With Minnesota’s stormy summers and freezing winters, the elements can conspire to cause serious damage to your roof. If you find your home suffering at the hands of Mother Nature, you need to know what to do. Here’s how we approach storm damage.

We work directly with insurance companies so that you don’t have to. Before filing a claim with your insurance company, call a storm restoration contractor to come out to your home and do a free inspection. This way if there isn’t any storm-related damage on the home, you won’t waste time filing a frivolous claim.

We work for you. If you do have enough damage to justify a claim, make sure you have your contractor meet with your insurance adjuster when they come out to inspect your home. Although most insurance adjusters are thorough and accurate in their assessments, legitimate damage still is often overlooked. If your contractor isn’t present during the adjuster’s inspection, you are doing yourself a great disservice. If your contractor isn’t willing to meet with the adjuster, or if it seems that he or she cannot communicate professionally your needs to the adjuster, you may want to keep shopping for one who will.

You don’t need several bids. Your insurance company dictates the cost and scope of work. Experienced storm restoration contractors will agree to work out any pricing differences directly with your insurance adjuster. You should receive, in writing, that all you will have to pay is the deductible.

Beware the “free” deductible. Some contractors will promise that you won’t have to pay your deductible, that they will pay it for you, or that they’ll give you “free upgrades.” Be leery of this practice. After all, why would a reputable contractor need to bribe you to use them? We get calls all the time from homeowners who received a deal that was too good to be true from a roofer, and when the roof started to leak the contractor stopped returning calls.

Most insurance companies pay claims using a two-check system. You’ll usually receive 50%-70% up front to get the project moving. Once all repairs are complete, your contractor should fax a final invoice to your insurance adjuster to release the remaining funds. Your insurance company will only pay the amount it cost you for the work that was completed. If your contractor charges you less than the insurance allotment for the work completed, your insurance company keeps the difference – not you.