How do you find out if your Roof Really Totaled? When a homeowner incurs a loss covered by their homeowner’s insurance, they typically will receive a loss statement from their insurance company which itemizes the dollar amount being allowed for each component of the damaged property. For example, when a roof is damaged to the extent it must be replaced, your insurance company will send you a loss statement which indicates the number of squares of roofing to be “Removed” and the number of squares to be “Replaced” (with a waste factor included). Then, depending upon the specific characteristics of each roof, there may also be additional allowance to: “Remove steep roof”, “Replace steep roof” (with a waste factor included), “Remove high roof”, “Replace high roof” (with a waste factor included), as well as an allowance for roof vents, pipe jacks, chimney flashing, valley flashing, skylight flashing, ridge cap, drip edge flashing, step flashing, etc. What we now find rather disturbing is, although it used to be standard procedure for a loss statement to provide allowance for “every” component of the roof, there is a growing trend to omit allowance for valley flashing, step flashing, chimney flashing, etc. and the reason we are told is “unless there is visible damage to those flashings, no allowance is being given”. Another reason they give is: “We quit providing an allowance to replace valley flashing, step flashing, etc. because we found that many roofers were not replacing those flashings even when we provided an allowance for them so we just quit providing an allowance for their replacement”. Regardless of what some contractors might be doing, we find absolutely no justification for not providing an allowance to replace key components of the roof. Even if these flashings are not damaged and can be “re-used” it takes considerable additional labor to “salvage” those flashings! Yet, some insurance companies provide absolutely no additonal allowance for the labor required to detach & re-attach these flashings to the new roof. Thankfully, many insurance companies have not taken this position because homeowners are being shorted the necessary funds to “totally” & properly replace their roof when no allowance is given for “every” component of the roof. Case in point: Let’s assume a roof is 50 Square and has no ridge, no valley, no step flashing, no chimneys, & no skylights and the insurance company has determined the fair loss amount to replace this roof to be $13,150.00. The same 50 square roof could quite feasibly have 150-feet of step flashings, 250-feet of valley flashing, 1 chimney, and 4 skylights. A few insurance companies are allowing the same $13,150.00 loss amount, when there is indisputably more cost involved to replace the 2nd roof. Anybody would logically conclude that it will take a whole lot more labor to replace the 2nd roof than the 1st roof because you have to cut shingles at an angle parallel to the valleys and imbed the shingles in mastic along the valley. You have to separate the existing roof from the existing flashings around the chimney and skylights and then cut shingles around the chimney and skylights to properly re-connect the old flashings to the new roof, etc, etc. When we argue this point, some claims representatives will compromise and offer an additional amount, but some do not. In those instances, the homeowner has few options. They can either dispute the insurance company settlement amount being offered (per the terms of their policy), attempt to find a contractor willing to work for the amount the insurance company has offered, or pay more out of their pocket to get a good company like Larry L. Vaught Roofing, since we are going to replace those flashings and are going to charge a fair amount to perform the work correctly. Overall, we find most insurance companies continue to provide a fair loss amount to replace roofs, but we see a growing trend to “omit” allowances for numerous components of the roof that were previously routinely provided. So, when you receive a quote from a roofing contractor that is significantly more than the amount your insurance company is offering, I wouldn’t be so quick to conclude that the roofing contractor’s bid is too high. It could instead, very likely be the result of your insurance company not providing allowances for all of the components of your roof. And you thought your roof was “totaled”. Little did you know they weren’t allowing for replacement of many of the “flashings” (i.e. the key components of the roof that are vital to providing a water tight installation).
Is your Roof Really Totaled? was last modified: January 17th, 2020 by