Roofing Insurance Issues
Even a brand-new roof can suffer extensive damage from a weather event. The weather in P.A. fluctuates wildly. Snow, hail, wind, and pouring rain are all capable of damaging any roof. Older roofs are more vulnerable, but even the heat of the summer can cause cracking and pitting in newer roofs. All weather issues, if severe, can lead to damage on any age roof.
These weather conditions are often called “Acts of Nature” or “Acts of God.” There cannot be any human interference for these to be compensated. I.E., a homeowner with a previously bad roof cannot effectively claim that all the damages were from natural circumstances.
While compensable through homeowners insurance, an adjuster from the insurance company must first show up and determine whether partial or full payment for replacement will occur.
However, this can be a drawn-out process and lead to a nightmare for homeowners who experience leaks while waiting for a determination.
Why Do Problems Occur with Insurance?
There are several reasons that insurance companies might balk at paying out on a damaged roof.
Most insurance companies are rational, but claims take time to assess.
- The roof is older
As stated above, an older roof is a more complex determination for an insurance adjuster. In addition, existing damages are difficult to determine, so the insurance adjuster, also referred to as a claims adjuster, may ask for paperwork as to when the roof was initially installed and for documentation of other existing problems.
All adjusters work for the insurance company and are under pressure to save money for the company that employs them.
- Adjusters are overwhelmed
This is a significant component in insurance roof claims delays. If one roof is damaged in an area, there will certainly be several, if not dozens or hundreds. Claims adjusters have specified areas and cannot meet every need immediately.
Insurance companies have been known to bring outside adjusters in from other areas or states to lighten the workload, but this does take time. In addition, some states require licensing, while others do not. P.A. does require licensing for adjusters.
In the case of an emergency declaration of severe weather, regulatory agencies can waive this requirement if an adjuster is licensed in a comparable state. Emergency licenses are also available for adjusters through the NAIC (National Association of Insurance Commission).
- Homeowners insurance companies lack staff.
No one can predict when a natural weather occurrence will occur. Insurance companies generally have enough staff for everyday needs. However, processing paperwork takes time, and an influx of ongoing claims in a short amount of time does lead to delays, unfortunately. Insurance regulations cover all paperwork, and claims must be processed correctly.
- Deductibles usually are involved.
Like any type of insurance, homeowners insurance can have a deductible depending upon the chosen policy. By paying less, a homeowner might have a high deductible.
In addition, homeowners must replace the type and style of damaged roof. However, there are really no “upgrades”” involved unless a roof is so old that materials no longer exist and can be purchased.
- Panic sets in by homeowners
This is also a by-product of an unforeseen damaged roof by weather. Although it is difficult to be patient, it is stressful for homeowners, especially if a roof is so damaged that serious leakage into the home occurs.
A home might become unlivable when a roof is completely destroyed, and other accommodations might be needed by residents of a property. Some insurance companies will cover this, and others might not, depending upon the policy chosen. Panicked homeowners can repeatedly call their insurance agent or claims adjuster but this only delays the processing. It can be a frightening time.
- Code and zoning issues
If an original roof was not installed according to the latest code and zoning regulations, then a roofing company must ensure all permits and paperwork are submitted. In addition, the licensing must be on file with any municipality in which a property exists also.
The Solution to Damaged Roof Insurance Issues
There are really only two solutions when an insurance company is slow to respond to any damage to a roof caused by weather. It is sometimes necessary to just repair the top “”out of pocket”” after an adjuster views it. Even after an adjuster decides, roofing companies can be busy also, so setting up a roofing company in advance is advisable.
A roofing company that is knowledgeable about insurance is the best choice. Documentation is important, especially if a roof is repaired before payment by the insurance company.
StormTech Roofers of West Chester, PA, are licensed and insured and can assist with consultation on insurance issues. Before any work is performed, there is a free consultation so homeowners can rest assured that the choice of StormTech Roofers is indeed very wise. Decades of experience are under the belt of StormTech Roofers, and accommodations are made for a homeowner’s schedule. There are no high-pressure sales, and the pricing is generally acceptable for most insurance companies budgets.