Once in a while in storm damage restoration, the contractor gets to be the hero, the David going against Goliath. One small business defending a sweet 78 year old woman from a national insurer.
As a contractor in the storm damage industry, who deals with insurance companies on a daily basis I can certainly say that some are great and some are terrible. All insurance companies are in business to make money, just like us. In this particular case the majority of insurance carriers would have, in my experience, immediately paid to replace the entire roof. Mrs Huhn has a carrier that believes a full replacement was not in order.
The roof in question had 52 damaged shingles, which the inspector for the insurance found, and documented, and tested for repair ability. The roof failed the test on all slopes, which means more damage would be caused by repair therefore the standard is full replacement.
Instead the carrier set an estimate to repair 104 shingles, and sent a check for $3,000. We sent an estimate for full replacement and asked for $18,000 using the same estimating software and pricing that the insurer used, and after a few weeks, a dozen or so emails and phone calls, we won an award for $17,300.
We upgraded her shingles, fixed her gate and fence, the roof over the porch, cleaned the gutters out, paid for new gutter screens on the front, and trimmed the brush in front of her house. Mrs Huhn is in a wheel chair and can not take care of these things on her own, and she was extremely grateful. I also noticed her lawn was really long, and she informed me the guy who had been doing it for years had stopped coming. I called several companies and no one could do it, so I found a man mowing a lawn in her neighborhood and asked him to come with me to her house. It turned out that it was his mothers house he was mowing and they happened to know Mrs Huhn and the gentleman was happy to help.
It doesn’t always work out so well when fighting an unscrupulous insurer, and more often than not, with out a contractor like myself, the homeowner would have be out of pocket the full amount and most likely unable to take care of the problem.
I do what I do for these type of situations, where I can help someone take care of an issue they don’t have the ability to do themselves. It’s not always clear to people the difference between the way insurance companies want to fix something and the way an industry professional would fix it.