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.


#7

i know a person who can help you! he is living in Texas to, owned a roofing company.


#8

Get your roofer, contractor involved. Make sure they know how to play the insurance game. Don’t settle until you get a full roof replacement.

Who is your ins. company?


#9

@Authentic_Dad is always right, as far as I have seen…


#10

Well, it’s been a while since I started this topic… And I am still dealing with it. My first roofer who felt it was unnecessary to be there when my insurance company inspected (Liberty Mutual) has been replaced a couple of weeks ago by a roofing company that managed to get my neighbor (who started around the same time) a new roof which is already installed. The new roofer is or has just submitted his estimate and damage report. He actually went up on the roof and took many pictures of the hail damage that the second Liberty Mutual inspector couldn’t seem to find. Tile damage as well as dents on various soft metal pieces (pipes etc). He is convinced that they will have to buy me a new roof. Had the first roofing company bothered to send someone out for the initial inspection where the LM inspector told me that I would likely be getting a new roof I would probably already have had one installed by now. Honestly I should have gone with the second roofer first but I went with the first roofer because I thought he would want to do a good job for me since I do online lead generation for him which brings him more business than his YP ad. Lesson learned… Guess I won’t ever be doing a storm damage campaign for him… Will update when this is resolved…


#11

It may be time to get an attorney involved. You’d be amazed how quickly that tends to get the insurance company’s attention.

The other thing I’d recommend is to go on line to Facebook and start ripping LM a new one as much as possible. Make sure to mention them by full name. I believe they have automated monitoring of social media and they take actions to shut that down by responding. We’ve seen this with customers recently.


#12

Be VERY careful about Authentic_Dad’s approach. While I negotiate and deal with insurance companies every day and some are better than others, they have attorneys up the butt and a slander suit would be child’s play for them.
All I’m saying is be careful what you say and how you say it.


#13

Hey, thanks for the reply. I would be very careful if I did. Posting facts would not be slandering. In any case, the funny thing is, it seems that about the same time that Authentic_Dad posted I received a call from a new Liberty Mutual “independent” adjuster (who happens to be 100% employed by LM…). Anyway, she is coming out this Thursday to meet with my new roofer and inspect the roof again. Interesting that they had to find someone from SC to come to Virginia Beach… Anyway, apparently she travels 300 days a year for them doing this. I got the call right after I sent an email to the LM desk guy requesting to escalate to his management. Maybe just coincidence. Well, I told her the entire story and made sure to let her know that I have already looked into my options with the Virginia State insurance office (which I have). We will see how it goes. I sure as hell don’t trust them.


#14

Thanks for your reply Authentic_Dad! See reply below to ihas. Seems that LM knew you were posting…lol. Anyway, LM’s new “independent” inspector is coming out this Thursday. I have a roofer who has been successful in my neighborhood handling roof claims and he will be here. Disappointed in my previous roofer since I bring him a lot of business I expected better but it seems he is just lost on the whole insurance aspect or just doesn’t want that business (though I’m still trying not to get mad at my money…lol). Guess it’s easier to go for the low hanging fruit. Anyway, I will post after I get hopefully get back satisfactory results.


#15

Local Adjusters are micro managed and an IA or CAT adjuster should get you much better results.


#16

Telling the truth isn’t slander. Good luck with the new adjuster.


#17

Thanks, I hope so. Going on 3 months now. My own fault to a great extent for going with the first contractor who would not come for the initial inspection where the inspector pretty much told me I would be getting a new roof… That was before they decided they didn’t like his pictures…

Live and learn I guess, only at my age I should have known better.


#18

Agreed, and thank you for your advice. Hopefully the new adjuster will will work out. At least I will have a contractor here this time who has inspected my roof thoroughly and taken many pictures.


#19

It took a while but after 4 months or so LM is buying me a roof. Thanks all for your advice!!