Policyholder Question – What do I do when the insurance company won’t honor the roof damage estimates they told me to get and only want to pay for a partial repair?
Thank you to our Orlando Public Adjuster Brad Barrett for answering the following question:
Q. I had damage to my roof during a storm. Shingles blown off as well as some hail. Insurance told me to get 3 estimates which I did and then sent their adjuster out and he wrote me a check. The 3 estimates said I had wind and hail damage and so did the check from carrier but the estimates said I needed the whole roof replaced and the carrier said I only needed the 1 corner repaired where shingles blew off. What should I do?
A. Thank you for your question. Hopefully this answer will help others like yourself that have the same roof damage claim issue. Unfortunately, this is a common problem in the insurance industry. Your roof is damaged during a storm and you immediately contact your insurance company. They ask you, the homeowner/policyholder, to go out and get three bids from a roofing contractor.
When you submit the bids to your insurance company, you assume everything will be taken care of. But no, they are going to send out their field adjuster to review the damages. He is going to write his own estimate of repairs. So what’s the use of getting three bids? To see if maybe those bids are lower than the adjuster's estimate?
DO you really need to get two or more estimates for your roof repair claim?
No. It is not part of the policy language for you, the homeowner/policyholder, to provide your insurance company multiple bids for repairs. Your insurance company most likely has a defined price list they use. The Insurance will only pay the costs for repairs according to their price list.
So now you have received your adjuster’s estimate and surprisingly they do not agree with the findings of your three experts. Where do you go from here? Contact your insurance company and speak to the file manager and request another inspection from a different adjuster. Try to have one of your roofing contractors present during the reinspection.
Based upon your homeowner’s policy language, your other options will be mediation or appraisal. If your policy dictates that you have to resolve the dispute in mediation, submit your three bids during the mediation process. They will still deny the quotes at that time but make a request to the representative from your insurance company to accept the appraisal process to resolve the issue.
Now you know what we as public adjusters must go thru all the time when fighting for the policyholder. When a homeowner finds themselves in a disagreement with their insurance company, your best option is to retain the services of a public adjuster or a law firm that specifically deals in property insurance claims.
Your insurance policy is a contract between you and the insurance company. Your insurance company is required to follow the terms of the policy, just as you, the homeowner, are also required to follow the terms and conditions of your policy.
Evaluating your roof damage
When a homeowner submits a roof claim, it is extremely important to have your adjusting consultant or roofing contractor provide a thorough report including photographs of the damaged areas. In some states your local building codes dictate that if 25% or more of your roof is damaged, the entire roofing material must be replaced.
Hopefully, this has been helpful to those who all too frequently run into wind and hail roof claim disputes with their insurance carrier. If you have questions regarding any property insurance claim related issues please call 800.321.4488 or contact us to submit a question to one of our public adjuster insurance claim experts.