Wind and Hail Damage: Should Insurance Be Paying For a Full Replacement?
One of the most underrated skills that any good roofer has is an intimate understanding of the insurance process, rules, codes and how each insurance agency operates when it comes to roof replacements.
Quite frankly, dealing with the insurance process is the single most time consuming task that we undertake. However, when it means the difference between a customer paying $14,000 out of pocket for a roof, or paying a $1,000 deductible, it's probably the most important.
Every policy, city code, and insurance agency varies widely on how they deal with roof damage and roof replacement claims. Roofers are often hamstrung by regulations that do not allow us to even look at, much less interpret your insurance policy. A good roofing company is often times your only advocate when it comes to dealing with insurance agencies. So how do we do it then if we are not even allowed to look at your policy?
Roofing contractors vary, even more so than your policy. The larger roofing companies will hire sales staff a break neck paces when a hail storm arrives. These new hires are very poorly trained and thrown into the sales arena on a numbers based game. Get as many customers to sign on the dotted line as possible, the ones that have difficult or extenuating circumstances will get tossed aside. What this often means is, if you get one of these in-experienced salesmen and your insurance agency tells you that you either A) don't have any damage, or B) Only have enough damage to issue a small repair check, your salesman will cut his losses and go onto the next job that is not going to require additional time and resources.
This, of course, is the opposite of how we setup Colorado Family Roofing. After all, if it was our family member that was getting worked over by an insurance company we would want to
fight for that. We spend a substantial amount of time educating ourselves on codes and insurance tactics. Our success rate, when we are sure there is hail damage, is 97% on getting insurance to issue a full roof replacement. When we know we are right, we just don't give up. Every client is important and every client is paying large insurance rates year in and year out. When we know insurance isn't doing the right thing, we will fight for our customers. Our longest battle so far: 18 months...But we did eventually get the insurance agency to issue a full roof replacement.
This is not normal. Typically when we disagree with an insurance agencies assessment, the case is resolved in less than a month. But we will battle for a year if we need to.
How and why do insurance companies and roofers come to different conclusions and how is it settled? To answer this I would need to write a book. But a very abbreviated answer is this: Often times, insurance adjusters are in a hurry and they don't do a through job looking for damage. These are the easy ones. We simply document the damage and ask them to come back with us present. Other times, they will be seeing the same amount of damage but they will "forget" certain city or county code requirements that will not allow them to issue a repair bill, rather a full roof replacement. In these instances, we simply get them the proper documents and ICC code items to help them "remember". In other circumstances, they will take the stance that it is unlikely they will be sued over an egregious misinterpretation and they will dig their feet in. These are the ones that can stretch out a long period of time.
The important thing to remember is this. You have two advocates: 1) a good roofing contractor that is stubborn when it comes to getting insurance to do the right thing. 2) Your insurance agent. It is important to know that your insurance agent wants nothing more than your satisfaction. They will do whatever they can to get the insurance adjuster to do the right thing.
If you have or have had storm damage and your insurance agent told you there was not enough or any damage, give us a call for another opinion. You would be surprised what can be missed.