Hail Damage Contingency Agreements

Hi, I am a homeowner who signed a contingency agreement with a local “hail inspection” company to “pursue my best interests” with the insurance company (American Family). Anyway, the adjuster agreed to full replacement to the tune of $10k for a 2700 SF roof, plus some partial gutter and window work for an additional $1600.

The agreement states that I am only obligated if the damage is approved by the insurance company and then at the “price agreeableâ€Â

Where are you located?

Minnesota, Twin Cities area.

well the estimate is the insurance estimate.

But he should still provide and detailed description of the installation techniques to you. This should have been provided on the contingency agreement. If he is being vague and not explaining everything then I would consider looking elsewhere.

They will most likely not pursue anything in to court. If they do you will probably pay some sort of fee because they did do work for you under contract.

I am glad to hear you are willing to atleast pay them for the work they did. You sound like an honest man.

I know of a few companies up in your area. PM me with their name if you dont mind.

I will also add that IKO cambridge is actually a very good shingle. The marathon… not so much!

If I could find the thread with the “rankings” of shingles IKO cambridge is actually ranked higher that GAF and finished 2nd to certainteed on 30 year warrantied shingles.

when you agreed to let him replace your roof per insurance scope, what he is obligated to do, is replace EXACTLY what you have up there now, because thats all the insurance company is obligated to pay for.

if you want to upgrade anything, the expense is on you. not the insurance company, and not the contractor.

if you didnt want to use the contractor in the first place, to replace the roof, and do the claim from start to finish, then you should have not signed the contract. he likely would still have done the inspection, and done the work just the same.

would you have even known you needed a new roof, had this “storm chaser” not knocked on your door? or would you still have your old storm damaged roof?

now that he did the work getting the insurance company to total the roof, and agreed to do what you two discussed previously, i think you should do what you agreed to, and that is to let him work on your roof.

now… from a customers standpoint, i would want a local company to put my roof on, and id want a quality job from someone who will honor the workmanship warranty full term. storm chasers often cant do this. getting other “bids” is in your best interest, and you get the most for your money that way… i guess what i would do as a home owner, is twist his arm a little bit to give you the same upgrade, or whatever you can work out.

im on the fence on this one. lol

I agree with what you guys have said. I do feel I owe the storm guy the benefit of the doubt because he did get me thinking and working on the roof project which I would not have done otherwise. But all he did was identify potential damage then I contacted my insurance company and scheduled a time for the adjustor to come out.

I worked with the adjustor on the damage he identified. The storm guy showed up late to the adjustor meeting and may have helped a little, but then again maybe it was better he was late since the adjustor was nearly done by the time he showed up!

Anyway, I coordinated all the paperwork with the insurance company obviously since it’s my house and policy. That said, the storm guy took the first initiative and got the ball rolling, even though I am the one who has kept it rolling and will continue to do so. The storm company has an army of kids who know very little about roofing out looking for hail damage and “working” with insurance adjustors with varying degrees of success.

Basically I think the real value they add is just having them prompt you into calling your adjustor because they know there was a hail storm last year.

It is frustrating that they don’t know much at all about actual roofing, but as the next step I will meet with his management after I get quotes from some highly recommended normal roofers who aren’t going door to door looking for damage.

Like I said I am willing to compensate them for indentifying the damage in the first place. That’s fair. But I would never recommend signing up front for them to do the actual work. That was stupid. It should be an entirely separate process.

People who just care about getting a new roof for “free” probably love these guys, but I am more interested in getting something done the right way. We’ll see how it works out.

If I feel they can match the workmanship and materials of the other guys they will earn my business. Otherwise I have no choice but to say no thanks, I have found better materials and labor that you are unable to provide for the price and therefore you are unable to fulfill the contract.

The insurance estimate implies the roof is replaced to my satisfaction. No satisfaction, no deal. Thanks for your input!

I think that a good “storm damage restoration company” should offer extras over what the typical roofer does because there is almost always more money in insurance jobs.

I 5 nail in Indiana. Who really needs 5 nails in Indiana? But hey, just in case it adds another 20 MPH rating to a 30 year shingle so Im going that extra step to take care of the customer. I put ice and water shield on the valleys, vents, and eaves even though there is no code saying this needs to be done where I am.

I agree with Agape that if you make a commitment in writing you should honor that but… and this is a big but… the contractor should also honor his commitment to you and make sure that he goes out of his way (within reason) to take care of your concerns.

Lesson learned though… always check references and get everything in writing when dealing with anything to do with your home.

*People who just care about getting a new roof for “free” probably love these guys, but I am more interested in getting something done the right way. We’ll see how it works out. *

Careful there! :wink:

I do what you just described but I also provide references for anybody signing with me and recommend many times that they do their due diligence and call my references before making their final decision.

I put a ton of energy in to making sure that every last bit of what we do is done the right way and it shows from the time I first meet you until we complete a project and beyond.

The “Contingency Agreement” is not an actual contract.

Now, the guy did do some work, with time and possible experience, which “May” have induced the adjuster to process the claim, but that is unknown at this point.

Have their company provide an actual contract for the roofing specifications as per the removal and replacement with like kind and quality of materials and also the option prices for any upgrades you desire, which you should bear the costs of, in addition to your deductible amount.

There are also a couple of high quality local guys on this forum in your area, with Dougger222 coming to mind and I think that MJW is also from that neck of the woods, if you prefer to solicit a local established contractor who will not be gone and out of your state in one years time.

Ed

Thanks, Ed. I agree with you the contingency agreement is so vague it really has little teeth on either end for either party. The attorney I consulted agreed. It reads something like if you get some money from insurance and we think it’s enough we will put a roof on. That’s pretty much the extent of it.

Better language would read if there is a settlement both parties agree to work in good faith to agree on materials and labor to complete the repairs/replacement. That’s how it will work in reality of course.

I expect to pay the deductible and for any upgrades, that’s not the issue. We shall see how the next meeting goes and the level of detail they are able to provide.

Other contractors I have had out have been very specific on materials and labor. They describe how their crews are trained and supervised. They make sure they don’t miss the nailing line. They describe in detail how things like the step and reglet flashing around the masonry chimney will be installed. That’s the level of detail a real, enforceable contract has and I will be looking for from the storm company.

I think there are storm restoration firms out there that provide this and do great work, time will tell whether this company can deliver the same. Thanks again for the input.

ALL homeowners should be given this advice, from their Ins. Co., or the local roofing association, homeowners association, Local legal association.
Heck, a handbook when they buy a house would be good too.

It would read:
When solicited by a stormchaser, sign a contingency agreement (or whatever) that would slide him a few bucks to get you more money from your insurance compnay. Settle. Pay the Stormchaser what he has earned, then give him a BIG kick in the ass, and hire a ROOFER w/integrity to install your new roof

Well I just met with the storm company. The meeting went well, but I am still a little conflicted. I was pretty disappointed they would not prepare a detailed estimate of materials and could not even speak to the level of detail other roofers could. Their position is the insurance estimate has all the detail needed, even though the are clear differences and gaps/ undefined work between the estimate line items and the work they and the other contractors are proposing to do. One example is the estimate calls for replacing the drip edge, but we don’t even have drip edge, we have siders edge and no contractors including the storm guys think this should be replaced.

It’s clearly a bigger company with 10 or 11 subcontracted crews and a sales department which is who we are dealing with versus a production department which oversees the subs and the work they perform.

So even though today’s meeting was with a Field Sales Manager and our Sales Rep, I was left with a feeling of ambiguity when it came to the actual work they would perform.

A great example is the brick chimney flashing. Of the 4 other contractors I had out, 3 of them said the flashing most definitely should be replaced. It’s a single sheet of aluminum set into the mortar of the brickwork on one end, then folded down onto the roof where it’s nailed with a lot of caulking on the other end.

To properly replace this 3 of the contractors would cut the old flashing all away then install step flashing around the base and then use a diamond saw to cut a reglet 8 inches above the roof line (must be this high because the old ugly flashing was mortared in up high). Then they would install a top piece of color matched flashing which overlaps the steps creating an independent layer which can slide freely as the brick and roof materials expand and contract at different rates which is a lot in our severe climate that we have in Minnesota. Everything from –30F to 100F!

Plus it’s a wood burning fireplace so I imagine when you build a big fire when it’s below zero there is quite a bit of flexing going on as the chimney heats up. Replacing the chimney flashing is included as a line item on the insurance estimate by the way.

The storm rep said they generally do not like to replace chimney flashing unless it’s really bad and they weren’t sure about ours, but they would take another look at it (it was raining when we met so that was not a good time to inspect). When I asked how they replace if needed, again he was vague on details. I got the feeling they just avoid this type of detail work to the extent possible. Not sure what they would do.

So overall I think they would do a pretty good job, they seem like really good guys. But not real down-to-earth roofers. They specialize in identifying storm damage and dealing with insurance. The roofing part is almost a secondary line of work.

I need to sleep on it, I would like to award them the final job, but I just feel more comfortable with the hands-on expertise of the normal roofers. I feel like a tool for signing the contingency agreement, but my main concern is getting the roof done right with someone I have a high degree of confidence in. Hmmm.

I think you know the answer. Compensate them for their time, and tell them good-bye.

Your roof is theirs for one day. Then it is all yours, and yours only.

I agree with IS.

You know in your heart that the Storm Company really does not care to deal with details, but those details are what make or break a good roofing project.

They will threaten and yell possibly if you tell them that you decided to use one of the more qualified contractors who know how to do the details correctly, but just tell them that you will ask the Minnesota Attorney General for an opinion on their “Contract”.

Actually, those contingency agreements, being used in lieu of a contract place them at severe jeopardy with the the law, but not enough people complain about them in your State to have raised the Red Flags.

The Illinois Attorney General has recently indicted 12 or more Storm Chaser Roofing contractors for similar violations.

Choose the contractor that will do the job correctly.

If your insurance company determined the “Estimate” from their own calculations, then the Storm Chaser did not even do that aspect of the work for you. If they had done the calculations and gotten the insurance adjuster to accept their written quote all laid out for them, then they would be entitled to about 10% of the contract amount for providing “Independent Adjuster” Services, but they need to be Licensed Adjusters to perform that legally. Independent Adjusters get 10% of the claim typically, ON TOP of what amount you get paid.

The Licensed Adjuster that I use charges me 3% of the entire claim to work it through the insurance company and get the amount to what it should be for proper replacement costs.

Ed

I’d base my decision on knowledge of application, detailed contract and references.

When you say they seem like really good guys, it reminds me of hiring employees. That last really good guy I hired was only really good for about two weeks. Then he became a thief. http://www.21softs.com/emoticons/images/wallbash.gif

Be a nice guy and offer free insurance money.
That is their sales technique.

The roof? Thts is simply their TICKET, not their trade, passion or skill.

Savant,

Your pretty hard on these stormchasers. I am begining to think you dont care for them.

Not all companies that have contingency agreements are bad companies. Unfortunately a few bad ones tend to ruin things for those of us who are trying to build a legitimate business!

Outlaw Roofer… in the final analysis, they are waaaaaay harder on me :cry: