Is my insurance company playing me?


#1

In March of this year our area received hail. There was a tornado about 2.5 miles away. Many new roofs have been installed as a result of this and many covered by insurance. After asking a local roofer (20 years here) to perform repairs he looked things over and recommended that I contact my insurance company as he felt it needed to be replaced (roof is ~14 years old). Anyway, my insurance company sent out an appraiser who climbed onto the roof, took many photos, etc. After he came down I asked him what he thought and he let me know he thought I had a pretty good chance at a full replacement. The next day he contacted me and told me that the insurance company didn’t like his photos and that he had to come again with someone else. About a week later he came again and the other person got up there. Anyway, today I receive an estimate from my ins company claiming no storm damage anywhere but offering me over 4k (3k+my 1k ded.). So, if there is no damage, why would they offer me anything? Then a few minutes ago, the original ‘independent’ adjuster (the one that at first told me he thought it was a complete replacement) called me to let me know what I would be getting (strange? because the ins company already did so). While talking to me he let me know that I could request an additional inspection and hinted that a replacement was still possible… Anyway, any thoughts on this, especially the part where the estimate says no storm damage but they are willing to give me money anyway? Thanks.


#2

After our current experience with a roof replacement process I have a real admiration for independent adjusters. There are some things that the ones hired by insurance companies just will not tell you. If he is hinting that a replacement is possible, I would get an independent adjuster out. Before that, check your policy over with a fine tooth comb. There were apparently a few little changes they started adding after Hurricane Sandy and you want to make sure your insurance does not have any loopholes. I am not 100% on the terminology and I hope someone who knows more can answer you here. If your policy covers a full ‘apple to apple’ replacement of the roof, your insurance company may be trying to stiff you by giving you the repair cost instead of the full cost to replace. Another thing I would do is have a roofer of your choice at the house when the adjuster comes out. Both of them can go up on the roof, photograph things and do the chest pounding demonstrations of ‘I know what I am talking about’ that I as a homeowner just couldn’t do… If you already have a roofer who has proof of the damage, and an adjuster who knows what your roofer has seen, then insurance may give up on trying to pull the wool over your eyes - if that is what they are doing.


#3

Thanks for your reply. I find that the strangest thing is that the estimate claims no storm damage for each slope but they offer me $$$ anyway. My roofer believes that they are just trying to pay for one or two of the slopes to be replaced w/o putting it in writing and he contends that in Virginia with a hip roof when you replace one slope you have to replace the others per manufacturers instructions and that stands in VA.


#4

I’m in Texas so things may be different here. I do know that I had a 50 year Elk roof and my insurance company did the same thing that yours is trying to do. We had a hideous hail storm in 2012 and they told me that if they paid out it would only be for repairs and my deductible was bigger than what the repairs were worth. (My policy deductible is 1% of the home value). I didn’t get a dime from them and kept fixing and fixing and fixing things with the roof as the hail damage caused different things to fail. I was a newbie homeowner then. This time around I had a roofer here to meet the adjuster, got really lucky that our adjuster was independent and a really kind gentleman. He sat down and explained how the system worked and what I should look for in my policy and repeated about 10 times that I could file a supplemental once the Insurance company told me I had a 30 year roof. He wouldn’t acknowledge that I had a 50 year roof but he told me exactly how to get the shingle tested to prove it to the insurance company. It is a game and you have to figure out how to work it. Sucks but that is how it seems to be.


#5

Find a local, reputable contractor experienced in working with the insurance companies to work with. You may have to sign a contract. Have them present to meet the adjuster when they come out the next time. Essentially, you’re in over your head and by the time you figure it out by sharing your story here, you will have already gotten screwed over.


#6

Take authentic dad’s advice. That is Your best route.