Customer experience: Reroof sales in Dallas area after hail storm

When my roof was damaged in a recent hail storm I called my trusted insurer of 15+ years and 2 weeks later had ACV auto-deposited in my bank account - depreciation was $2,300 and $1,000 deductible.

The RCV was 330% what the roof cost me back in 2003 for Elk Prestige HD shingles.

Just as I did a decade earlier, selected highly reviewed local roofers and asked for cash price plus up to UL4 and consider HD ridge (some said can do some said cant, don’t know why)

First question from every sales guy…did you call your insurer? When each sales guy arrived I would invite them to look at the roof (some didn’t even want to) and then often spend 5-30 minutes explaining why I wanted a cash price not to compete with “door knockers” but just because I am paying the claim. we got passive aggressive sales , high pressure, one guy even called me a liar and a thief for not giving him my insurance paperwork!

I modified my process and instead gave them all the measurements from adjustor (but still wouldn’t you want to take your own?!) and finally have 3 quotes for UL4 (UPGRADED) roof, some of the prices are below ACV a few just a bit above ACV. To test my theory, I sent a very large contractor rep my insurance paperwork, and surely enough the only thing he responded with is confirmation that my insurance would replace my roof at my deductible cost. So they would get thousands of dollars from RCV and I would pay thousands more. Some deal!

I’m very certain there are many reputable roofers on this board but my cynical side is left with the following view of roofing sales:

  1. If possible, get the homeowner to hand you over to insurance adjustor and lock you in and maximize your RCV, deliver exactly what is itemized at high profit margin.
  2. Hope homeowner does not ask you to remove felt, re-flash chimney, or replace flashings because most consumers won’t have a clue
  3. Offer customers a marketing contract or whatever you want to call it to rebate difference between what the project will cost and what the RCV-deprec will pay (or some portion of it) - illegal but done daily (high pressure guys use the felony line with hard pressure sales tactics)
  4. Identify additional ancillary services or upgrades that can be performed concurrent with the roofing that equate to the difference between the project cost and acv-depreciation, which is apparently perfectly legal as long as all work is completed. (this appears to be part of some contractor business models and perhaps is a way to increase profit to roofer and value to homeowner I guess)
  5. Similar to #3 the homeowner can work with roofer to identify upgrades like UL4 radiant barrier etc to be included as it still s profitable for the roofer.
  6. For homeowners that have lesser insurers (I have the awesome that starts with A* and no, not Al*state) or poor coverage the contractor may be in a situation where they have to fight for reasonable coverage, but this is not how my insurer treats their customers or vendors [I might add I know people that pay less than 1/3 I do for homeowners insurance].

Do I have the wrong idea of the state of the insurance claims in Dallas?

So lets say I complete roof work for ACV an do not seek to recover the RCV $2,300 on roof, will I still be to recover the RCV on the other components of claim such as fence, windows, etc.or am I forced to prove the RCV cumulatively on all items in claim - if that is the case I now understand why all the sales guys would want the paperwork but it still unnecessarily would inflate the cost…

This is a legitimate message from a Dallas homeowner not intended to incite or accuse, just seeking open conversation on what I’m seeing.

Do you have a job? Your probably do, and you make money to pay your bills. This is our job, so can we make money? People expect us to do work for pennies on the dollar. You really think the big trillion dollar insurance companies are over paying? Let me answer that for you NOOOO. Just interview some roofers and who ever you feel comfortable with, hand them over your paperwork and don’t expect to make a couple of bucks. Make up early tomorrow and go to work to pay your bills don’t take it out of some roofers pocket who you think is being over paid. If your that confident we are being over paid why don’t you become a roofer

The reason the roof contractor should need to see your insurance itemization is to confirm that all items on the claim are being repaired, without that documentation it could be hit or miss.
By following the claim there is no reason any covered item could be omitted.
For example as you quoted above “remove felt, re-flash chimney, or replace flashings” thats all spelled out in the claim.

Having measurements from the adjuster is good because most adjusters are good at measuring and its a good double check, often the adjuster orders an Eagle View (satellite measurements). As for the roofer taking their own measurements, it takes a roofer ten minutes to walk around a house to totally measure most any roof without a tape measure. I could show you but I would have to be there.

If you complete all the work for the ACV the insurance will remit that amount, (actually they already have).
All of the items have a RCV which is the amount you can actually expect to be paid after all items are completed (unless you have an ACV only policy).
If the contractor in my state handles 3 or more components there is an O&P that can be collected.

Your other components will be paid in the same manner. ACV RCV

I want you to be a successful, profitable, quality roofer and charge a fair market price for your services.

In every other facet of my life, I start out by identifying requirements and obtaining an estimate for scope of work. Why should it operate any different way in residential re-roofing? My insurer does not select my roofer, my specifications, or my price, they provide me with an initial estimate based on that xactimate software and ask me to let them know if I have any issues & after work is completed to release depreciation.

Why do you feel that the fact that I have insurance means that the process of pricing the job out should be skipped? If you determined your cost + profit was less than my ACV after I handed over that paperwork what would you do? Again I just approach re-roofing the same way I do every other product/service transaction.

I can certainly see the advantages for the roofer for the consumer to hand over the paperwork, but what I’m not seeing are the advantages for the consumer, and I ask here because I REALLY want to understand if there is anything I’m missing about the process as it exists today.

The insurance companies have it down to a science.
There is no fat, the adjusters have measured it within a percentage of waste.
And the insurance company has narrowed the labor as low as it can go (sometimes less).
It’s not like negotiating a car deal.
The best way for you the consumer to get a good roof is to use a reputable roofer like me.
And level with me, I’m going to do everything on the claim and do it properly. And I will always level with you. You have to have trust with each other.
For simplicity let’s imagine that your roof claim is $10,000
You call 4 roofing contractors and get 4 bids.
$8,000
$10, 000
$13,000
$15,000
If you accept the roofer at $8000
The insurance company will pay the $8000 less your deductible.
If you accept the roofer at $10,000
Same story, insurance pays the $10k less your deductible
If you accept or want the $15,000 roofer the insurance company will pay the $10k less your deductible.
Truth be told the $8,000 roofer has no redeeming qualities.
The $13k roofer will remove and replace your roof includes several sheets of plywood, is certified by the manufacturer and your roof qualifies for an extended manufacturer backed non prorated warranty and this roofer has hundreds of testimonial happy customers and covers your deductible.

Here are my thoughts:
The insurance issues an “adjuster’s estimate” that is a quote using a sample of local market prices and contractors fees. It is called the adjusters estimate because it is the estimate of what the job should cost based on a fair and reasonable profit.
Now, unless you are trying to put money in your pocket from the claim, there should never be a reason to hide the claim from a contractor. Do you really think an insurance company is going to overpay a contractor? No they are not. And by not letting a contractor make sure the insurance company paid for everything you are cheating yourself and them.

The adjusters estimate is the bid for the job. You as a homeowner are not to profit from an insurance claim. I would pick a contractor who says I am going to do everything in that claim and do it right. When you start the bidding process on insurance claims you are promising yourself of getting less than your deserve because the really good and ethical contractors won’t cut corners to bid on roofs when insurance claims are involved. There are contractors who just want to throw a roof on and move on. They aren’t interested in serving you long term, using the highest quality materials, having liability insurance, being listed with local trade and roofing organizations, and so on. You just want a roof? You can get a guy in a truck with a few tools to do that.
We pride ourselves in doing the best roof you can put on. Never cutting corners. Using high quality shingles and never putting anything plastic on a roof. That is value. The contractors who do things right and really care about customers cannot operate at the low profit margins that the bidding war creates. The insurance companies are notorious for saving money and being cheap. They are not overpaying claims. I quite frankly will not bid on an insurance claim job. It just isn’t worth it to me.

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