My neighbors are all getting new roofs after a hail storm, but my insurance paid me nothing for my roof. Why?
The answer ranges from, you have an insurer who is trying to mitigate paying claims, or your roof really might NOT be damaged.
Let’s talk about the first scenario: your insurer is trying to mitigate claims. Hail storms can sometimes do billions of dollars in damage. Some insurance companies are more aggressive than others about refusing to pay claims and have earned tarnished reputations as a result. If your claim has been denied and all, or most, of your neighbors are getting new roofs, you might just have a company, or adjuster, which is trying very hard to refuse claims as a means of keeping costs down.
Is there anything I can do if my insurer denies my claim?
If you feel your insurance provider is overlooking legitimate damage, there are some things you should do:
First, gather the facts. Have a reputable roofing company assess the damage and determine whether you have a good case for insurable damage. An experienced roofer knows what adjusters look for in approving a claim. He or she should provide you with photos and give you a written report of the damage caused by the storm. You should then contact the insurer, explain the report you received from your roofer, and request a reinspection. Insurance companies will almost always comply with this request. Then request an Alltex representative to meet with the reinspection adjuster to advocate on your behalf. If you still don’t prevail, the next recourse would be arbitration before a third party judge, but legitimate claims rarely go to this stage.
Make a paper trail, and keep good records. You might be surprised at the volume of correspondence going on between you, the insurer, and the roofing company during the claims process. In a marginal call, the winner is usually the best record keeper. Keep copies of all email and written correspondence between you and the insurance adjuster and other insurance company representatives. Make sure you can document compliance with all requests from the insurance personnel. Make notes of conversations you have with the adjuster and others connected with the claim.
Don't give up. Insurers know that a certain percentage of claims will just go away if they are denied the first time. If you have a legitimate claim, let them know you are willing to play a game of hardball.
Is it possible my roof wasn't actually damaged like my neighbors' roofs?
Maybe your roof really is NOT damaged by the storm. Though unlikely, it is possible that your next door neighbor’s roof is heavily damage, and yours is not. A couple of factors could come into play here. The most likely, is that your roof is newer, or of a higher quality material than your neighbor’s. A new roof will withstand hail and high wind much better than one which is reaching the end of its useful life (usually about 18 years old).
In a newer roof, the protective mineral granules, which are embedded into the asphalt grain of the shingle, are much more stable and likely to withstand a hailstone impact than an older shingle.
Another factor could be the type of material the shingles are made of. In Texas, the vast majority of roofs are comprised of two types of roofing material: A “Laminated, or Architectural” shingle, or a “Three Tab” shingle. Laminated shingles are thicker and heavier and carry a longer manufacturer’s warranty than a three tab shingle. Your neighbor could have a lighter three tab shingle, and yours is a Laminated shingle, which holds up better in hail conditions. One other factor may account for the discrepancy: Your roof might be a Hail Impact Resistant (HIR) Class IV shingle.
The HIR shingle is comprised of a higher quality rubber-like base, which repels hailstones better than standard asphalt based shingles. Nevertheless, if you feel you have a legitimate claim, do your due diligence and follow procedures recommended above. An Alltex representative can guide you through the entire insurance process.
My insurance company paid to replace my roof, but I feel they did not pay nearly enough. Why?
If your insurer did not pay enough for a complete replacement, chances are you have a high deductible. Until recently, almost all homeowner policy deductible amounts were set at one percent of the market value of the home. These days, many policies carry two per cent, or even higher deductibles. Some policies carry higher deductibles for roof damage than other perils such as fire or theft.
On occasion, deductible amounts will change when the policy renews. Insurers are required to notify the homeowner when deductibles increase, but some homeowners do not read the fine print and are surprised by their deductible amounts have doubled.
Last time I had my roof replaced, my roofer helped absorb my deductible. Now, they say they must charge the full amount the insurance pays, and cannot offer a discount.
Right, insurance laws prohibit contractors from discounting jobs in order to defray deductible costs. The contractor and homeowner are required to provide the insurer with an invoice that reflects the actual amount paid for the roof replacement. For example, if your insurance provider paid you $20,00.00 to replace your roof, and you have a $3,000.00 deductible, you have $17,000.00 to work with. Your roofing company might agree to replace it for the $17,000.000. But when you send the final invoice in to the insurance company, the $3,000.00 deductible will be taken out of the $17,000.00, not the $20,000.00. Laws are now designed to require the homeowner to pay a deductible amount, and the contractor is prohibited from discounting the job to help the homeowner with the deductible. Ironically, this legislation was billed as a “consumer protection” act.
How can I be a well-informed home owner?
• Do your homework when shopping for an insurer. Talk with other homeowners who have experience with the particular carrier you are considering. Read consumer reports and reviews about the company to see if it has a reputation of refusing to pay claims or mitigating the amount they typically pay.
• Know your deductible. Review the policy each time it renews, and read the fine print. Insurance policies may very well contain changes from one year to the next, including the deductible amounts.
• When replacing your roof, consider using materials that offer a discount on insurance premiums when using Class IV Hail Impact Resistant shingles. Talk to an Alltex representative who is familiar with these products and discounts associated with them.
How much will my insurance cover for replacing my storm damaged roof?
Insurance typically will cover the entire cost for replacing a storm damaged roof. However, the deductible (usually about one per cent of the house's market value) sometimes brings down the pay out amount.
Can I get an insurance discount?
Some insurance companies offer substantial discounts for installing "hail impact resistant" or "class IV fire rated shingles". These discounts can be as much as 30 per cent off homeowner insurance premiums for the proper shingle. Alltex is familiar with the materials and proper documentation by insurance companies.