Sunday, June 29, 2008

The story of my roof replacement continues....

It took over a week, but I now have my insurance adjuster’s estimate for replacing my roof that has suffered hail damage. I looked it over line by line and found several errors. The estimate is difficult to read. It’s inconsistent, sometimes material and labor are included for an item and other times it is not. I found that he had missed a couple of items (power wash and re-stain a chimney) and one of the subtotals was incorrect (short) by over $600! But, the most surprising thing was that his estimate to replace my roof was $2500 less than the two contractor bids that I have.

The adjuster had left me with a long distance phone number to call him with any questions. I don’t see why I should need to pay phone charges to talk about an insurance claim, especially when I have a local agent. I called the agent and they said they would contact him and have him call me. Two days later, I still had not heard from him. I called the corporate insurance claims center. They gave me another 1-888 number to reach the adjuster. I left three phone messages over three days before he returned my call. He said he didn’t check that voice mail very often!

His response to the huge difference between his estimate and the two contractors bids, was that I needed to get three bids. That’s interesting as these two contractors must have 20 signs up in my neighborhood. Could they be that overpriced and yet have so much work?

The adjuster assures me that the insurance company wants to make my roof "whole" again. If that is the case then why did he underestimate the cost of the work? Here’s an example: he estimated the cost to power wash the chimney and re-stain it as $48.80. I don’t know anyone who would want to climb my very steep roof with a power washer in tow for less than 50 bucks. I wonder if I could even rent a power washer for that?

When I pointed this out, he offered to add on another $50. Then he throws out that they have decided to send the depreciation check immediately. I should have it in less than a week. I mentioned this to a roofing contractor and he looked at me in disbelief. He had never heard of such a thing and said that the depreciation value is usually sent after the work has been completed. I get the impression that this insurance company wants me to put this cash in my pocket and just go away.

It is frustrating that this adjuster was not as thorough as he needed to be. He mentioned that he had completed over 7 house estimates for that one day. It seems quite possible that because he is paid by the claim, he rushes from one house to the next to cash in and then takes weeks to get the paperwork out.

I am certain that this will all work out in the end after I do a lot more work collecting bids. I plan to get that third magical bid, as well as three bids for the power washing and staining of my chimney and wood decks.
But most importantly, I already have an attractive quote for a home insurance policy with another company.


  1. I was going to suggest to move to a better insurance company.
    Do you know of anyone else in your neighborhood that has your insurance? I wonder if the mediocre service is widespread or you were just unlucky.
    Not having a toll free number to call him directly is a big demerit though.

  2. Basic Insurance company principle: Do everything possible to forestall and avoid payment of claims.

  3. I don't know anyone in my immediate neighborhood with the same insurance, but I have a couple of co-workers that have the same and they have received much better service. For whatever reason, my adjuster was a contractor, theirs was an actual company adjuster. The company adjusters take a computer to the site and provide an estimate on the spot.

  4. Oh wow! I recently had a tree fall into my home, and luckily my insurance company paid for all of the roofing on my Oakville that I needed. I don't know what I would have done if my insurance company had refused to pay.

  5. Really nice and impressive blog for sure I learn more from here. Please keep on posting.

    Iko shingles