When it comes to replacing your roof or siding, the cost can vary depending on whether you're going through insurance or getting a retail estimate. Insurance claims rates tend to be higher because there are more steps involved in the process and the process itself will take a lot longer.
First, an inspection is done to see if there is any damage. Then, a meeting with the adjuster is scheduled to determine what is covered by the insurance and what isn't. This is followed by another meeting with the homeowner to go over the work scope provided by the insurance and select materials. It takes about four weeks from the time a claim is filed to when the homeowner receives the first check.
After the work is scheduled, which can take 1-3 weeks or more depending on how busy the contractor is, the actual project can begin. Once completed, a certificate of completion must be signed and sent to the insurance company. It takes about 2 days for this process and if there are no delays, the final payment will come in after another 1-2 weeks. Thus, the entire process can take 7-9 weeks until the full payment is received and the project is finished.
However, when it comes to retail estimates, the process is much simpler. Contractors can show up, take measurements, send an estimate and once the agreement is signed and the down payment given, they schedule the work. The entire process can take as little as 4-5 weeks or less. There is a big difference here since costs for any business come every month and dealing with any project costs you have to include your overhead within the price so there is a big financial difference when a contractor has to worry about two months of overhead versus one month.
Additionally, when insurance companies pay out for a claim, there is a pre-programmed rate for the region they are in. Programs like Xactimate ensure that insurance companies and contractors alike have the same estimate. Retail estimates can be lower since contractors compete for your business and the process is much shorter with less visits to the property.
If a homeowner has gone through the insurance process and needs assistance from a contractor, then regular regional rates should be applied to the project. A trained pair of eyes can save time and ensure that everything is covered. There have been cases where homeowners missed out on additional damage because they didn't know what to look for.
In conclusion, while insurance claims rates for roof and siding replacement tend to be higher due to the additional steps and time involved in the process, they ensure that everything is covered. Retail estimates may seem cheaper, but they are relatively quicker to handle with less steps and therefore that is reflected in the price.