know is the policy replacement cost value coverage, or is it actual cash value coverage, and if it’s replacement cost value coverage how long is it going to be replacement cost value, because insurance companies, some insurance companies now are starting to prorate that coverage, so you start off with full replacement cost value RCV coverage, but then you start moving to actual cash value, which means that you get less of a benefit if you have a claim.
It’s almost like an adjustable mortgage where your interest rate goes up and up and up, well, on these kinds of insurance policies your coverage actually goes down and down and down.
Now as a contractor that has to work with these insurance companies on a daily basis, and we have to send them invoices requiring payment from the insurance company to the homeowner so that the homeowner can pay us and a lot of times there is just a lot of hassle in that process, so what are the criteria that I would have for judging whether or not an insurance company is a good one? Well, number one, is are there estimates?
So, when you have a claim for a re-roof, and I can only speak about re-roofs, but if you have a claim for a re-roof, their original estimate that they deliver to you, how close is it to reality all right?
HOW CLOSE IS IT TO REAL-WORLD COSTS OF ACTUALLY REPLACING A ROOF?
And then, the second, is if their estimate is not close to real world, how willing are they to work with a roofing contractor or work with a contractor to fully indemnify the homeowner for what it actually costs to replace the roof? Because the sad truth of it is, so many insurance companies just, they want to fight with you and fight with you and fight with you, and I would recommend, actually there’s a book called “Delay, Deny and Defend” and it is all about the tactics that insurance companies use to withhold money rightfully owed to the, to the homeowners, and probably, if you’ve seen the movie the Incredibles, you’ve seen that part where the the main character works at an insurance company and his boss is yelling at him saying, and, and I think, how, how does it go, the home or the, the, the main character says something about helping people and the boss says we do help people, our shareholders, and I really think that that’s a very accurate portrayal in my opinion and from my experience on how insurance companies work.
So, that’s obviously another criteria is just how big of a fight does an insurance company give us or give a homeowner about the actual cost of what it takes to replace the roof, because those adjusters whether it’s the ones in the field or especially the ones behind the desk, have no clue what the real world costs are to do this kind of restoration work. They’re, they’re operating simply from a template, and the template that they use isn’t operating on in my experience real world costs. Now I get asked, not infrequently, what insurance companies to avoid.
I’d like to say, I really would like to say that’s probably a conversation better kept offline.
So now when it comes to which insurance companies I like working with, here’s, here’s been my experience okay, and again, like I said, I am going to tell you which companies I really like, which companies I like working with, but here’s one thing that I have discovered over doing this for the last, almost 10 years now, and that is, it fluctuates it goes back and forth it’s like a pendulum.
One year, an insurance company will be super difficult to work with and just a real pain in the rear, and then another year they’re very obliging, they’re very willing to work with a contractor, they’re, they’re very willing to accommodate a real world scope of work. And then a year or two later, they, the pendulum swings back and they go off to the dark side.
So, really good example of that is Farmers, almost 10 years ago Farmers was a really good company to work with, they were very, very accommodating for what a roofing contractor needed to do, and then the pendulum swung the other way and they became virtually impossible to work with, but this year, 2020, Farmers has actually been one of the best ones to work with.
Again, same kind of thing, State Farm, State Farm used to be, I used to really dislike working with State Farm, but this year State Farm has been really good to work with. Now, let’s go ahead and get right down to the heart of the question, what’s the best insurance company? I can’t judge what the best insurance company is, but I can tell you which ones I like working with the most. All right, so here’s, here’s my list, my top, well, my top three list, okay?
So on my list is CHUBB.
Chubb is a really really good insurance company for a contractor to work with, they meet all the criteria that I explained about earlier, they’re very easy to work with, their, their estimates are good right out of the box, and they’re willing to accommodate, they’re willing to look at a scope of work from a roofing contractor, and if you meet a Chubb adjuster at a property, he’s willing to listen to you, and you don’t have to fight with them on the back ends to get them to agree to what you’re invoicing.
But here’s the caveat about Chubb, Chubb only, as far as I know, Chubb only ensures really expensive properties and they’re really selective about which ones, even the really expensive ones, which ones they will ensure. Another one that we’ve had really good experience working with, again, they they check off all the boxes of my criteria, and that is Colorado Farm Bureau.
Now, if you live in a different state and you happen to be watching this video, the farm bureau for your state may be a little bit different, but Colorado Farm Bureau has been really pleasant to work with. And another one that I really like is Shelter. We have found working with Shelter here, it’s actually been a decent experience.
Now, if you’ve got any questions about this particular topic or if you want to actually just talk about roofing instead of what’s the best insurance company, what’s the worst insurance company.
You can also visit our website that’s right down here: homesteadroofingcolorado.com we’ve got a ton of information out there and lots of other educational videos for you. If you want to argue with me about my list, if you want to argue about my list of criteria of how to choose an insurance company, I’d love to hear from you, okay? Please leave a comment in the comment section down below. If I get comments on this video, I definitely will reply.
If you’re an insurance agent or work for an insurance company and you’ve got a bone to pick with me about this article.