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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

There's a Hole in Your Roof - What's Next?

6/25/2021 (Permalink)

Recently, we sat down with our friend Andrea Duke from Liberty Mutual to discuss an eye-catching roof disaster that we encountered in the field. You can check out that video here: https://youtu.be/aGRXvoVtPb4

Here’s a transcript:

Dan: So the other day, I went to an individual's home to give them an estimate on what I thought was going to be water damage.

When I stepped into this fellow's living room, we sat down to talk over what was going to happen next.

I noticed that there was a tree branch hanging down in the middle of the living room about 12 inches from my face. A tree had fallen on his roof and he had really no idea how to fix it, so much so that he just let it sit there for a while.

This is a big red flag for me. We've seen a lot of storm damage in the past few years in Buffalo. We've seen a lot of high winds. I've seen this happen to a lot of people where they are just absolutely flummoxed by what to do next.

I'm Dan from SERVPRO. It's good to see you all!

I'm here with Andrea Duke from Liberty Mutual. Andrea, you're speaking from an insurance perspective. You deal with this stuff. What should people do when something chaotic and catastrophic happens to them?

Andrea: The first thing to do, especially if there's a windstorm and something's happened to your roof, we'll use that as an example.

The first thing you should do is mitigate damage. As a homeowner, it's your responsibility to protect your property. So the first step would be to mitigate any further damage from happening if you can, and if you can do so safely.

The next step would really be to contact a contractor, have them come out and take care of it, especially if it's something that you can't do right away. While they're there, they can give you an estimate. With that estimate, it gives you an idea of how much damage you have to your roof.

D: That's something that we see all the time, especially near the lake, where a lot of this wind damage happens. After there's a big storm, we are out there tarping roofs, boarding up windows, and just writing things up for people so that they can start that process of putting the pieces back together.

Say they do get those estimates, they do have those numbers, they do have that scope of work, how do they decide what to do next?

A: What they would do is probably pull out their homeowner’s policy. They're going to want to take a look at their homeowner's policy and see what their deductible is going to be. Some people carry very high deductibles and some people carry very low deductibles.

Based on whatever the estimate is telling them, that's going to help them make the decision on whether or not they want to file a claim with the insurance company. Ten they can make that decision.

It's helpful to have the estimate when you call your claims department as well.

D: This is a very confusing thing for people in the best of times, and when you have a hole in your roof and it's raining inside, it’s extra confusing. You’ve got a lot on your plate.

If you don't know what to do, call your agent. They're there to help you, or I would I think it's safe to assume you could call Andrea. Andrea, you'd be willing to talk to these people?

A: Absolutely, give me a call if there's anything that I can help with.

D: Definitely, you do not have to deal with this alone. I would imagine for most people this is the first time they've ever had a tree fall through the roof and hopefully it's the last. It's okay to ask for help. There's a lot of people out there who want to help you. Anything else, Andrea?

A: No, not as far as that goes. Hopefully, nobody will have that issue. But I think that we are going to be giving them a lot of nice tips so that they will know what to do in the event that something like this happens.

D: For sure. Everybody stay safe out there!

I'm Dan from SERVPRO! Andrea, who are you again?

A: I'm Andrea with Liberty Mutual in the Buffalo office.

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