That’s a common question every homeowner will ask at some point during the duration of owning a home. The answer is a pretty clear one, if we’re talking about filing a roof damage claim in the context of a weather event or an accident, or an “unscheduled” tree limb falling on it. Hopefully we’re not talking about those obvious situations (whether or not the claim settlement offer meets the policy amount is a different topic entirely). What we’re going to discuss is smaller damages, such as a roof leak or missing shingles due to wind. And what about those seemingly minor repairs? Can you get a roof replacement instead? The short answer, in many such cases, is yes. Judging by the look of disbelief we get every day from discussions with homeowners during our roof inspections, you are wondering how.
In this example scenario, let’s say you have filed a claim with your insurance company, and they’ve sent their insurance adjuster out to your property for an assessment. After their inspection you’re informed the roof damage isn’t covered under your insurance policy. This is the likely assessment you’ll be told, but in reality, it is more often than not indeed covered under most insurance policies. In the same example, they may try to state the damage is only cosmetic or general wear and tear. The question now becomes if this internal assessment should be accepted as the authoritative answer for what is or isn’t a viable insurance claim. After all, the insurance company is the source you will be submitting your claim to. The answer is they are experts on what their assessment needs to be in order to say, “not covered under your policy due to [insert gibberish legal jargon].”
So, what’s a homeowner to do if the company that literally wrote the insurance contract declares there is no coverage? Well that’s an easy answer. You don’t just take their word for it. This is what they are counting on, so you’ll go away. It’s an incredibly profitable business model for them. They’re doing what’s in their best interest, so you have to also do what’s in your best interest.
Don’t Take the Insurance Company’s Word for It
The stone-cold fact of the matter is there are two interpretations of an insurance policy. It is a legally binding contract between you, the homeowner, and them, the insurance carrier, with a business model that produced $1.6 trillion in revenue from insurance premiums in the property and casualty sector, alone in 2019. That’s $1.6 trillion with a T! If you take all of the niceties away that you see in those Mayhem commercials and the “we’re on your side” slogans and look at the fundamentals of how they make those billions in profits, you’ll see a very simple math equation. It goes like this: Insurance premiums – claim payouts = profit. As you can see, they have a bias and vested interest in saying, “nope, not covered” or “your coverage will pay [insert severe underpayment settlement offer]” regardless of what is actually owed, according to your insurance policy. Saying “no” or severely undervaluing a claim is such highly profitable business strategy for the insurance industry that it inspired a parody video.
So, What Are My Options?
You have a couple of choices. You can either take their word for it, or you can ensure that your side of the contract is given the same consideration as theirs. By working with a public adjuster, you have an expert on your side when it comes to understanding and interpreting insurance policies. This expertise and knowledge gives them an edge over the insurance company while they are advocating for you, the property owner, not the insurance company.
If the insurance companies could be trusted to pay their clients fairly, according to the insurance coverage they diligently pay for every month, we wouldn’t be in business. But that’s not the world we live in. One of the great quotes from Noble Public Adjusting Group’s Founder, Bo Williamson, sums it up nicely. “We can’t make any insurance company pay one penny more than what the insurance policy stipulates is owed.” If they paid out claim settlements remotely close to the contract agreement, we wouldn’t have such a huge disparity between what the insurance carrier’s settlement offer compared to Noble’s final settlement we routinely win for our clients. We hold nothing back when it comes to holding insurance companies accountable to what the policyholder has paid for.
Common Misconceptions of Filing an Insurance Claim Using a Public Adjuster
Let’s address some of the common questions or feedback we get from homeowners during our roof inspections.
Will My Homeowners Insurance Premium Increase If I File a Claim?
Some people are often concerned that their insurance company could impose a rate hike of their premiums as a result of filing an insurance claim. There are only a few reasons that they can choose to do this.
- In the event of a hurricane, there is a possibility that your premium could rise. This must be approved by the state and is region specific. They cannot arbitrarily pick and choose which policies to increase by the individual policyholder.
- A rate increase can occur if the risk to your property increases, such as the installation of a pool, trampoline or even owning certain dog breeds.
- A rate increase can occur when there are multiple claims filed in a given time period.
Will My Insurance Company Drop Me?
This question is always baffling when you actually stop and think about it. As a homeowner, an insurance policy is supposed to provide a peace of mind that your investment will be protected in the unfortunate event that you ever need to actually use it. It’s the sole reason you pay your insurance premium every month! For most people, the single biggest purchase is typically a new home. As consumers, we evaluate every other service or product on the premise of getting our money’s worth. For example, if you experience an emergency that requires a large withdrawal from your bank account, would you put up with the threat of being dropped for using the service? No, of course not. If this were the case, you would seek out a different company that didn’t hold your money hostage. If the insurance company wants to raise your premium or threatens to drop you for enacting the very services you are paying for, that is a cause to drop them and take your business elsewhere.
More importantly, remember that this is your home’s value you are protecting. If you have roof damage of any kind, and it falls under the guidelines of your insurance policy which states that a full replacement is covered, why would you not want to get the best roof your policy affords? That is the financial protection you are paying for, when looking at the big picture. Your investment in your home is what needs protection, not the privilege of paying for a service that you are too afraid to use.
Let’s circle back to the initial question – is my roof covered on my insurance policy? Our team at Noble Public Adjusting Group is eager to find out! Our licensed professional public adjusters are well-versed and knowledgeable when it comes to reviewing insurance policies, understanding the specifics of state statutes and building codes. If there is coverage in your policy, it will be uncovered and you will get the settlement your policy outlines that you are owed, and our reputation for winning illustrates our track record. It doesn’t matter whether you need to file a new claim or want to challenge an unfair settlement, we’ve got you covered. We’re as invested as you are on winning. There are no out-of-pocket expenses, and if there’s no recovery, there’s no fee. Submit the form below and we’ll get your free inspection scheduled right away.