Replacement of Storm Damaged Shingles

Chip Merlin – Property Insurance Coverage Law Blog – September 16, 2014

Roof damage claims are being bitterly fought by many insurance companies. From my perspective, claims managers and insurance company vendors seem to be training their adjusters how to minimize insurance benefits through various theories and “company line” responses. It is causing frustration to roofers and insurance customers. Much of it results in increased litigation.

Insurance claims managers, their vendor “experts” and attorneys waging these battles against the insurance companies’ customers must be furious with the following GAF Technical Bulletin released on July 30, 2014:

One of the findings which I am certain they will challenge rather than accept is the following:

While it is possible to replace individual storm damaged shingles, latent damage to the surrounding shingles caused by a storm is difficult to assess. Because of the potential for the surrounding shingles to also have experienced storm damage, complete roof replacement is recommended for the long term performance of these roofs.

To be fair, some insurers will take to heart what GAF has published. But, we do not generally see those insurers in court because they pay and resolve matters. The others are probably calling GAF and asking for verbal explanations and lobbying for more excuses to weasel out of paying storm damage to shingle roofs.

Public adjusters and roofers should diligently check manufacturer recommendations. In many instances, a recommendation must be followed as a matter of law because of building codes. I appreciate public adjuster Don Wood forwarding this to me.

via Replacement of Storm Damaged Shingles : Property Insurance Coverage Law Blog.

The Importance of Training Property Insurance Adjusters

Chip Merlin – Property Insurance Coverage Law Blog – September 11, 2014

The following Farmers Insurance adjuster training document was posted on a public adjuster forum yesterday:

Adjusters should get extensive and accurate training about aspects of property damage. Unfortunately, wrong or poor training, especially if it fails to correctly explain what to look for so the insurance customer is fully paid for a loss, can create mass wrongful adjustments. This page is an example and created a number of comments. A few of those comments from roofing experts were:

Rarely does a shingle ever leave the plant that’s not been reviewed by several layers of quality control.

Corner cracking or any cracking on tiles is usually the result of movement from wind.

A shingle does not have to be creased to be damaged. By simply being de-bonded from wind is the shingle damaged.

“Functional damage” is a concept “coined” by HAAG. Engineer Neill Hall has a great analysis he shared at the Merlin Hail seminar debunking the HAAG “functional damage” phrase. “Functional damage” does not mean that the roof is not physically damaged. Physical damage generally results in a loss of expected life to a roof and increases the expectancy of pre-mature failure.

Garbage in results in garbage out. If insurance claims management wants to focus more on what not to look for and what does not constitute damage, you can count on far more underpayments than fair and full payments of benefits owed.

via The Importance of Training Property Insurance Adjusters : Property Insurance Coverage Law Blog.