Your Home Insurance Policy and Your Roof: What to Know About Your Existing Policy and What to Look for When Reviewing or Shopping for a New One

Home insurance policies in Texas are changing and where there used to be 3 different home insurance policies allowed to be written in Texas, there are now close to 300 options allowed. If you’re a homeowner, it’s important that you keep up with these changes, review your existing policy to understand exactly what your insurance covers and thoroughly review any revised or new policies.

The Insurance Business

Make no mistake that the insurance industry is a business. And while an insurance company cares about your roof (it protects your home from the elements and expensive interior damages), they must manage the money they take in … and the money they pay out. In doing so, many insurers are becoming more restrictive with homeowners’ roof coverage, especially in significant hail storm damaged areas of the country like Texas.

It’s up to you, the homeowner, to understand your policy and ensure that your insurance carrier covers everything required by your particular policy.

Deductibles

Your home insurance policy includes a deductible, an amount you agreed to pay before the insurance company will pay anything on a claim. Decades ago, these deductibles were as low as $250 or $500, but today they’re anywhere from a set amount of $1000 to $5000 or 1% to 5% of the insured value of your home. Typically, the higher your deductible, the lower your premium, and the deductible is applied to each claim.

After hail storms in North Texas, you’ll see some roofing contractors offering to "waive," "eat” or “cover" a home insurance deductible or install a new roof “at no cost to you.” Please be aware that covering a deductible is insurance fraud if a contractor and/or homeowner falsify an invoice, a proposal, a loss summary or any other pertinent documents relating to the payment of an insured loss in order to circumvent the payment of a deductible.

Replacement Value … or Not?

Some insurance companies have dialed back the roof coverage portion of their home insurance policies, especially on older roofs. Rather than offer full “replacement cost value” (RCV), many policies now offer “actual cash value” (ACV) or “roof payment schedules” (RPS - a sliding unrecoverable depreciation scale).

What’s the difference? RCV is what most homeowners are accustomed to (and prefer); with it, insurers pay all costs to make your roof whole again without factoring in depreciation, once you’ve met your deductible and incurred the cost of having the work performed. In contrast, with ACV (or an RPS schedule included in a RCV policy) your insurer pays to repair or replace your roof, less your deductible AND less depreciation for the age and type of your roof.

Make sure you understand whether your policy covers the full replacement value of your roof … or actual cash value, especially if you have an older roof.

Cosmetic Damage

Another trend is for insurance policies to exclude “cosmetic damage,” which is physical damage such as marring, denting or pitting that affects the appearance but not the intended function of your roof (which is to prevent the penetration of water into your home). This limitation can be a significant problem for homeowners, especially those with metal roofs.

It’s also a concern for those with shingle roofs who have metal accessories, such as drip edges, vents and pipe jacks. While your carrier may pay for the removal and replacement of your roof shingles and underlayment, the metal accessories that are excluded could cost you hundreds of additional dollars.

What happens to the market value of a roof (or parts of a roof) that looks awful but has been deemed to have only cosmetic damage? How do you handle the strict rules your homeowner association (HOA) may have about a property’s appearance? And while a dent or crack may not lead to immediate leaks, what happens to that roof over time? Know what your policy covers and whether it excludes cosmetic damage.

Filing a Claim

Unlike car insurance, your specific policy’s rate will not increase because you made a claim. A region’s rates may increase because it experienced a large, expensive storm, but Texas law prevents insurance companies from increasing your specific policy because of a claim (or two or three) that you filed.

Remember that if you have damage you don’t get taken care of, a later claim could be denied because you failed to maintain your home. Also remember that your insurance deductible applies to each claim; in other words, it isn’t an annual deductible like your health insurance policy.

Tips to Protect Yourself and Your Roof

  1. Don’t make any assumptions when it comes to your existing, revised or new homeowner’s insurance policy. Read your policy, ask questions and know what your deductible is, whether your roof has RCV or ACV coverage, if your policy excludes cosmetic damage and other details.
  2. Carefully compare policies. Here’s a helpful online comparison tool you can use: http://www.opic.texas.gov/residential-property/compare-policy-coverages/homeowners
  3. Once you have narrowed down the policies you’re considering, you can use this helpful worksheet to compare apples to apples: https://www.tdi.texas.gov/consumer/documents/howorksheet.pdf
  4. Maintain your home’s roof and document any repairs, maintenance, damage or inspections.
  5. Only work with local, reputable roofing contractors. The state of Texas does not have any licensing requirements or a state licensing mechanism for roofing contractors or general contractors, so it’s critical that you thoroughly research any contractor before hiring them. You can get a list of questions to ask and more consumer awareness resources to help at www.ntrca.com/advice and www.ntrca.com/consejos.

 

AFTER THE STORMS: ROOFING CONTRACTOR CLAIMS TO CHECK OUT

Springtime typically means storm season in North Texas. If your area gets hit by a hail storm, it’s also the season of flyers, business cards and salespeople on your doorstep.

Over the years, we’ve seen all kinds of claims made by roofing contractors who swarm upon neighborhoods, ranging from high integrity, reputable information … to questionable … to flat out misleading.

Before you hire a roofing contractor, take a closer look at their claims. Are they claiming to be:
 

INSURED?

Ask to see a copy of their certificate of insurance. Call and verify it is still in effect and that their liability insurance covers roofing work (some policies don't).
 

NTRCA - Roofing Contractor Claims to Check OutLICENSED?

Ask to see a copy of their license. The state of Texas does not have any kind of licensing requirement or mechanism for roofing contractors or general contractors. The only Texas roofing license is a voluntary program through RCAT - Roofing Contractors Association of Texas. You can call or check their website to see if a contractor really does hold a license through them.
 

MEMBER?

If they claim to be a member of NTRCA, RCAT, BBB or any other organization, it's easy to check that out online. NTRCA's membership listings are updated daily on our website - www.ntrca.com.

CERTIFIED?

Most professional roofing contractors are certified through one or more roofing product manufacturers. If they make this claim, don't be afraid to ask for specifics and then do your research to verify that those claims are true. You can go to the manufacturer’s website to see which roofing contractors are certified to install their roofing system.

LOCAL?

Where is the roofing company located? Do they have a permanent North Texas area address, operated year-round? Or have they come to town with the storms? You can look at their license plate, ask to see their driver’s license and/or drive by and check out their business address. You probably don’t want to hire a roofer who is operating out of his pickup truck or temporary P.O. Box. Where will they be after your roof is installed, should you have an issue and need them to honor their warranty?

ABLE TO DO YOUR ROOF AT ZERO COST TO YOU?

Are they offering to “take care of” your insurance deductible or install your roof at no cost at all to you? "Waiving," "eating" or "covering" a deductible is insurance fraud if a contractor and/or homeowner falsify an invoice, a proposal, a loss summary or any other pertinent documents relating to the payment of an insured loss in order to circumvent the payment of a deductible.

Get more consumer awareness tips and educational information at www.ntrca.com/advice or www.ntrca.com/consejos.

North Texas Roofing Contractors Association Announces 2018 Board of Directors and Annual Award Winners

The North Texas Roofing Contractors Association (NTRCA) - a regional association for residential and commercial roofing contractors, distributors, manufacturers and associates who maintain the highest industry standards - announces this year’s 2018 board of directors and annual award winners.

During the 2018 NTRCA Awards Banquet, held February 17 at River Ranch in Fort Worth, Texas, winners of the annual "Industry Leader of the Year" and "Associate of the Year" were announced and recognized for their significant contributions to the North Texas roofing industry and for their exceptional service. Past winners meet annually to choose each year’s new honorees.

The "Industry Leader of the Year" honor, the association's most prestigious recognition, was awarded to Gary Boyd, president and owner of Boyd, Inc. The "Associate of the Year" honor was awarded to Tommy Becerra, North Texas district manager at ABC Supply.

The 2018 NTRCA board members were also announced during the Awards Banquet. 

The NTRCA board officers for 2018 are:

  • Charles Cross, Jr., commercial sales at CIM Roofing (president)
  • Paul Ramon, president of Ramon Roofing Inc. (president-elect)
  • Holly L. Green, owner of Brettco Roofing (past president)
  • Bo Jackson, sales manager at Owens Corning (treasurer)

Other members of the 2018 NTRCA board of directors are:

  • Scott Anderson, outside sales at ABC Supply
  • Ross Crum, sales director at Beacon Roofing Supply
  • Sidney Curtis, sales manager at Pitts Roofing
  • Kyle Davis, owner at SuperRoofman
  • Paula Felix, vice president at Aspenmark Roofing & Solar
  • Amber Fuller, territory manager at CertainTeed
  • Bryan Payne, vice president at Chamberlain Roofing & Waterproofing
  • Chance Payne, steep slope regional sales manager at GAF
  • Bryan Pinder, territory manager at Southern Shingles
  • Kirk Scott, owner of Scott Exteriors
  • Jared Williams, estimator at Zenith Roofing

Additionally, the following four experts will serve as Ex Officio NTRCA board advisors in 2018:

  • Traci Garner Davis, First Texas Insurance Services - insurance expert
  • Karen Ensley, partner at Saunders, Walsh & Beard - attorney
  • Charles Cross, CIM Roofing - RCAT representative
  • Don Wood, Suncoast Claims – public adjuster

During the evening, NTRCA Golden Hammer award winners were also recognized. NTRCA’s annual Golden Hammer Awards recognize outstanding roofing projects completed during the prior year. Entries are judged each year on logistical challenges, quality workmanship, uniqueness, difficulty, time constraints, innovative solutions and safety challenges.

Contractors who won Golden Hammer Awards for Community Service Projects were: Springtree Roofing & Restoration for their work on the Salazar Project (with support from GAF, Allied Building Supply and Thrive PR); Texas Roof Management for their work on the Dallas Women’s Forum project (with support from Arnold & Associates, Inc. and Siplast); and Brettco Roofing, Pitts Roofing and MRB Contractors for a joint project for the Greater Progressive Church of God in Christ (with support from Empire Disposal, Texas Roof Management, Wholesale Roofing Supply and CertainTeed).

Commercial Contractors who won a Golden Hammer Awards for Outstanding Commercial Roofing Projects were: Absolute Roofing & Waterproofing for its Texas A&M Corp of Cadets Dorm Renovations; Supreme Roofing for its work on the SMU Aquatics Center; and Castro Roofing for its work on the TWU Mary Blagg - Huey Library project (with support from GAF and ROOFTECH).

Residential Contractors who won Golden Hammer Awards for Outstanding Residential Roofing Projects were: Tice Enterprises, Ltd for the Spotts Residence project (with support from Wholesale Roofing and DaVinci Roofscapes); Outback Roofing for the Clayton-Super Scapes project (with support from ABC Supply – Garland and Atlas Roofing Supply); and Tarrant Roofing for the Broadwell Drive project (with support from RSG – Dallas and BJ Gutters).

Contractors selected to receive a Golden Hammer Award in the new Metal/Tile Roofing category were: Classic Superoof, LLC for the Trinity Life project (with support from Boral Steel); Paradigm Roofing for the Monticello CrossRoads Townhomes project (with support from West End Roofing – McKinney, Legends Sheet Metal and Brava Roof Tiles); and KPost Roofing & Waterproofing for the Toyota North American Headquarters project (with support from Austin Commercial and Corgan Associates).

Sponsors for the 18th Annual NTRCA Awards Banquet included: ABC Supply Co. Inc. (lead sponsor); and specialty sponsors Beacon Roofing Supply; CertainTeed; Elite Roofing and Home Restoration; Empire Roofing; GAF; Hoch Law Firm; Hunter Panels; IKO; Malarkey Roofing Products; Owens Corning; Sanders, Walsh and Beard; Southern Shingles; Suncoast Claims Inc, SuperRoofman and ThermaFoam LLC.

Table sponsors for the event are: Brettco Roofing, Nations Roof Central, SPS General Contractor, Paradigm Roofing, MRB Contractors, Pitts Roofing/MHBT/Marsh, Frazier Roofing, Supreme Roofing, C-CAP, Texas Roof Management, Zenith Roofing, Independent Insurance Group, Springtree Roofing and Restoration, KPost Roofing & Waterproofing, SPEC Building Materials, CIM, Castro Roofing, Boral Steel, Outback Roofing, Tarrant Roofing and Polyglass.

Other sponsors include: ASCO, First Texas Insurance Services, Johns Manville, National Coatings Corporation, Preston Dugas Law Firm and RoofMaster Products Company.

To learn more, visit www.ntrca.com.

 

NTRCA Announces Golden Hammer Award Winners - Commercial Roofing, Residential Roofing, Community Service and Metal/Tile Roofs

The North Texas Roofing Contractors Association (NTRCA) -- a regional association for residential and commercial roofing contractors, distributors, manufacturers and associates who maintain the highest industry standards -- announces this year’s Golden Hammer Award winners. The winners will be honored at the upcoming 2018 NTRCA Awards Banquet on February 17, 2018, being held in Fort Worth this year.

NTRCA’s Annual Golden Hammer Awards recognize outstanding roofing projects completed during the prior year. Entries are judged each year on logistical challenges, quality workmanship, uniqueness, difficulty, time constraints, innovative solutions and safety challenges.

Contractors selected to win this year’s Golden Hammer Award for Community Service Projects are: Springtree Roofing & Restoration for their work on the Salazar Project (with support from GAF, Allied Building Supply and Thrive PR); Texas Roof Management for their work on the Dallas Women’s Forum project (with support from Arnold & Associates, Inc. and Siplast); and Brettco Roofing, Pitts Roofing and MRB Contractors for a joint project for the Greater Progressive Church of God in Christ (with support from Empire Disposal, Texas Roof Management, Wholesale Roofing Supply and CertainTeed).

Commercial Contractors winning a Golden Hammer Award this year are: Absolute Roofing & Waterproofing for its Texas A&M Corp of Cadets Dorm Renovations; Supreme Roofing for its work on the SMU Aquatics Center; and Castro Roofing for its work on the TWU Mary Blagg - Huey Library project (with support from GAF and ROOFTECH).

Residential Contractors selected to receive a Golden Hammer Award this year are: Tice Enterprises, Ltd for the Spotts Residence project (with support from Wholesale Roofing and DaVinci Roofscapes); Outback Roofing for the Clayton-Super Scapes project (with support from ABC Supply - Garland and Atlas Roofing Supply); and Tarrant Roofing for the Broadwell Drive project (with support from RSG - Dallas and BJ Gutters).

Contractors selected to receive a Golden Hammer Award this year in the new Metal/Tile Roofing category are: Classic Superoof, LLC for the Trinity Life project (with support from Boral Steel); Paradigm Roofing for the Monticello CrossRoads Townhomes project (with support from West End Roofing - McKinney, Legends Sheet Metal and Brava Roof Tiles); and KPost Roofing & Waterproofing for the Toyota North American Headquarters project (with support from Austin Commercial and Corgan Associates).

During the Awards Banquet, the NTRCA 2018 Board of Directors and this year's Associate of the Year and Industry Leader award winners will also be announced and honored.

Sponsors for the 18th Annual NTRCA Awards Banquet include: ABC Supply Co. Inc. (lead sponsor); and specialty sponsors Beacon Roofing Supply; CertainTeed; Elite Roofing and Home Restoration; Empire Roofing; GAF; Hoch Law Firm; Hunter Panels; IKO; Malarkey Roofing Products; Owens Corning; Sanders, Walsh and Beard; Southern Shingles; Suncoast Claims Inc, SuperRoofman and ThermaFoam LLC.

Table sponsors for the event are: Brettco Roofing, Nations Roof Central, SPS General Contractor, Paradigm Roofing, MRB Contractors, Pitts Roofing/MHBT/Marsh, Frazier Roofing, Supreme Roofing, C-CAP, Texas Roof Management, Zenith Roofing, Independent Insurance Group, Springtree Roofing and Restoration, KPost Roofing & Waterproofing, SPEC Building Materials, CIM, Castro Roofing, Boral Steel, Outback Roofing, Tarrant Roofing and Polyglass.

Other sponsors include: ASCO, First Texas Insurance Services, Johns Manville, National Coatings Corporation, Preston Dugas Law Firm and RoofMaster Products Company.

To learn more, visit www.ntrca.com.

What’s On Your Roof? A Consumer Education Guide from NTRCA

NTRCA launched its ongoing Who’s On Your Roof? consumer awareness campaign in 2009 and, since then, has received national recognition from the National Roofing Contractors Association for it and was selected for the “Texans with Character” honor by CBS 11.

Our latest consumer resource focuses on WHAT’S on your roof. There’s a lot more to any roof than meets the eye, and as homeowners review insurance and contractor paperwork, it’s really helpful to understand the different components of a roof and the various layers that make up a professionally-installed roof.

ntrca whats on your roof

Resourses like this are especially important in Texas, where most homeowners are surprised to learn that the state has no licensing, certification, registration or even insurance requirements for roofers. ANYONE can call themselves a roofer in Texas … and it’s not unusual to see an influx of out-of-state roofers or local folks in another profession suddenly become “roofers” after big storms hit North Texas.

ntrca roofing components

In addition to shingles (or tiles, sheet metal etc.), most home’s roofs will have anywhere from several to all of the above components, depending on the size and shape of the roof and whether or not the home has a chimney.

Provided below are definitions of each component:

Chimney – a pipe through which smoke or gas goes up into the air, usually through the roof of a building.

Gutter – shallow troughs fixed beneath the edge of a roof, with the sole purpose of carrying off rainwater (learn more about gutters in NTRCA’s Gutters 101 article for homeowners).

Valley – a hollow resembling or suggesting a valley, as the point at which the two slopes of a roof meet

Chimney Cap – a cap or cover for a chimney; they help keep animals and rainwater out, block downdrafts, block debris and help stop sparks and embers

Vent Stack – an opening designed to convey air, heat, water vapor or other gas from inside a building or a building component to the atmosphere.

Attic Vent – part of an attic ventilation system that replenishes fresh air through the attic space (learn more about attic ventilation in NTRCA’s Attic Ventilation Basics article for homeowners)

Ridge Cap/Vent – a ridge cap is a material or covering applied over the ridge of a roof; a ridge vent is a ventilator located at the ridge that allows the escape of warm and/or moist air from the attic area or rafter cavity.

Fascia – a board that is nailed to the ends of a roof rafter; sometimes supports a gutter.

Soffit – the exposed undersurface of any exterior overhanging section of a roof eave; soffit vents (an air inlet source as part of attic ventilation) are often installed in soffits.

Counter Flashing – flashing is used to weatherproof or seal roof system edges at perimeters, penetrations, walls, expansion joints, valleys, drains and other places where the roof covering is interrupted or terminated. Counter flashing is a strip of sheet metal in the form of an inverted L built into a vertical wall of masonry and bent down over the flashing to make it watertight.

Hip Ridge – a material or covering applied over the ridge of a hip roof

ntrca roofing material layers

Not only are there more components to a roof than most people realize, but there are also many more layers involved. And it is critical that these layers are applied properly by trained professionals – to protect your home AND to protect your roof’s warranty. To keep your warranty intact, a roof must be applied properly, per the shingle/tile manufacturer’s specs.

Provided below are definitions of each layer in the illustration above:

Decking – the foundation or base upon which the entire roofing system is dependent; can be made of steel, concrete, cement or wood (most home’s roof decks are made of wood in North Texas).

Drip Edge – a metal flashing or other overhanging component with an outward projecting lower edge intended to control the direction of dripping water and help protect underlying building components.

Felt/Underlayment – an asphalt-saturated felt or other sheet material installed between a roof deck and roof covering, used to separate a roof covering from the roof deck, shed water and provide secondary weather protection. When re-roofing a home, it’s important to make sure that your roofing contractor removes ALL of the old felt/underlayment and inspects the decking underneath. Manufacturers require this as part of their warranty, and it’s critical to inspect all of the decking (and fix any issues) before applying the new roof system.

Starter Edge – roll roofing or shingle strips applied along the downslope eave line before the first course of roof covering and intended to fill spaces between cutouts and joints of the first course.

Flashing – components used to weatherproof or seal roof system edges at perimeters, penetrations, walls, expansion joints, valleys, drains and other places where the roof covering is interrupted or terminated.

Headwall Counter Flashing – A headwall is defined by the junction between a sloped roof and a wall. Counter flashing this area of a roof correctly is very important to avoid leaks.

Sometimes, you’ll find a contractor offering a price to re-roof your home that, perhaps, sounds too good to be true. Often, it’s because they have not included all of the critical components of a roof system and/or don’t plan to remove your existing roof’s felt in order to provide the low number. Cutting corners to save money now could mean you spend more later as your roof system begins to fail or needs repaired. Make sure you know what you’re getting and/or not getting. And if you’re comparing bids, make sure you’re comparing apples to apples.

Find more North Texas consumer awareness resources at www.ntrca.com/advice or www.ntrca.com/consejos.

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