The Midwest’s weather can produce devastating storms in a matter of seconds. Tornadoes, lightning, hail, wind, and rain can all cause major damage to your home or property. The different procedures, laws and requirements for filing an insurance claim and hiring a contractor can be confusing and discouraging to the majority of homeowners in this time of need. The most important information regarding filing a claim and hiring a contractor comes from the Better Business Bureau and the Construction Codes and Licensing Division (CCLD) of Minnesota.
In 2010, the legislature passed a bill prohibiting contractors from covering the cost of, or offering to cover the cost of, homeowner’s insurance deductibles for exterior (roofing and siding) work. Effective August of 2011, the law extends deductible prohibition to siding work. The law further states contractors are also prohibited from offering any promises or providing any compensation for signing a contract.
Here are a few examples of ways that contracting companies could offer an incentive to sign a contract with them:
1. Covering the cost of or rebating any part of the homeowners deductible
2. Offering a “signing” credit, such as $1,000 off the final bill; either before or after the work is completed
3. Offering to upgrade shingles or siding free of charge
4.Offering gift cards, iPads, restaurant certificates, or anything of value as incentives or inducement for signing a contract
5. Paying an advertising credit for placing a sign in the yard
6. Offering cash, merchandise, or discount incentives for referring your friends and family
The Better business Bureau offers these tips and more to assist homeowners when filing an insurance claim and hiring a contractor:
1. Be aware that anything you sign is a contract
2. Ask for references, license, and proof of liability and workers compensation insurance
3. If the initial claim is denied, consumers may or may not be eligible for a re-inspection. Factors taken into consideration can include the quality of the original report and any pictures taken.
4. Insurance policies vary, check with your insurance provider with what is and is not covered under repair and replacement clauses.
5. Understand that the manufacturer warranties, their products, and if the contractor warranties their service and installation (get written copies of all warranties and guarantees)
6. Refrain from filing an insurance claim that you do not intend to fix
If you feel that you were not properly informed or if you would like more information regarding the CCLD laws or Better Business Bureau recommendations, feel free to contact us at www.pdrmn.com.
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These days most attics don’t have enough insulation or have insulation that isn’t working as well as it should be. An upgrade — one that will pay off every year and in every season you live in your home. Yes, you can and should add more insulation to your attic. It’s one of the best ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency.
Fiberglass and cellulose fiber are the two most common attic insulation materials. Each yields an R-factor of roughly 3.5 per inch. Cellulose consists of ground-up newspaper material, which is then treated with fire-retardant chemicals. Fiberglass is made of billions of strands of extruded glass fibers packed into specifically sized batts. Some fiberglass batting now comes encased in perforated poly bags to help contain loose glass fibers and make handling and installation easier. Fiberglass also is available as a loose-fill or blown-in material.
While the price of fuel oil, gas, and electricity continues to rise, attic insulation is relatively inexpensive and remains one of your best energy-efficiency upgrade values.
Call us today to set up your attic inspection today