Allstate nightmare

Hi all! I am a homeowner and am seeking advice on my situation. I have enjoyed reading other roofing professionals share their experiences on other posts.

My issue is both damage denial and claims handling:

I am in Iowa and end of April we had a hailstorm. All the homes in my development are same age, 20 years. I have watched 30 roofs go up around me so far and all of us Allstate insureds are the ones in a battle. Lesson learned

Our roofer says we have significant roof and gutter damage. Allstate sent a 3rd party called Hancock and she spent 15 minutes up there and said $400 damage. Our roofer legit laughed. Our roofer emailed direct to our claim reps email address (because that’s what he said to do) his rebuttal and photos the following week. I get a call from that claims adjuster saying (on a recorded line) that he received the photos and is setting up an independent adjuster for a second look. Intrigued I asked “so did you see something in our contractors photos that that girl didn’t show?” He says “I see what “could” be hail damage so I’m giving the benefit of the doubt by sending a second inspector. Allstate doesn’t have company adjusters in Iowa so all done through outside 3rd parties.

Second guy came and him and our contractor were in the roof for almost 2 hours! Our contractor said this guy was marking stuff even he missed. The next week I contact that adjuster to see when his report will be given to Allstate so I can gauge Allstate’s response time. He said it was sent back to him for a revision and he’d have it back to Allstate the next day.

Today a different claims guy calls me telling me they didnt agree with the adjusters conclusion of hail damage, and they reviewed and said it’s blistering and that damage below deductible. I asked how can you look at a picture and dispute a guy you paid, and spent 2 hours on our roof? Here’s where it gets interesting…

He said if my contractor wants to send something in…I interrupted and told him that was already done and the first guy called me after reviewing them thus why a second inspection. He said it wasn’t in the claim file. I said it was emailed direct to claims guy email per his request. I later get an email stating they talked with first claims guy who got the email but couldn’t open it because of the format sent and he tried numerous times to contact our contractor.

Lies! our contractor has no missed calls or emails from them. I replied asking for documentation of attempted calls or emails, and that I wasn’t made aware either. I also requested a copy of both inspection reports by the second adjuster (before and after revision). The Iowa Insurance Division today told me if they they don’t, to file a complaint with the division and they will request them.

Our agent is fighting for us by escalating. I am not rolling over. How do I fight further? Small claims? I need help from the pros on how to twist their balls because I am not one of the 80% that believes what they say and walks away.
Here’s the kicker! Due to depreciation we have to pay 60% anyway…it’s not like I’m getting a free roof so I’m fighting on Principal too.

Whew thank you

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Do not fight this on your own. You should interview both a public adjuster to handle this for you and you should also speak to several attorneys to see what they say. Depending on how your policy is written will depend on what they end up paying. Knowing your policy front and back is the first step, this is where a good public adjuster comes into play. Allstate is really doing everything they can to deny hail damages on roofs all over. I am a public adjuster in Texas and have a claim load full of Allstate denials where I saw plenty of hail damage. Some of my work load from them will get approved with just me fighting and some of them will be turned over to the attorneys. The homeowners I represent are willing to fight as hard as it takes and they know they cannot fight as good as we can. I would recommend also looking for another insurance company since this claim is already filed. I have one where Allstate denied hail damage, the home owners got rid of them and went with another insurance company, then got me involved and now Allstate is buying all of the roofs on their property, currently in a battle to get them to agree to pay for damages to siding and windows now. Hope this helps. Different states have different laws so here in Texas the contractors have no legal authority anymore and the insurance companies are exploiting that because many homeowners choose not to hire public adjusters.

Thank you for your insight. Your info leads me to ask a couple more questions, and I apologize in advance for my lack of understanding your field of expertise.

  1. When they first denied my claim I questioned why a hired outside third party, paid by Allstate, would ever report back honestly when they are compensated to keep claims low? When I mentioned “what if I hire a 3rd party to look at it?” He immediately went into if I was talking about a Public Adjuster this claim leaves his hands and that I should know a PA will charge us 10% of the settlement amount plus we’ll also owe a deductible. Clearly he was trying to sway me into not doing that. What is it about Public Adjusters that spooks them?

  2. What does a PA do that seems to be the key in getting them to pay?

  3. I want to switch to State Farm but I was afraid that if I did it before getting resolution on this that they’d just immediately close it out. You say I can still fight this claim even if we move to another carrier?

I am a surety bond underwriter and know that even if That bond is picked up by another company, we are still liable for claims that took place while our bond was in force. I did t realize insurance was the same

Thank you!

It’s probably too soon to consider a PA or a bad faith claim. Do you know if your contractor sent Allstate his estimate in Xactimate format? If he didn’t, he should. Will be necessary if you wish to pursue the matter. Allstate mis-placing or not filing new claim documents is a common occurrence for them. Allstate has a claims specific email inbox (claims@claims.allstate.com). If it wasn’t sent there, you can almost guarantee they will lose it. Also, they very likely agreed to reinspect your roof in order to address your contractor’s findings and your coverage reconsideration request. But this doesn’t necessarily imply they suspect they got the initial coverage call wrong.

Allstate grants their Independent Adjusters and ladder assists fact gathering permissions, but cannot extend, commit to, and sometimes not even comment on coverage. The inside desk adjusters retain that privilege.

Keep fighting. From the sounds of it, you’ve got a legitimate point of contention. Rather than solicit the services of a PA, call the Allstate property claims office and request to speak to a Property Claim Supervisor. Do not get roped in by the answering adjuster. They will try to block your request by suggesting they can somehow assist you. Insist on speaking to a supervisor.

If the supervisor tries to hold his/her ground, insist on a copy of the reinspector’s Xactimate report. Allstate will not share the actual reinspector report with you (it’s considered work product). Judging by your post, the desk adjuster revealed that his reinspector reported having found hail damage. This is good for you.

It’s critical that you bring this up when you speak to the supervisor. Argue that both your contractor and the reinspector reported your roof as having sustained direct impact hail damage. Furthermore, a documented hailstorm took place on your date of loss. The fact that neighboring properties are having new roofs installed is even more evidence that the likely cause of damage is hail.

Expect the supervisor to offer the following scripted response: “Sir, we base our coverage decision based on damages found at your home. Your neighbor’s claims do not factor in the outcome of your claim.”

Your response should be something along the lines of: “I agree with you. That being the case, my roofing contractor and your reinspector found sudden impact hail damage. However, your desk adjuster overruled them both. How can a desk adjuster overrule a licensed roofing contractor? Based on the manner in which my claim has been handled, I am forced to conclude that you have deliberately disregarded material findings favorable to my claim.”

Obtain the supervisors full name and title. Request a denial in writing. It is your right to be informed in writing what policy loss exclusion was relied upon to deny your claim in full. Inform him that if you do not receive a copy of your denial letter in 14 days, you will make a follow up request via certified mail. Before you hang up, notify him that you will have a Public Adjuster or attorney review the facts of the loss & the manner in which the claim investigation was carried out. You must also tell the supervisor that his adjuster should not have made comments about PA commission percentages. That was clearly an attempt at discouraging you from exploring your options. I’ve never handled claims in your state, but I imagine this is a dept of insurance violation in every state.

In my experience, supervisors prefer to overturn a denial rather than fight. Especially if it appears that your denial was questionable and if they believe you aren’t bluffing. In many cases, the threat of legal action is as good as the legal action itself. Whatever you do, do not raise your voice. Interact calmly and professionally. This frightens them way more than a screamer.

Stay in this fight. I think this will work out for you.