Insurance won’t replace roof damaged by hurricane. Help?

8 Replies

Any of you guys ever had an issue getting insurance to pay for your roof replacement? So last year we had a very bad hurricane in Florida. The tiles on my roof started shaking and cracking (according to the contractor) the wind caused the tiles to lift up and break. Early this year, we had a very bad storm that did even more damage to the point that water started getting into the house. I submitted a claim under normal rain as I didn’t think it was caused by hurricane. The insurance said that they would not cover it cause the tiles were too old so the damaged couldn’t be caused by the rain. They told me that because I had a written quote from a contractor stating that the whole roof needed to be replaced and that the damage was caused by hurricane I needed to open a claim for hurricane damage. Now they are saying they just won’t cover it.

What should I do? Do I need to hire a lawyer to fight for me?

I feel like they just don’t want to pay for it. And they aren’t returning my calls.

How old is the roof? You could have a 20 year old bad roof needing replacement just waiting for a hurricane to get a new one. I watch court cases on TV, with people driving around in cars with book value of $1,000 suing for $5,000 in an accident.

And I get a good laugh when people say they'll get a lawyer on these small cases. I offered someone $500.00 for what I believe is a fake slip and fall. Went around and around for five months, he wanted $5,000 or he'll get a lawyer. Got my insurance agent and she said "what are you waiting for, put in a claim".  Six months went by, and he came back and asked if my $500.00 offer is still good. I told him "no". Asked him what happened and he told me the lawyer stopped answering his calls. Asked me if I could call his lawyer or my insurance company for him.

Some people really have some nerve or plain stupid.

I got my insurance agent to update her, and she laughed and said "the guy must of used some shyster lawyer working on contingency and gave up after his threatening letters didn't scare anyone". For a $5,000 claim, 50% contingency fee, how much work do you think the lawyer will put in, 2 or 3 stupid letters? Agent says the insurance company gets lots of these cases, and just wait for these guys give their best shot, the 2 or 3 threatening letters, then walks away.

@Allen Lopez Well, “normal rain” doesn’t cause roof damage.  The issue seems to be you didn’t file a claim when the hurricane damage occurred.

To be clear, hurricane damage is only covered if you have additional  “windstorm” coverage, not just standard vanilla home owner’s insurance....even though most people here do have wind storm coverage.

@Wayne Brooks

Roof is 10 years old.

And the thing is I didn’t see any damage or anything after the hurricane. One day it rain hard and my roof started leaking.

Im not an expert so if a contractor says it was caused by hurricane damage I can’t argue with that

@Allen Lopez Well, did you file a claim under your windstorm policy for the hurricane event?  It is a little after the fact now though.  You might be better served by a Public Adjuster who negotiates on your behalf, knows the insurance reg.s And gets 10% or so from your claim.

Originally posted by @Allen Lopez :

Any of you guys ever had an issue getting insurance to pay for your roof replacement? So last year we had a very bad hurricane in Florida. The tiles on my roof started shaking and cracking (according to the contractor) the wind caused the tiles to lift up and break. Early this year, we had a very bad storm that did even more damage to the point that water started getting into the house. I submitted a claim under normal rain as I didn’t think it was caused by hurricane. The insurance said that they would not cover it cause the tiles were too old so the damaged couldn’t be caused by the rain. They told me that because I had a written quote from a contractor stating that the whole roof needed to be replaced and that the damage was caused by hurricane I needed to open a claim for hurricane damage. Now they are saying they just won’t cover it.

What should I do? Do I need to hire a lawyer to fight for me?

I feel like they just don’t want to pay for it. And they aren’t returning my calls.

 Allan, there are 2 separate claims and the insurance carrier will treat them as such.  

With a standard policy, the first claim would be covered, the second claim would not.  Confirm they have a filed claim for the 1st claim from last year and that they are not only responding to the second claim.

If they are denying the first claim, you can call a Public Adjuster and have them look into your policy to see if they can find coverage for you.  They will charge a fee of the total claim payout, but from the sounds of it, you will at least get some $ for the loss.

Also, where is your agent on this?  Seems you are doing a lot of the work your agent should be doing.

Good luck with it.

Allen the first question I would have is where is the property located as each state has differences.  You said hurricane in FL but your profile says investor in LA.  I'm an insurance agent in NJ and am not licensed in FL or LA so I can answer in generalities.  In general I know that FL has separate wind coverage because the standard home insurance in FL usually excludes wind I believe.  Assuming that as Jason Bott stated you have 2 claim events from what you've stated.  The first event per the contractors report would be filed under a wind claim assuming you have the wind coverage and it is not above your deductible.  The second claim may be denied entirely due to the fact that it seems you did not address the underlying issue of the roof damage when it occurred.  Like Jason Bott stated where is your agent in all this?  They should review your policy with you and confirm what coverage you have with you.  This is one of the reasons you should deal with an independent agent as they represent you and have a vested interest in you stating their customer vs. an 800 number or similar large direct insurance where you call into a call center. 

Allen while in general that is true, agents can help with the claims process but ultimately it is handled by the company, he should be able to read the policy and go over coverage as far as what is and is not excluded under the policy.  They should be able to give you guidance.