Regulation is supposed to level the playing field but it never has. There is always a new trick, gimmick or forgotten method that someone resurrects that can overcome the shrewdest of bureaucrats. That is somewhat the method being used today by Allstate and USAA Insurance Companies.
While State Farm, Metropolitan, and Travelers pay for roof systems a customer has when the roof is damaged, Allstate and USAA wrangle out every aspect down to shingles and felt. No metal edge, step flashing, pipe covers, chimney or skylight flashings are included in their estimates unless they are dented.
While State Farm and USAA both use Xactimate to figure their respective hail damage reports, USAA figures that roofing suppliers must give me free step flashing, metal edging, and valley; that my roofers don't take any longer to install these items; and that leaving them out doesn't make for a lesser roof (system).
Then comes Allstate. They stand alone in dumbing down a roof. They use a system called Integra Claims, and which the management has, in the words of their adjusters, locked them out of all the details. A few years ago Allstate paid for the items integrated with the shingles, like a shingle. Just as one shingle laps with the others around it, so do the pipes, step flashings, valleys, chimney flashings, and boy am I tired of listing this.
Shingles and felt. That's it. No valley. No sewer pipes. No valley. No step flashing. No metal edge. No chimney flashing. No skylight flashing. No power pole flashing. No flue base flashings. Just shingles and felt.
Allstate says hold the pickles. I want to drag it through the garden and get a real burger. The meat is called hamburger but the unit is a hamburger. We put on better burgers and use real cheese if you want cheese. Even if you have cheese, Allstate won't put it back. It's not damaged.
Multiple Allstate adjusters have told Nathan, our in house licensed adjuster, that the program has these items included in the line item price for the shingles. Nathan counters that the program specifically states in the line item description that the price is for shingles only and that the program has specific line items for each of the items that Allstate won't pay for. Valleys, metal edge, stacks, stop it. The adjusters then say they have their own modified program. We know what that means.
They altered the bible.
Allstate stands alone. This is unique. How come Allstate's customers have to suffer this?
I will admit that their overall assessment of shingle damage and measurements are right on. They don't under measure and they pay for roofs when they need to, albeit on the cheap. They also tend to buy roofs that really aren't damaged. Allstate buys the farm. Couldn't help it.
The amount of money they underpay per roof comes nowhere near to what money they lose in buying roofs they shouldn't.
State Farm doesn't buy many roofs it shouldn't so if you have an old roof and you want it paid for for no reason don't get State Farm.
Where insurance companies very widely on what their initial claim is, State Farm and Farmers getting it closer to right in the beginning, they usually miss something. I have actually seen State Farm adjustments that couldn't be improved unless you were willing to lie. But if they miss the mark, they will compensate.
Allstate will adjust also but the movement is small. They start dreadfully low and will come up to real low. The adjusters even admit it.
Farmers, who at one time bought roofs for being old or having too much sun or bird poop, went to a B rating back in the nineties. They got tough and denied meteor shower claims. Once they got back on track with the coveted A rating they took the State Farm track. Their behavior is like synchronized swimmers in an old Ester Williams flick.
We'll pause so the young'ins can hit the Google Bar. Come on guys, "Million Dollar Mermaid" and "Neptune's Daughter" are always showing up in PBS documentaries. Meanwhile back at the Farm, er Ranch, er All-State-Farmers-Bureau...
What quality oriented roofing contractor would take a used piece of step flashing, maybe thrice used, and put it back along with fifty others on a wall and guarantee it not to leak? What contractor won't reflash a chimney, what installer does it for free, and what wholesaler gives us the materials for free to flash them?
One supervisor from one of these companies told me last year that if he paid for the step flashing on my customers roof he'd be ripping off his next customers. I told him he'd just be continuing with his ripping off. He then threatened me with the possibility of telling all their clients not to use me because Jon Wright Roofing was too expensive. I wish I had a recorder right then. My rebuttal was that we were just discussing price and threats weren't necessary. He apologized and hoped I didn't have a recorder.
If we look at this as simply passing on the diminished profits to the consumer, as my father likes to say, we'll see that the people insured by companies that gut the roof down to shingles and felt also get an inferior product on their home.
This may not always be the case but the law, and not theory, of averages, requires that less expensive items have generally lesser value. Roofs with used accessories that are older and full of holes will have more leaks. Roofers that install quality roofs with all new components but don't get paid for their service are more likely to go out of business. Homeowners who live under these roofs are going to have more financial difficulties because of the increased frequency of leaks. Homeowners with leaks have more marital problems than those that don't. Governments with leaks have more issues too.
The only winner is the insurance company, the lawyers, and the spies.
In retrospect it is hard to imagine that State Farm was the low bidder many years ago and Allstate paid well. The pendulum swings, usually, but this time it appears to be stuck. Some say the change occurs after someone successfully sues an insurance company resulting in changed behavior. I know if I made the front page of the Dallas Morning News or was on any of Belo's news outlets for the wrong reason, I'd change.
The politics of when insurance companies buy roofs versus how well they pay on a line item basis is a completely different topic. Soon I'll voice my opinion on the dynamics of why insurance companies are sometimes more generous on paying claims on marginally damaged roofs than others. I've not only been watching these dynamics in the Dallas Fort Worth roofing market as a roofing contractor and roofing company owner, I've been in the thick of it discussing pricing.
Now that I said it, if I'm not your roofer, ask your roofer. If you are a roofer, then post a comment and don't leave me out here alone. If you're a supplier of roofs, state what your roofing contractors say about this. Come on and comment so when the insurance companies find this they'll know how we feel. I believe you had needed a Google account to comment but we figured out a way to remove that.
Addendum to rant: The insurance companies say"nobody else wants us to pay that or ever asked..."..."we didn't get any faxes"..."nobody has ever told us that the cathedral ceiling might be damaged by reroofing"...when I told you yourself on this and other jobs in the past, much less the other times I told other adjusters, and other roofers told them, and it was in my initial estimate as a protective disclaimer so I wouldn't get sued for putting nails where they belong.
Ha, a new topic.
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