Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

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SueG5123
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Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby SueG5123 » Mon May 15, 2017 1:58 pm

A couple of months ago, there was a hailstorm here in my neighborhood in Texas, west of Houston. The roofing companies were out like locusts, ringing doorbells and trying to sell us new roofs, but we did what we thought was the honorable thing and called our insurer, USAA. They sent an adjuster and said, no new roof warranted. They spun a nice story about how hail doesn't always fall evenly, so a neighbor might have more damage than you. Etc., etc.

A couple of weeks later, and many houses are getting new roofs. We again called USAA and asked for a second look. Again, they told us, no new roof warranted.

In the last two months, almost every house on my block has gotten a new roof. This includes houses immediately next to ours (about 20 feet distant from our roof) and behind us (less than 100 feet distant from our roof), and all the houses immediately in front of ours, on the other side of the street. We again contacted USAA and were effectively told, Tough Luck. DH persisted and now USAA is sending an engineer to survey our roof in a couple of days. We feel like we're about to be given a "bum's rush" with credentials.

Honestly -- we weren't just "shopping" for a new roof. And we would probably be inclined to believe USAA except for the sheer number of our neighbors who have gotten new roofs since the hailstorm. Is there any advice anyone can offer before we meet with this engineering outfit???

jebmke
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby jebmke » Mon May 15, 2017 2:06 pm

Are there any signs of damage to your roof?
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby DaftInvestor » Mon May 15, 2017 2:11 pm

Do you have roof damage? What type of roof damage do your neighbors have?

Nate79
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby Nate79 » Mon May 15, 2017 2:29 pm

Does any of your neighbors use USAA?

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flossy21
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby flossy21 » Mon May 15, 2017 2:30 pm

Have you reviewed your policy with respect to the specific language that addresses roof damage due to weather events/hail?

I'd start there. You could also hire a home inspector who is independent of any roofing company to do an inspection of the roof and offer a professional, 3rd party, opinion as to whether there is damage to the roof or not.

IMO
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby IMO » Mon May 15, 2017 2:34 pm

So does having a hailstorm in itself mean you're roof is even damaged? Experienced many hailstorms and usually the issue is damage to vehicles and not damage to one's roof. I suspect it would take some pretty large hail to even break concrete tiles, and don't personally see how much damage could be done to an asphalt roof?

We had a roof leak develop in a house, not related to any specific event like hail, and cause interior damage. Thought the roof aspect would be covered, but USAA insisted that it was "faulty workmanship" on the roofing install (done 10 yrs prior without any problems). We also had paid extra for an actual roofing inspection during escrow a couple years before (not just a "house" inspection). Net effect, we had to self pay the roof damage, pay our deductible for various trades, and then USAA covered the small left over amount. Was our 1st claim ever and wasn't happy with the "faulty workmanship" argument, but what can you do? Spend a bunch of money to try to fight them? The USAA approved roofing contractor gave us "warranty" for 2 years. Good thing because even before the ceiling drywall was repaired, the roof repair wasn't done right and it was leaking again. (You just can't win on what is/isn't faulty workmanship unless you're an expect in the subject). Lesson learned is that pending the cause on the "roof is damaged", you're coverage may actually only be limited to the RESULTING damage from water.

Even if there was some damage that was covered, it's likely that a repair to the specific area damage is all that would be covered. So even if they covered our roof, in no way shape or form, was USAA giving us a nice brand new whole roof.

Perhaps others have had different experiences on insurance/roofs, but that's ours.

I could realistically see a change in the future where insurance companies, even if they pay for roofing damage, will only cover the "expected useful life left" just like how they don't give you a brand new car if your older car is totaled.

I suspect roofing companies came out, found some damage (either from hailstorm or not) and made a sales pitch for people to buy a new roof. Maybe the event made people consider going ahead with something they knew was coming anyway and want to stay ahead of other events that could raise the risk of a leak developing. Maybe they were just good salesman and pointed out all the neighbors doing it, so that person was convinced even more.

Just some thoughts for you.....

SueG5123
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby SueG5123 » Mon May 15, 2017 2:56 pm

Re: whether there were immediate signs of damage (to us): The most immediate sign of anything was a startling amount of particulate dislodged from the shingles. DH scooped up a bucket worth from the patio. Recently, we have noticed dislodged shingles in our yard -- though, admittedly, it is possible this was debris blown from neighboring roof jobs.

Re: whether the neighbors are insured by USAA: None are, to our knowledge. Perhaps a half dozen home insurers are involved.

Re: we have scrutinized the home owner's policy. One percent deductible, which would be over $4100 out of pocket for us.

Re: hiring an independent "third party" roof inspector: Why would USAA buy that opinion and what would convince them it was disinterested if we paid for it???

Also, I should add that I lived in Dallas-Fort Worth area and have experienced many hailstorms, so this is not my first time at the rodeo. We were never looking to "scam the system" for a new roof. But -- if I may mix some metaphors -- if you pick up the haystack and a bushel of needles falls at your feet, can you not surmise that the haystack is lousy with needles? That this many roof-jobs in one area, with multiple home insurers, are occurring within feet of our own roof -- should that not indicate perhaps legitimate damage?

IMO
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby IMO » Mon May 15, 2017 3:02 pm

Wasn't at all trying to say you were trying to "game the system." You could also interpret my response was "don't always trust your insurance companies assessment."

I get the issue with all the surrounding roofs being replaced. I get if there is widespread damage then replacing an whole new roof may be indicated.

Maybe the best thing is to go door to door and ask neighbors about their situation/insurance coverage?

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dm200
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby dm200 » Mon May 15, 2017 3:19 pm

I wonder if, in the identical hailstorm, if different types of roofs and/or the different ages of such roofs could account for whether there was the type of damage covered by such insurance?

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jeffyscott
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby jeffyscott » Mon May 15, 2017 4:32 pm

SueG5123 wrote:A couple of months ago, there was a hailstorm here in my neighborhood in Texas, west of Houston. The roofing companies were out like locusts, ringing doorbells and trying to sell us new roofs, but we did what we thought was the honorable thing and called our insurer, USAA. They sent an adjuster and said, no new roof warranted. They spun a nice story about how hail doesn't always fall evenly, so a neighbor might have more damage than you. Etc., etc.


Why not now get an opinion from a roofing company? I'd avoid those that came in chasing hail claims, though.

We got a new roof courtesy of hail about 10 years ago. We had pretty big hail but I did not think much of it until a co-worker, with a roof that was already near the end of it's life, had a claim and then I noticed many neighbors getting new roofs. I contacted our agent, said I don't see anything but didn't want to find out years later that the roof is wearing out prematurely due to this, etc. Adjuster came and approved a new roof. (And this was AmFam who does not get the topnotch ratings of USAA.)

We then got 3 estimates, which we did not even have to do. We went with the lowest, not because of price but because they were the only ones who's standard practice was to shingle over valleys, instead of leaving just exposed metal in valleys. They also gave a free upgrade to dimensional shingles as those were becoming standard. Insurance company argued with them over that, I complained that here we had taken the cheapest contractor and now the insurance company wanted to dicker over whether they could give us free upgraded shingles. That settled that, but then roofer who was also annoyed by this, said "and now they're gonna pay for gutters too". Which they did (though we chose not to replace, still got the money for them and that covered the deductible).
press on, regardless - John C. Bogle

NightFall
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby NightFall » Mon May 15, 2017 4:57 pm

Significant increase in granules is a sign of damage. I had about 2-3 inches in my gutters after the last hail storm. I would suggest getting an opinion from someone who doesn't sell roofs. The insurance companies are skeptical (and rightly so) of the wolf guarding the hen house...

littlebird
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby littlebird » Mon May 15, 2017 7:08 pm

I think the opportunistic roofers knew exactly which spots to take pictures of, what terms to use in describing the degree of damage in order to make it fit within the insurers guidelines' and how to steer the adjusters' opinions.

It reminds me of the reasons why one should always have a lawyer for a Social security disability claim. The lawyers know the language of the statute and regulations, and use that language in shaping the claim. That's why they're generally more successful than the layperson claimant.

IMO
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby IMO » Mon May 15, 2017 8:34 pm

This topic and my 1st response questioning if hail does really damage roofs, prompted me to look some things up. Sure learned some about hail damage as I was honestly surprised asphalt singles can definitively be damaged by hail. I suppose there is age and various thickness qualities. Nice thing about this site is when you question something you thought :happy

I've cut and pasted below something from a site called handymanhowto.com to give the guy credit.

What this guy also said is regarding those roofing guys who come out essentially chasing these storms/claims is to be careful because sometimes an unscrupulous roofer will take a hammer and put holes in your asphalt roof to falsify the damage for a claim.

---
"When an insurance claims examiner is assigned to your case, it helps to send your photos and videos of the hail storm for authenticity to better support your claim. The claim examiner will assign an claims adjuster to make an official roof inspection and prepare a repair estimate.

Claims Adjuster Roof Inspection
•The claims adjuster will contact you to make an appointment to inspect the roof.
Offer to share your photos and/or videos of the storm with the adjuster. I e-mailed my hail storm photos and video to the adjuster, who thanked me for the assistance.
•You should arrange for the roofing contractor who previously inspected your roof to meet with the insurance adjuster to go on the roof and discuss his findings.
•The claim adjuster may bring along a “high team” to inspect steep and/or high roofs with proper safety gear.
•The roof inspection includes the taking of numerous photos, looking at dents in the soft metals (gutters, box vents, powered attic ventilators) and the marking off 10 ft by 10 ft “test squares” to count the number of hail stone hits on the shingles. Hail stone hits will be marked with chalk for identification in photos.

The claims adjuster will write a report on his findings, prepare an estimate to make spot repairs or replace the roof (assuming damage was found), then forward the report to your claim examiner. The claim examiner will review the report and make a decision on your claim.

Don’t be surprised if your neighbor’s roof hail damage claim is approved while yours is not. Whether or not an insurance claim is ultimately approved is highly variable depending on the severity of the damage, your roof’s construction, orientation of your house to the storm, quality of roofing materials and your particular insurance company’s evaluation criteria.

My hail damage insurance claim was approved by the claim examiner for a full roof replacement. Now I faced the challenge of choosing a roofing contractor and negotiating a roof replacement contract."

--------
Maybe USAA has much tougher standards, maybe your roof was better quality and made it through aside from some significant loss of granules, or maybe those "hail chasers" know how to game the system.

Anyhow, curious the final outcome, so post it, and good luck (although you win and my insurance rates go up, again :( )

johnubc
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby johnubc » Mon May 15, 2017 8:58 pm

You may or may not have damage. Are your shingles of a different type or quality as your neighbors? Having a better shingle may have helped prevent damage. Is the slope of you roof different? The angle of the hail vs the roof can prevent or cause more damage.

Look at other items around your house - top of outside grill (are there ping marks), mailbox, screens (from underneath, look at screen on second floor). Look at the soft metal items on your roof - roof vents, metal chimney. If you have visible damage on other items, you might likely have shingle damage.

August
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby August » Mon May 15, 2017 9:55 pm

Property Insurance adjuster here. Have worked for several carriers as both a local and catastrophe (storm adjuster). I have looked at many thousands of roofs at this point.

Several things to consider:

First of all, yes, I have seen hail damage every home in the neighborhood except the one I was looking at. I have also looked at roofs and seen damage when none of the customer's neighbors had damage. I've worked tornadoes where one neighbor had some minor roof damage and the next door neighbor had no roof. Storms do funny things.

In regards to hail-
For a middle age roof- it takes about 1 inch hail to damage a 20 year fiberglass shingle and 1.5-2 inch hail to damage a 30 year architectural roof. Older roofs will damage much easier than younger roofs. The density of the hail also makes a difference in damage. Most insurance companies look for bruised shingles (7-15 hits per 10x10 square to total a roof). Granule loss is not usually considered damage.
The direction of the house, the pitch of the roof, tree cover, roof ventilation, age and type of roof, how much sun exposure it gets etc can affect if there is damage
Adjusters typically want to find hail damage and will err on the side of finding damage. Blisters, granule loss, mechanical damage can all be seen as "hail" to a tired, overworked, inexperienced, or overwhelmed adjuster. Adjusters are typically aware if all houses in the neighborhood are being paid for and will try hard to cover a roof if all the neighbors are getting new roofs. I have never met an adjuster who wouldn't rather cover a roof on first inspection than deny it if the neighbors all have damage. For example, I have only hired an engineer once to inspect a roof in a decade of storm adjusting, and that was only after two inspections by two different adjusters and a manager found nothing that could even remotely look like hail.
I would not trust the opinion of a roofer. I have met with thousands of roofers. Some know what hail looks like, some don't. During storm times, roofers will hire kids off the street and have them go door to door to "inspect" roofs. Most will tell a customer there is "hail" no matter what. They let the adjusters be the bad guys. For a roofer if 1 out of 10 houses he inspects gets paid for by insurance, he has made a profit.

USAA is a very reputable company, in my opinion though I have not worked for them. I have not heard any stories (adjusters and contractors talk) of them being overly strict). I would wait and see what the engineer says. USAA should provide you with a copy of the report.

Hope that helps.
Last edited by August on Mon May 15, 2017 10:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SueG5123
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby SueG5123 » Mon May 15, 2017 10:11 pm

Since it seems to be an issue, and I neglected to mention this earlier: my neighborhood is relatively recent, all homes less than 9 years old, and we have been here since the beginning. Meaning, there shouldn't be differences in the ages of the roofing materials.

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jeffyscott
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby jeffyscott » Tue May 16, 2017 4:04 pm

That was about the age of our subdivision when our hail incident happened also. On one side we border a section that is about 15 years older. Neighbor on that side had put on a new roof maybe about 2 years before the hail event, he got another new roof after the hail.

I think our hail was about 1-1.5 inch diameter.
press on, regardless - John C. Bogle

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AAA
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby AAA » Tue May 16, 2017 5:17 pm

You said a lot of your neighbors got new roofs. Unless I missed it, I don't think you mentioned whether or not their insurance paid for it.

IMO
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby IMO » Tue May 16, 2017 5:30 pm

August wrote:Hope that helps.


Great to hear some input from an expect in this area.

Curious, the site I looked up talked about less then honest roofers going up there and taking hammers and causing falsified damage. He said something about if you hear pounding on your roof when they are up there. Any experience with fraud on the hail damage?

e5116
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby e5116 » Wed May 17, 2017 3:29 pm

This is an interesting topic as I recently got estimates for my roof from about 5 different companies. We had had a pretty large storm a couple months prior where several shingles fell off my roof (so it didn't help the situation), but the roof probably needed to be replaced before that point as it was old and pretty poor material. One company's business model was basically filing insurance claims to get roofs for their customers/clients. He was almost certain my roof would be approved and I could get it "for free" (well, deductible essentially). To me, it felt a little shady, but clearly a lot of people go that route.

The other reason I went with somebody else (who was charging me 'market' price and not going insurance route -- as was the case with 3 others) was because the guy going insurance route was basically an expert on INSURANCE and that's what he talked the most about. The product I was looking for was an expert ROOFER (he knew roof products certainly, but didn't seem to be the installation expert). Interestingly, though, the online reviews for this particular company were overwhelmingly positive; I assume that if somebody gets you a free roof you aren't as harsh on the assessment!

I felt much more comfortable going with a company that was a very reputable roofer and knew the in's and out's though. The insurance guys contract it out and they'll get you a roof that looks nice, but you can't fully vet the product/installers always, so there's more risk involved. Maybe the roof will last "only" 10 years vs. the one I got with lifetime architectural shingles that is supposed to last 50 years (but most people obviously don't stay in their homes that long so perhaps they don't care). I know that doesn't help you in your question at all, but based on what he told me, it's up to the claims adjuster. He told me he actually didn't want to go on my roof because he's heard of people actually intentionally causing damage (as somebody referenced above) and doesn't even want that to be a claim of possibility. Funny because all the other roofers went up in order to assess the situation and gather information for an accurate estimate.

I felt "better" going the route I did to some extent, but often have second thoughts if I should have gone the insurance route and saved $10k.....Hopefully, karma will be in my favor and re-pay me. It seems like this is a giant loophole in the insurance process. A roof that is deteriorating because of age but then storms hit to make it worse...should a NEW roof be fully covered? I'm not so sure....but seems like it is. Hence the "storm chasing" companies.

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jeffyscott
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby jeffyscott » Wed May 17, 2017 3:47 pm

e5116 wrote:It seems like this is a giant loophole in the insurance process. A roof that is deteriorating because of age but then storms hit to make it worse...should a NEW roof be fully covered?


Should an insurance company sell replacement value coverage and then not pay full replacement cost of something because it was old when it was damaged?

I agree that it does not make a lot of sense, but after having gotten a free roof once, I will now wait as long as possible to replace the next time in hopes of a timely hail storm. If the insurance company wants to offer a discount to accept only pro-rated value for roof damage then I would consider that option.
press on, regardless - John C. Bogle

texas lawdog
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby texas lawdog » Wed May 17, 2017 3:51 pm

Recently went thru getting a new roof - maybe same storm system as yourself but I'm in Dallas instead of Houston.

A couple of thoughts, 1. You can find reputable roofers that work directly with your insurance company on the claim - roofing companies routinely hire people that help with claims assistance and 2. You should have the ability to request another adjuster within USAA come out and schedule the roofing company at the same time to inspect the roof. Together, they should be able to show you the "test square" along with pictures of damage or non-damage.

talzara
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby talzara » Wed May 17, 2017 6:11 pm

jeffyscott wrote:
e5116 wrote:It seems like this is a giant loophole in the insurance process. A roof that is deteriorating because of age but then storms hit to make it worse...should a NEW roof be fully covered?


Should an insurance company sell replacement value coverage and then not pay full replacement cost of something because it was old when it was damaged?

I agree that it does not make a lot of sense, but after having gotten a free roof once, I will now wait as long as possible to replace the next time in hopes of a timely hail storm. If the insurance company wants to offer a discount to accept only pro-rated value for roof damage then I would consider that option.


In fact, this is a growing trend in homeowners insurance. Many companies only cover the actual cash value of roofs. You don't see it directly as a discount on your bill, but it does help to hold down the premium.

A string of unusually costly years for roof damage claims in Oklahoma, Kentucky, Tennessee and elsewhere has prompted some insurers to dial back the roof coverage portion of their home insurance policies, especially on older roofs.

One popular trend is to offer “actual cash value,” or ACV, coverage on your roof instead of full “replacement cost value,” or RCV.

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/insuran ... -cost.aspx

meebers
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby meebers » Wed May 17, 2017 7:13 pm

Long story short, my daughter had a storm, several rooms leaking, drywall damaged etc. Insurance agent came to visit, denied the claim as normal wear and tear. Daughter hired a contractor/lawyer, in the end same result. Now the replacement roof is out of pocket. They will be shopping for new insurance company after it is replaced. I believe here in Florida, insurance company's will deny coverage if they think your roof needs to be replaced. Our son was told by his insurance company that they would not renew unless he had his driveway replaced. (Had cracks in cement)

SueG5123
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby SueG5123 » Wed May 17, 2017 8:12 pm

Just to follow up, USAA sent a THIRD inspector (engineer) to inspect today, at our insistence and after considerable reluctance on their part. (To be precise, we had to involve the highest levels of customer service to gain this tiny consideration.) We have absolutely no reason to think he will do anything but find on their behalf -- in fact, when we offered him a Gatorade (since we know it's hot on the roof), he told us that it would be construed as a bribe. (!!!!)

All of the houses here were built in 2008-09 and have original roofs.

While the engineer was here, the roof across the street was being replaced. (We had nothing to do with the scheduling!) We have a list of over 30 addresses, most of which are immediately adjacent us, where the roofs have been replaced in recent weeks, including homes immediately alongside us or behind us or across the street. Multiple insurers are involved, so this isn't some huge conspiracy. In fact, we wouldn't even have thought that much about it EXCEPT for the number of houses getting new roofs.

I've been a USAA member for over 40 years; had a homeowner's policy with them for 25 years and never made a claim. If, despite the preponderance of evidence that the roof needs replacing, they opt to be adversarial -- well, since I won't get a new roof, I'd just as soon go with a new insurance company. I won't be any worse off, and I'll have better assurance about my homeowner's, auto, umbrella, and other policies....

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jeffyscott
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby jeffyscott » Thu May 18, 2017 10:58 am

talzara wrote:
A string of unusually costly years for roof damage claims in Oklahoma, Kentucky, Tennessee and elsewhere has prompted some insurers to dial back the roof coverage portion of their home insurance policies, especially on older roofs.

One popular trend is to offer “actual cash value,” or ACV, coverage on your roof instead of full “replacement cost value,” or RCV.

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/insuran ... -cost.aspx


I like how they call this a "gaping hole", as if it is reasonable to expect a brand new roof when your 25 or 30 year old one happens to get it final bit of wear in a hail storm. Co-worker was a case like this when the hail storm hit, he'd been planning to replace his roof at the time. We were both surprised to learn that "replacement value" coverage meant age of roof at time did not seem to matter. I suppose at some point they would deny the claim by saying it was a lack of maintenance, as seems to have happened to meebers daughter.

My understanding is taking the actual cash value does not require replacing the roof. When we had our hail claim, we got a check for the actual cash value up front, then the rest was paid only after the work was done.
press on, regardless - John C. Bogle

michaeljc70
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby michaeljc70 » Thu May 18, 2017 1:20 pm

I am not sure I would be in a big hurry to get a roof that isn't needed. Your premium will go up for years to come and if you have another claim they likely will drop you. Have you looked at the roof? Different insurance companies have different policies and adjusters. I'm surprised hail would ruin a roof unless it was metal or terra cotta.

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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby hightower » Thu May 18, 2017 1:25 pm

Technically if its not leaking, you don't need a new roof. I wouldn't file a claim unless you really need it. There's no reason to jack up your premiums just so you can feel like you fit in with all your neighbors. Have an experienced, trustworthy home inspector come look at your roof and also check for leakage in your attic. If they say it looks good, then your insurance company is probably being fair.

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jeffyscott
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby jeffyscott » Thu May 18, 2017 4:55 pm

When we had hail damage we were told by insurance agent that this is considered "an act of God" and a claim does not affect individual rates.

Also the claim has already been made, it is just a question whether it is denied or not at this point. A denied claim is still a claim and can affect future insurance premiums.
press on, regardless - John C. Bogle

michaeljc70
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby michaeljc70 » Thu May 18, 2017 5:06 pm

jeffyscott wrote:When we had hail damage we were told by insurance agent that this is considered "an act of God" and a claim does not affect individual rates.

Also the claim has already been made, it is just a question whether it is denied or not at this point. A denied claim is still a claim and can affect future insurance premiums.


My Grandmother got a new roof and siding due to hail damage. She complains how she has paid more for years on her insurance . I keep reminding her they paid out $17k and still lost money on her.

I am not sure what the agent means by "rates". Does that mean you will continue to get a claim-free discount?

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jeffyscott
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby jeffyscott » Thu May 18, 2017 5:21 pm

I don't know, but as you note it is kind of silly to not make a claim because the cost of your insurance may go up. The way to avoid claims is by having a high deductible. My insurance company allows up to $25,000 deductible.
press on, regardless - John C. Bogle

michaeljc70
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby michaeljc70 » Thu May 18, 2017 5:25 pm

jeffyscott wrote:I don't know, but as you note it is kind of silly to not make a claim because the cost of your insurance may go up. The way to avoid claims is by having a high deductible. My insurance company allows up to $25,000 deductible.


Yes, but the OP had an adjuster out twice and they said the roof was fine. They need to get an independent (not a roofer and not an insurance adjuster) point of view and go from there.

S&L1940
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby S&L1940 » Thu May 18, 2017 5:34 pm

did not read all posts, does your area have independent adjusters?
they charge a fee to assess your damage and will - usually - fight with USAA on your behalf.
ask your neighbors if they used one for their claims
should be worth the effort since you have gone this far to challenge USSA's decision
good luck
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testing321
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby testing321 » Thu May 18, 2017 5:46 pm

Same thing happened in our neighborhood several years ago. I had State Farm and they sent out an adjuster to inspect our wood roof. I followed him into the attic and he showed me several places where there were you could see daylight. He said the roof and gutters warranted replacement, so I got a new $35,000 roof. We had a replacement cost policy. I replaced wood shingles with composite shingles because there is too much fire danger with wood and the HOA no longer require wood shingles.

My neighbors' company came out and they told him that his roof was OK. I told him what our adjuster found, he called his company back and ended up getting a new roof. My other neighbor had just replaced his wood shingle roof with composite and he did not get his replaced again. I don't know if he had anyone come out after the storm.

A guy that worked for me said that he was one of the few in his neighborhood that did not get his replaced after a storm several years prior to our storm. So it pays to be a squeaky wheel.

Call a local roofer that has been in business for many years for a second opinion. They are experienced in haggling with insurance companies. Also talk to your neighbors and find out what kind of damage they had and make sure that you don't have it also.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby Earl Lemongrab » Fri May 19, 2017 12:10 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
jeffyscott wrote:When we had hail damage we were told by insurance agent that this is considered "an act of God" and a claim does not affect individual rates.

Also the claim has already been made, it is just a question whether it is denied or not at this point. A denied claim is still a claim and can affect future insurance premiums.


My Grandmother got a new roof and siding due to hail damage. She complains how she has paid more for years on her insurance . I keep reminding her they paid out $17k and still lost money on her.

I am not sure what the agent means by "rates". Does that mean you will continue to get a claim-free discount?

That's the way my agent explained it. As it was weather-related, it didn't affect the individual rate because you aren't more of a risk as there wasn't anything you could have done. However, the rates for area go up after a large storm. So you'll pay more in premiums, but not filing a claim won't help you there.
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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby Earl Lemongrab » Fri May 19, 2017 12:13 pm

hightower wrote:Technically if its not leaking, you don't need a new roof. I wouldn't file a claim unless you really need it. There's no reason to jack up your premiums just so you can feel like you fit in with all your neighbors. Have an experienced, trustworthy home inspector come look at your roof and also check for leakage in your attic. If they say it looks good, then your insurance company is probably being fair.

It probably won't affect your individual rate. However, if you don't least have it examined and there is later a leak that the insurance company attributes to the storm, they can give you trouble for not "securing the property" and so causing the increased damage.
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Luke Duke
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby Luke Duke » Fri May 19, 2017 12:30 pm

IMO wrote:So does having a hailstorm in itself mean you're roof is even damaged? Experienced many hailstorms and usually the issue is damage to vehicles and not damage to one's roof. I suspect it would take some pretty large hail to even break concrete tiles, and don't personally see how much damage could be done to an asphalt roof?


You obviously don't live in Texas.

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BrandonBogle
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby BrandonBogle » Fri May 19, 2017 1:26 pm

SueG5123 wrote:If, despite the preponderance of evidence that the roof needs replacing


I get what you are saying Sue, but without having documented evidence for your own roof having this damage and needing replacement, the neighbors getting it is NOT a "preponderance of evidence". And before you feel I am biased in this statement, my roof was replaced a few years ago due to hail damage. I have the photos showing the pink temporary spray paint of the damages and the counts of how much damage was in each area. That was a "preponderance of evidence" and why my insurance adjuster approved a new roof without issue.

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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby michaeljc70 » Fri May 19, 2017 2:10 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
michaeljc70 wrote:
jeffyscott wrote:When we had hail damage we were told by insurance agent that this is considered "an act of God" and a claim does not affect individual rates.

Also the claim has already been made, it is just a question whether it is denied or not at this point. A denied claim is still a claim and can affect future insurance premiums.


My Grandmother got a new roof and siding due to hail damage. She complains how she has paid more for years on her insurance . I keep reminding her they paid out $17k and still lost money on her.

I am not sure what the agent means by "rates". Does that mean you will continue to get a claim-free discount?

That's the way my agent explained it. As it was weather-related, it didn't affect the individual rate because you aren't more of a risk as there wasn't anything you could have done. However, the rates for area go up after a large storm. So you'll pay more in premiums, but not filing a claim won't help you there.


It seems like not everyone in the area is having their roof replaced (OP originally) and therefore it is not a universal thing. Certainly the type of roof, age of roof, positioning (trees, protection from other homes, etc.) vary. I don't see how you get a claim free discount when you have filed a claim whether it was an act of God or not. It may be true your base rate doesn't change, but that isn't how this usually works. There are surcharges/discounts applied after the base rate. When I got a ticket on my auto insurance, the base rate didn't change, but I lost a safe driver discount.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby Earl Lemongrab » Fri May 19, 2017 3:23 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:It seems like not everyone in the area is having their roof replaced (OP originally) and therefore it is not a universal thing. Certainly the type of roof, age of roof, positioning (trees, protection from other homes, etc.) vary. I don't see how you get a claim free discount when you have filed a claim whether it was an act of God or not. It may be true your base rate doesn't change, but that isn't how this usually works. There are surcharges/discounts applied after the base rate. When I got a ticket on my auto insurance, the base rate didn't change, but I lost a safe driver discount.

I'm not sure what you're arguing exactly. I relayed what my agent told me about various kinds of claims. When there is a weather event in your area and there are a large number of claims, then your rates can go up just because they evaluate the risk differently. You not making a claim would only help marginally. Making a claim will not change your individual rate, like it would if you had a fire. In our hailstorm, something like 40,000 roofs were replaced in the area.

Here's an excerpt from an article from BankRate, for what it's worth:
Also, most insurers say homeowner claims resulting from weather or other catastrophes typically do not result in higher rates.


http://www.bankrate.com/finance/insurance/claims-that-boost-your-insurance-rates-1.aspx
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby michaeljc70 » Fri May 19, 2017 3:34 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
michaeljc70 wrote:It seems like not everyone in the area is having their roof replaced (OP originally) and therefore it is not a universal thing. Certainly the type of roof, age of roof, positioning (trees, protection from other homes, etc.) vary. I don't see how you get a claim free discount when you have filed a claim whether it was an act of God or not. It may be true your base rate doesn't change, but that isn't how this usually works. There are surcharges/discounts applied after the base rate. When I got a ticket on my auto insurance, the base rate didn't change, but I lost a safe driver discount.

I'm not sure what you're arguing exactly. I relayed what my agent told me about various kinds of claims. When there is a weather event in your area and there are a large number of claims, then your rates can go up just because they evaluate the risk differently. You not making a claim would only help marginally. Making a claim will not change your individual rate, like it would if you had a fire. In our hailstorm, something like 40,000 roofs were replaced in the area.

Here's an excerpt from an article from BankRate, for what it's worth:
Also, most insurers say homeowner claims resulting from weather or other catastrophes typically do not result in higher rates.


http://www.bankrate.com/finance/insurance/claims-that-boost-your-insurance-rates-1.aspx


I'm saying I have an immediate family member whose rates were hiked due to a hail claim. I am also asking what is meant by "rate". Is that the total bill or the base before discounts? I read in Texas it is illegal to hike rates due to one weather claim. So, it varies, but a weather related incident may make your insurance go up. The OP is in Texas so what I posted seems applicable. I saw it in this article: http://www.cnbc.com/2013/10/21/filing-a-homeowners-claim-can-raise-your-rate-9-percent.html . Again, I don't know exactly what "rate" means.

As a side note, my brother bought a house and because the prior owner had a water claim 10 years earlier, it was almost impossible to for him to get HO insurance even though he personally never had a claim.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby Earl Lemongrab » Fri May 19, 2017 3:38 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:I'm saying I have an immediate family member whose rates were hiked due to a hail claim. I am also asking what is meant by "rate". Is that the total bill or the base before discounts? I read in Texas it is illegal to hike rates due to one weather claim. So, it varies, but a weather related incident may make your insurance go up. The OP is in Texas so what I posted seems applicable. I saw it in this article: http://www.cnbc.com/2013/10/21/filing-a-homeowners-claim-can-raise-your-rate-9-percent.html . Again, I don't know exactly what "rate" means.

I don't doubt that things can vary by state or insurer. I can tell you what my experience was. Also, "filed a claim for weather and rates went up" might not indicate what you think unless they received official communication from the insurance company that says that's the reason for the increase. In general, rates have been going up even with no claims. And areas that have a lot of weather claims can see a rise there too. Oklahoma is going start looking like Florida soon.
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rotorhead
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby rotorhead » Fri May 19, 2017 7:21 pm

Several years ago a hailstorm moved through our town in Northeast Texas. There was widespread damage in the town. A number of neighbors had damage to their roofs. It was impossible to determine from ground level the extent of damage, if any, to our asphalt shingle roof. So, to be safe, I filed claim with our insurer, USAA. They sent inspector out to look at our house; and he determined that we indeed needed a new roof; which USAA paid for.

Go figure. I am 50-year member of USAA, and have found them to be pretty good organization.

SimonJester
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby SimonJester » Sun May 21, 2017 8:38 am

I live in a very hail prone area of the country, our roof lasts on average about 6 to 8 years. I have had my roof replace twice due to hail damage, and I regularly inspect my roof for hail damage. Hail damage on a roof in generally easy to spot, its multiple round divots / indentations in the shingles over the entire roof.

As others have said it is absolutely possible to have a storm pass through the neighborhood and hit some houses and not others. I have experienced this multiple times.

You need to hire an independent inspector to examine your roof. They should photograph the roof and show you if there is hail damage or not.
This is actually something you should have done BEFORE calling you insurance company, as you may have a denied claim on your CLUE report.
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J295
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Re: Homeowner's Insurance & New Roofs

Postby J295 » Sun May 21, 2017 12:34 pm

Hire a qualified inspector. In my experience (which includes a hailed out roof and all windows this past year), it is very very difficult for an untrained eye to spot hail damage on roof and windows. We were told, for example, that a hailed out roof wouldn't typically start showing any leaking for a couple of years, and even then it might not be easy to spot because the leakage would be in the attic.

I don't know about your insurance company and their reputation, but I'd ask around if I were you. Do you have a trusted insurance agent who can help you find the appropriate inspector (or a real estate agent who can recommend a good inspector?).

One other thing... our initial insurance adjuster just found a couple of windows hail damaged. Then we had a window issue and it just happened that a different insurance adjuster came out ..... and he found almost all the windows were damaged (even though little dings on some, they couldn't be "fixed" so they gave us new windows). Lesson .... a second (or third ) look is worth it.


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