Snow Removal on Roofs - Be Careful Who You Hire and How it Impacts Your Claim
A phone call to our office today from a public adjuster colleague in Boston confirms what we all are seeing on TV. The call started out this way… “Dick as you know our firm has been in the public adjusting business for a long time and we have never seen anything like this. We need help.” This call is from a good guy and person I have known for years and whose firm enjoys a stellar reputation. For years we have referred clients back and forth to each other. His firm’s phones no doubt have been ringing off the hook and I suspect their email boxes are full. To my friend rest assured, the cavalry is saddling up. We can’t let a colleague and friend down.
But first, a note of caution to all the property owners in Boston and areas throughout New England and the Northeast; be careful when approached by strangers offering help. As always, there will be scam artist and fly-by-night folks offering emergency services such as snow and ice removal from roofs. Reducing the load on roofs from a heavy accumulation of snow and ice when it’s safe and done properly is a good idea. But make sure the contractor you hire is licensed, experienced, and insured. If doing it yourself, safety should be the number one consideration. And remember, if the roof covering is damaged while doing the removal, you may open yourself up for second-guessing by your insurance company. Failing in your attempt to mitigate your damages is one thing, causing damage by destroying an otherwise good roofing system may result in a claim denial for the cost to replace or repair the roof damaged in the snow and ice removal process.
So consider professional help with snow and ice removal from your roof, look for people that are licensed, insured, and experienced. Here’s a good article that just ran in the Boston paper; Can Your Roof Handle all this Snow? If you have a commercial policy, depending on the forms that make up your policy, some or all of the cost may be recovered under a sue and labor clause which allows for expenses to reduce or prevent a loss from happening.
Finally remember Life, Health, and Safety, always trumps any cost consideration. If you have questions regarding any property insurance claim related issues please call 800.321.4488 or contact us to submit a question to one of our public adjuster or insurance claim experts.