A while back, I wrote an article called How To Stay Focused On Your Goals When Disaster Or Impulse Strikes back in December about how we have been dealing with a roof leak that we had. We have the roof patched, but found out later on our insurance company wouldn't cover the cost to make a replacement purchase. They said that there wasn't enough damage. Well, they were willing to pay for about $450 worth of damage, replacing 12 shingles scattered across the entire roof.
At this point, figuring that we aren't going to get any help from the insurance company, we went ahead and asked for a full quote to replace the roof and for just that area. When we got the roof estimate back, we had no idea how much it would cost and were shocked! They wanted over $8,000 to replace our roof. This is a single story ranch house with an attached garage.
I thanked the estimator for his time and told him that I would need to get some more quotes to make sure that his bid was a normal price. He assured me that it was, but I needed to see it for myself. I then proceeded to call around and get four other places to come out and give me estimates. This didn't cost me anything and actually allowed me to learn a lot more about my roof and get some different feedback from each business.
I then compiled all the different quotes and started creating a chart with all the features from each one. As I did that, I could narrow down the field a little more. As I couldn't understand things from the estimate, I would call the representative and would get my answers. I would take note as to how they treated me, teaching me something new or just talking over my head. Luckily for me, most of these guys have had the heart of a teacher.
After narrowing down to the last two candidates, we will have sit down meetings with both of them this week to negotiate and learn more. After the sit downs, we'll make our final decision and then complete the purchase.
In my first post, I talked more about how I reacted initially when the emergency happened and gave some tips on ways to handle emergencies in the future. In this post, I want to highlight a few steps that we're taking now that we've come through the emergency part and can think clearly.
Checking with insurance about making a valid claim
Anytime you go through an emergency where you have some sort of insurance policy in place, it's always smart to start to see what they will cover. In my case, the insurance company wasn't willing to cover enough to make it worth making a claim. It's nice to know that I didn't get the work done and then find out that I could have had it done through an insurance claim.
Think about different things that you own that you might be able to have covered by a policy. Check the manufacturer's policy, homeowner or auto policy, even any extended protection purchased. There might be a cheaper alternative to getting something fixed or replaced before just going out and replacing it.
Don't hesitate to get a second opinion
When I got the estimate back from the roofer and it was a shock, I didn't even think twice about holding off and seeking a second opinion. The more you can force yourself to do this with your purchases, the better a deal you will get. Even if you can't find a better price, being more educated about your decision and having a better grasp on it will help. Try incorporating this into your purchasing strategy as often as possible.
Ask questions and learn to make a replacement purchase
When purchasing, buy something that you understand. The sales person shouldn't make a sale just because you don't understand the product. Read reviews online, call references, ask around about other's experiences. Find ways to back up the claim the sales person is telling you.
Make a pro and con list
One way to help you narrow down whether a purchase is something you need is to do a pro/con analysis. This will also allow you to compare it with other possible purchases. This will help you check your motives on why you are making the purchase and stop you from impulsing.
Talk it over with your accountability partner
After going through all of these steps, talk it over with your accountability partner and get their blessing. This step has really helped my wife and I improve our communication over our relationship. Also, once you are both on the same page and in agreement, no one can blame the other. If the purchase is goes bad, you are both participating in the purchase.
In the end, making purchases is a lot of work. Emergencies can make us feel that we need to rush our decision making process. I would encourage you to:
- Step back from the situation and think through it as clearly as possible.
- Put a little bit of space between you and the situation, allowing you to breathe and think clearly.
- Gather as much information about your purchase and if it's necessary.
- Make your purchase being well informed and have the blessing of your accountability partner.
Hopefully, your purchase will end up benefiting you well and will bless you going forward!
If you'd like to go back and read the entire story, here's the links to the different parts:
- How To Stay Focused On Your Goals When Disaster Or Impulse Strikes
- Researching to Make a Replacement Purchase - How We're Fixing Our Roof
- Making the Purchase and Reflecting On Your Decision
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