Friday, December 08, 2023

A New Roof: An Update

 As some readers may recall, in October of this year we had a "roof event" - a hail storm, which caused a fair amount of damage locally and impacted our roof.  As you might recall, the adjustor came out and gave us an estimate - $18,000 - to replace the roof.  Due to a clause in our insurance policy, we were only reimbursed for the value of the roof as it existed, not the replacement cost - around $2,100 for a settlement.

The company that originally been out with the adjustors - our "good friends who where here for us" - did not even give us a quote and disappeared.  I regrouped and found a second roofing company recommended by a local neighborhood group.  They came out and gave us an estimate - at 13% more ($21,000) for replacement.  Although they acknowledged the quote, they also noted that "their repair people always found additional issues which they took back to the insurance company".  Although I had indicated that this would be a direct cash transaction, that apparently did not matter.

And then, mysteriously, they stopped answering my calls.

This week - again - I looked yet another recommendation, this time using one on the neighborhood group from a friend from the Rabbit Shelter.  They came and looked - and gave us two options, standard 20 year roof for $15,500 or impact resistant shingles for $16,500 and explained why that might be a better idea as it would enable a homeowner's insurance discount.

His one comment was "Your home insurance is awful".  We both laughed.

And, they even offered to let us put the down payment on the credit card (not their usual practice, but he knew we were paying out of pocket) so we could get points on our credit card.

We pick colors of the shingles the week after next; installation will be 2nd to 3rd week of January, given weather conditions.

I really do try to believe the best of people.  But a 21% price difference stretches even the bounds of my credulity.   And pre-supposing that you will find damage before you look is, well, a little bit unbelievable as well.

Sure, there are lots of reasons I complain about insurance companies.  But it cannot be all one-sided.  If people look at insurance settlements as open cash register pay days, it is no wonder rates eventually go up.

16 comments:

  1. Anonymous4:24 AM

    I remember years back, (low '80's ?), Mom and Dad's home developed a crack along the ridge of the gable roof with the built-up roofing (tar and gravel). It had been about 20 years old at the time so it was not a surprising development.

    When Dad had contacted his home insurer, they appeared to be extremely annoyed at even being contacted. Dad was not asking for insurance re-imbursement - he just wanted an honest quote on what the replacement cost would be so that he could use that price as a comparison to what the roofers would charge.

    That same insurance company had been the original insurer, and were quite happy to be paid for those 20 years. Its how they act when they are asked to pay out is where the true test of how good they are is. Mom and Dad talked it over and decided it was a time to part ways. That company was never asked to pay back anything.

    I hope you get your roof fixed and that they do a good job.

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    1. That sounds like a very familiar story - and yes, this has prompted a serious review of the home owner policy, and the car insurance policy that goes with it. Yes, it is probably not a lot of money for them, but it is something.

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  2. "Your home insurance is awful" whose isn't nowadays, lol. The problem is, insurance companies pretty much run the world. Heaven forbid their customers should eat up their profit margins. I know that sounds cynical, but my experience with insurance companies has been nothing by high payments for a lot of grief. Good for you for doing all that research, sounds like it definitely paid off.

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    1. It certainly feels that way Leigh - yet oddly enough, we have not had any issues on the auto side of things with this company - although to be fair, the company subs out their homeowner's insurance to a third party insurer. I certainly have a lot of questions to ask going forward.

      As it turns out, indecisiveness worked out in my favor for once.

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  3. Nylon125:17 AM

    Good luck on your third try for the roof. California and Florida are suffering the effects of insurance companies stopping issuing new home insurance policies.

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    1. Thanks Nylon12.

      I know at least for California, the state has at least a Fire Insurance plan (like their earthquake insurance) - higher expense and you still need a rider for other damage, but at least something.

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  4. Anonymous6:03 AM

    Don't know if you would be in the proper age group but after what Metlife did to our home/auto policey we said EFF THIS and started research... we actually found very favorable rates through AARP / TRAVELERS Insurance... perhaps you could check them out

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    1. Anon - As much as like to pretend I am not, I do fall into this age bracket (I have been getting the "Join AARP" e-mails for a while now). Thanks for the advice - will definitely look.

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  5. I'm a firm believer that as long as there are unlimited funds in a pocket, be it a company that sells insurance or a national government, there will be people who abuse them to enrich themselves.

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    1. Ed, this is probably (once again) naive thinking on my part. I like to believe "common folk" have more restraint. At least in two cases, I find myself to be wrong.

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  6. I've found that events that cause roof damage lead to good contractors chasing the insurance money. They get paid and don't have to deal with the possibility of not getting paid in a cash transaction. I can understand their ways, but for honest people, it sure makes it hard to get a roof repaired.

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    1. Jess, that makes a certain amount of sense - certainly the contractor and the assessor had no problem communicating. Which makes the first one understandable. The second case - essentially raising the price for unknown yet to be discovered issues - remains inexplicable to me.

      I will say that one now commonly sees roofing signs with the phrase "financing available" - or, in the case of our selected contractor and the individual we are having to come look at my parents' place - the expectation of no financing is clearly made up front.

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  7. Anonymous12:16 PM

    The best Insurance company I ever had was Farm Bureau. Had a live large limb from next door crash into roof, 2 tornado's. Home was valued a little over $200K but because we had replacement cost and home was built in 1914 the amount of these 3 events cost them over $400K. At that point they cancelled their policy. They never blinked an eye when a bill came in but they certainly lost money insuring us.
    Make sure that roofer has state and city license and ins is up to date. Everything he promises is written in contract. Having owned rental property in each state I lived in I learned quickly how much states differ from each other.

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    1. Thanks for the story. We have not been dropped yet by anyone but I do know that it differs from state to state.

      As it turns out, the guy that gave us the quote is the owner of the company. That was a bit unexpected.

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  8. Third time seems to be the charm, TB. Good luck.
    You all be safe and God bless.

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    1. Thanks Linda. Hopefully this one really does take (they have our deposit, so it is better than hope at this point).

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