Hurricane Damage and Insurance
November 28, 2017 7:15 AM   Subscribe

We own a home in the state of Florida that was in the path of Hurricane Irma a few months ago. The good news: nobody in our family was injured, and no major structural damage was sustained. The bad news: The roofing company says we need a new roof (I believe them), the insurance company says we just need to replace shingles. More complexities inside.

The insurance standard is that if 25% or more of the roof needs to be repaired, then the entire roof needs to be replaced. The insurance company inspector says that we lost fewer than 25% of our shingles, and thus only need to replace the missing ones. The roofing company says, no, aside from the missing shingles there are a significant number of folded and weakened shingles that easily bring the damage to a level that requires a new roof.

Complicating factor: Although we have a $500 deductible for wind damage, we have a nearly $8,000 deductible for hurricane damage. To do the repairs that the insurance company says we need would cost under $1,000.

At this point it seems like we have two options:
We could appeal the insurance company inspection and have the roofing company there at the time of the inspection (they weren't there for the first one). This appeal would be very likely to work, but would delay us for several more weeks and then we would be paying the larger deductible.

The other option is to do the repairs that the insurance company says we need, and fully document with photographs and paperwork that those repairs were done. Odds are we will get another wind storm within the next six months that will not be a hurricane, but if the roofing company is correct it won't take much for the remaining weakened shingles to fail. At that point we would have a new claim with the much smaller deductible.

The roof is fifteen years old, and even before the hurricane several of the other houses in our development of the same age were getting new roofs done based on claims from last January's non-hurricane wind storm.

Am I missing something? What would you do in our case? Appeal and get a new roof now for a huge out of pocket, or do the simple repair and wait for the next wind storm?
posted by anonymous to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
What is the total cost of replacement? Will replacement be with materials/ methods less likely to be affected by a hurricane? (The insurance company probably wouldn't pay for that kind of upgrade, but you probably want it?)
posted by metasarah at 8:35 AM on November 28, 2017

I say that you should replace your old roof at your own expense. At 15 years the roof is old enough to be replaced. Patching it will make it ugly. Roof replacement is a maintenance item in most cases, and trying to force the insurance company to foot the bill won't fly with them.

The other factor to consider is that your insurance company may decline to renew your coverage in the next few years unless you have a new roof. This happened to us in Texas several years ago. They know that older roofs fail more easily.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 10:27 AM on November 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

Could you have the roofing contractor talk directly to the insurance adjuster? There's really no reason for you to be in the middle of what will, eventually, turn into a highly technical roofing discussion. Better to leave that to the experts.
posted by DrGail at 1:47 PM on November 28, 2017

This is why wind storm (hurricane) (citizens?) insurance is a scam/rip off. I put a metal roof on ($10,000) a couple years back and canceled my windstorm, couldn't even hear Irma's 90mph winds inside. another option is get a private adjuster, they work for you not the ins. company.

Good luck.
posted by patnok at 3:02 PM on November 29, 2017

« Older Should this dented can of coconut milk go in the...   |   Finding an apartment for 1.5 persons? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.