Am I a sucker to pay for a new roof?

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BalancedGirl
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Am I a sucker to pay for a new roof?

Post by BalancedGirl » Sat May 25, 2019 7:20 am

My house is in need of a new roof this year or next year due to age. I've gotten quotes and I am planning on paying for the new roof out of pocket. However, it seems like all of my neighbors have gotten new roofs paid for by their homeowners insurance by claiming "wind damage." I just kinda feel like a sucker being the only one who is actually forking over the cash for a new roof. I thought making a homeowners insurance claim is not a good idea unless it's absolutely necessary. Is it better to pay or make a claim?

student
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Re: Am I a sucker to pay for a new roof?

Post by student » Sat May 25, 2019 7:23 am

Was there really high wind that caused the damage? I am surprised that insurance companies would pay for it if wind was not part if the cause.

imyeti2
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Re: Am I a sucker to pay for a new roof?

Post by imyeti2 » Sat May 25, 2019 7:37 am

How much does it cost for a new roof? As has been pointed out, was there a lot of wind to damage the roof?

Falsely claiming damage when there is none is insurance fraud !

Also, you may have your rates go up because of the claim - if you are in a particularly windy area, insurance company may increase your premium anticipating more risk.

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BalancedGirl
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Re: Am I a sucker to pay for a new roof?

Post by BalancedGirl » Sat May 25, 2019 7:41 am

I've never noticed any extra strong wind. My neighbors say that roofing companies go around knocking on doors offering new roofs by claiming wind damage. I have no idea if it's legit or a scam. It seems dishonest to me, but maybe I'm being a prude? I definitely wouldn't want to worry about insurance fraud. A new roof is $12,000.

Cactuscoug
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Re: Am I a sucker to pay for a new roof?

Post by Cactuscoug » Sat May 25, 2019 8:01 am

There are two issues here:

1.) Insurance fraud.
2.) Door-to-door roofers.

If you are going to reroof your home, please research local roofing companies. I doubt if the legitimate ones are going door-to-door.

And, no . . .you are not a sucker. Every 20-30 years the roof needs to be replaced. It is a normal maintenance issue.

carolinaman
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Re: Am I a sucker to pay for a new roof?

Post by carolinaman » Sat May 25, 2019 8:12 am

Our neighbor experience a severe hailstorm years ago that damaged many roofs. It would not have occurred to me to file a claim except that all my neighbors did. So I did and the insurance company inspected my roof and approved a claim. I see nothing wrong with that. The insurance company determined that there was damaged.

I would encourage you to file a claim. The insurance company will only approve if they can determine you had wind damage. You will get more out of this claim than adjustments to your insurance rate. Normally, it takes multiple claims to affect your rate. After all, this is one of the reasons we have insurance. Severe weather can damage roofs and it is not always obvious unless the roof is closely inspected.

bovineplane
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Re: Am I a sucker to pay for a new roof?

Post by bovineplane » Sat May 25, 2019 8:17 am

We owned a house built in the 80s that needed a new roof. Called a few companies for quotes. First two both said the same thing, hail had "damaged" the roof and recommended I call insurance. We were young, insurance sent an inspector who agreed and the roof was covered. Didn't seem right but at the time I assumed the inspector would have simply declined if it wasn't legit damage.

I don't recall it affecting the policy much. We owned three houses at the time. Still the only insurance claim I have ever made on a house. Was $5k total. Knowing the roof was 20+ years old didn't seem shady at the time but looking back has changed my perspective a bit.

Atilla
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Re: Am I a sucker to pay for a new roof?

Post by Atilla » Sat May 25, 2019 8:28 am

We had a hail storm back in 2006. Neighbors called their insurance and their company paid to repair a small section of roof.

Filed with our insurer and next thing we know the insurance guy is at our front door with a roofing company person. He inspects the roof, says we need total replacement and do we want to use the roofing guy standing right there? We politely declined to sign up right then and there, so we got a check for $5,000 made out to us to pay for a new roof.

Called another roofing company who inspects and says roof is fine.

Deposited the $5,000 in savings where it still sits. Canceled our insurance and went with another company that offered better rates.

Roof is still fine.
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GMCZ71
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Re: Am I a sucker to pay for a new roof?

Post by GMCZ71 » Sat May 25, 2019 8:34 am

carolinaman wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 8:12 am


I would encourage you to file a claim. The insurance company will only approve if they can determine you had wind damage. You will get more out of this claim than adjustments to your insurance rate. Normally, it takes multiple claims to affect your rate. After all, this is one of the reasons we have insurance. Severe weather can damage roofs and it is not always obvious unless the roof is closely inspected.
I believe that I read on here that even an inquiry about a claim is added to the clue report. From what I remember the house being sold had 2 hits and the new buyer of the house had 1 hit for a total of 3. Buyer could not get financed due to they were unable to insure the house. Anyone else remember that thread?
John

Silk McCue
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Re: Am I a sucker to pay for a new roof?

Post by Silk McCue » Sat May 25, 2019 8:46 am

Posters that are throwing out the phrase "insurance fraud" are ill-informed at best. If an inspection of your roof shows wind damage and needs repair or replacement the insurance company will send an adjuster to your house to climb up on the roof and make their own determination. No chance of fraud here whatsoever. Either there is covered damage or not.

A few years back I had a local company come out to inspect my roof and they found wind damage and were able to provide time periods for when wind events were known in my area. They suggested I contact my insurance company and ask them to take a look. The insurance company assigned someone to come out and the rep for the local roof company came out and joined them on the roof to review the areas of damage. The insurance company replaced the entire roof including underlying wood root damage. I paid $500 wind deductible (not a much higher hurricane deductible) and the insurance company paid more that $25k to replace the roof.

I have a family member in town that is currently getting their roof replaced due to wind damage that occurred since the last hurricane that hit them 2 years ago. The insurance company paid very little for the relatively small amount of hurricane damage but is now, 2 years later, replacing the entire roof with a $500 wind deductible.

This is exactly why you have homeowners insurance. Don't feel bad for a moment about getting coverage that they may be more than willing to provide.

Cheers

noco-hawkeye
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Re: Am I a sucker to pay for a new roof?

Post by noco-hawkeye » Sat May 25, 2019 8:53 am

The first thing I would do is find a roofer that you trust / like. This is going to be needed if insurance is involved or not.

When they take a look at the job and provide an estimate, a good roofer should be able to see if there was extra storm related damage or if it is just old age. I would also add that a lot of times a roof can look perfectly fine, even though it might have suffered quite severe weather related damage. This is certainly the case I have seen with hail.

If you have picked a quality roofer, they deal all the time with insurance companies. They will have more insight into the current condition, and if you should bring your insurance inspector out.

I've had 2 new roofs in the past 20 years due to hail (which is common in our part of the country). Insurance rates have gone up, but I don't see it as anything too unreasonable.

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HueyLD
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Re: Am I a sucker to pay for a new roof?

Post by HueyLD » Sat May 25, 2019 8:58 am

Where I used to live, we had a lot of severe weather including hail storms, tornados, ice storms, etc. And it was not unusual to file insurance claims for roof damage for the vast majority of an affected neighborhood.

That's what insurance is about. Even if you have no claims, your insurance rate will go up anyway because the insurance company's cost has to be spread to all customers in a given area.

It is not insurance fraud if the damage is covered by insurance. However, it is probably prudent to have high deductibles (as you can afford) so that you don't file small claims which could cause your house to be blacklisted.

Swansea
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Re: Am I a sucker to pay for a new roof?

Post by Swansea » Sat May 25, 2019 9:00 am

While not directly analogous, a number of my neighbors claimed their siding was hail damaged. While I saw no damage on the house next door, her claim was paid. I had no damage, so did not make a claim. My next premium took a jump up, and my agent said it was because of the claims filed in my neighborhood.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Am I a sucker to pay for a new roof?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Sat May 25, 2019 9:28 am

You are not a sucker.

OTOH, your neighbors might not be as ethical as you are.

Sadly, many people are simply dishonest, the honest (and dishonest) people pay the price in higher prices.

Broken Man 1999
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OldBallCoach
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Re: Am I a sucker to pay for a new roof?

Post by OldBallCoach » Sat May 25, 2019 9:35 am

Better question might be what do you think of your neighbors now that you know about their ethics and what value do you put on integrity? Just buy the roof and move on.

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whodidntante
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Re: Am I a sucker to pay for a new roof?

Post by whodidntante » Sat May 25, 2019 9:46 am

I had exactly the same situation. Storm moves through, and 6 weeks later it's nothing but hammers and people walking on roofs in my neighborhood. I think some of my neighbors stretched the truth, but it would take more than 12 grand to make a liar out of me. My roof was fine so I didn't file a claim. But it's very old.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Am I a sucker to pay for a new roof?

Post by RickBoglehead » Sat May 25, 2019 9:47 am

Note that many don't have a clue about roofs. We had a hail storm some years ago which dented the house siding (cottage). Inspector said roof has no damage except for dents on vents.

As to installing a new roof:

- get multiple estimates
- CAREFULLY review warranties. An installer's warranty may be useless. A manufacturer's warranty may require a specific type of installation as well as an installer they've certified. We replaced a room 8 years ago on the above cottage and got a 50 year 135 mph roof warranty, including labor, by verifying we did everything they require. It was almost minimal cost above that which would not have that warranty. And, it can be transferred once in 12 years for free.

Never hire door to door contractors, especially roofers and driveway sealant guys.
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mortfree
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Re: Am I a sucker to pay for a new roof?

Post by mortfree » Sat May 25, 2019 9:54 am

Are you a qualified expert on determining roof damage?

Did the roofer identify any damage to the roof that would be “storm related”? You may want to ask.

That should give you peace of mind with your decision.

jharkin
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Re: Am I a sucker to pay for a new roof?

Post by jharkin » Sat May 25, 2019 10:05 am

Cactuscoug wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 8:01 am
There are two issues here:

1.) Insurance fraud.
2.) Door-to-door roofers.

If you are going to reroof your home, please research local roofing companies. I doubt if the legitimate ones are going door-to-door.

And, no . . .you are not a sucker. Every 20-30 years the roof needs to be replaced. It is a normal maintenance issue.
+1

Any reputable insurance company is going to send an adjuster to inspect the roof and will need some documentable evidence of damage to approve the claim. And then for your trouble your premiums are going to go up for hte next 10 years or so and you get a negative mark on the CLUE history for the property.


Not worth it to get $5-10k IMHO.

Dottie57
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Re: Am I a sucker to pay for a new roof?

Post by Dottie57 » Sat May 25, 2019 10:15 am

carolinaman wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 8:12 am
Our neighbor experience a severe hailstorm years ago that damaged many roofs. It would not have occurred to me to file a claim except that all my neighbors did. So I did and the insurance company inspected my roof and approved a claim. I see nothing wrong with that. The insurance company determined that there was damaged.

I would encourage you to file a claim. The insurance company will only approve if they can determine you had wind damage. You will get more out of this claim than adjustments to your insurance rate. Normally, it takes multiple claims to affect your rate. After all, this is one of the reasons we have insurance. Severe weather can damage roofs and it is not always obvious unless the roof is closely inspected.
Same for my parents when a large hail storm came through. Insurance found damage. Roofer said there was damage, but my parents could wait for a year or two.

You can wait a month or two to request insurance inspect after a storm, but longer than that is highly debatable.

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HueyLD
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Re: Am I a sucker to pay for a new roof?

Post by HueyLD » Sat May 25, 2019 10:17 am

RickBoglehead wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 9:47 am
Never hire door to door contractors, especially roofers and driveway sealant guys.
Very true. Good roofing companies seem to be busy most of the time.

gwe67
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Re: Am I a sucker to pay for a new roof?

Post by gwe67 » Sat May 25, 2019 10:33 am

My roof is 17-18 years old. While not leaking, it's servicable. If I file a claim, wouldn't the value be greatly reduced due to the age, and wouldn't future insurance premiums be higher? There is a deductible of 1 percent of the house value. It seems like I may be better off replacing on my own?
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dm200
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Re: Am I a sucker to pay for a new roof?

Post by dm200 » Sat May 25, 2019 10:40 am

student wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 7:23 am
Was there really high wind that caused the damage? I am surprised that insurance companies would pay for it if wind was not part if the cause.
So am I.

Jags4186
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Re: Am I a sucker to pay for a new roof?

Post by Jags4186 » Sat May 25, 2019 10:57 am

I’m a little surprised there’s a thread on Bogleheads about whether or not to commit insurance fraud.

OP, if your roof was legitimately damaged by wind or hail you should file a claim. If not, then I would be worried about getting charged criminally for insurance fraud.

I mean think logically—if you’re claiming your roof was damaged by wind or hail, wouldn’t everyone in your community have that claim? Wouldn’t there be downed power lines, damaged foliage, news reports of incredible storms? Do you really think these adjusters are that stupid? I bet 50% of the claims they deal with are people trying to get one over on them.

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Misenplace
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Re: Am I a sucker to pay for a new roof?

Post by Misenplace » Sat May 25, 2019 12:29 pm

This topic has run its course and is locked. I also removed several posts and replies related to insurance fraud that became contentious. As a reminder, see: General Etiquette
We expect this forum to be a place where people can feel comfortable asking questions and where debates and discussions are conducted in civil tones.
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