Allstate is denying roof damage

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Long story short: Allstate agrees that there is hail damage + wind damage in my roof. They also agree that there was a hailstorm in my area late March '09. However, they claim that they are somehow able to determine that the damage is more than 12 month old, and hence not covered. I have the same insurance since 2002 with Allstate, and that somehow is not relevant. This is in Illinois.

I am trying to find out if there is a arbitration clause in my contract - it's been very difficult to get that information out of Allstate as well.

Any of you ever been in arbitration with the insurance company? How does it work? Any idea on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated. Also, would it be an issue if I change my insurance company now? They are also jacking up my renewal by about 50%

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Are you in good hands?

iamhere9 (Jun. 30, 2009 @ 10:56a) |

My insurance company did not refuse to pay, they just gave an estimate so low that I could not have fixed the damages. ... (more)

Kcitsme (Jun. 30, 2009 @ 11:06a) |

ps those are usually called

Public adjusters

Not private adjusters,,,, just in case others are looking for that service

SUCKISSTAPLES (Jun. 30, 2009 @ 11:23a) |

Quick Summary is created and edited by users like you... Add FAQ's, Links and other Relevant Information by clicking the edit button in the lower right hand corner of this message.

Have you contacted your state insurance commissioner or similar entity? They oversee insurance companies and can help you deal with an uncooperative insurance company. If you are trying to get any kind of goodwill settlement out of your current company it is probably best to stay with them until this is resolved. If you ends up in court or arbitration with them then it isn't going to matter, but you loose some of your current leverage with them by leaving.


How much is the damage? If it's not a complete tear-off/replace job, you'll likely be better off not having them pay it. By the time you pay the deductable and suffer a rate increase, you may pay less to just pay it out of pocket anyway.

If it's a major expense, absolutely fight them on this. Many insurers will simply say no...most people don't want to take the time to fight them and will simply take no.

raringvt said: How much is the damage? If it's not a complete tear-off/replace job, you'll likely be better off not having them pay it. By the time you pay the deductable and suffer a rate increase, you may pay less to just pay it out of pocket anyway.

If it's a major expense, absolutely fight them on this. Many insurers will simply say no...most people don't want to take the time to fight them and will simply take no.


How do you reckon? Our bill for a tear-off and re-roof was over $10,000...the additional damage we suffered from the hail storm (gutter dents, holes in the shed and screens was enough to cover our deductible plus addons like solarboard and some of the required carpentry work for the new deck. In addition, in Texas at least, windstorm damage doesn't even count as a claim for re-rate/renewal purposes (wasn't evenlisted when I switched insurers).

To the OP, and to anyone else in this condition, the first and most important thing in a roof claim is to CALL A LOCAL ROOFING GUY and have them assess your roof. I did that and he handled all of the (easy) neogotiations with my insurance company (Farmers). I'd counsul you to do the same and have them contact Allstate if they thing a re-roof is in order.


deyab said: I am trying to find out if there is a arbitration clause in my contract - it's been very difficult to get that information out of Allstate as well.Read your policy.Any of you ever been in arbitration with the insurance company? How does it work? Any idea on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated.I agree with others who have recommended you use your state's Department of Insurance. The regulators can give you recommendations.Also, would it be an issue if I change my insurance company now? They are also jacking up my renewal by about 50%No. Property claims are handled by who insured your property at the time of the damage. Changing companies after the fact won't affect anything.

I think it matters also if you are in a 3rd world state or not. e.g. Houston is less of a Western World city and more of a colony. For any issue, you are first a suspect.

why would you want arbitration? They side with the insurer the vast majority of the time. You will have much better luck with a lawsuit, and you need a lawyer to do that competently.

I handled a similar roof damage denial issue for a client, even my numerous attempts to resolve it with higherups at the claims dept of the insurer led nowhere. Magically, right after they were sued, a settlement check arrives in my office.

Thanks for the information & comments so far. Yes, I did see local roofers - 2 of them, in fact. Both wanted a tear & replace. Now if you ask me (a roofing layman), my roof looks like it has a quite a few shingles raised and stuff, but I can't say much beyond that. I would not know a hail damaged roof if I saw one.

I have been told, by the allstate adjuster who "knows" it's more than 12 month old damage, that I can't sue in IL, arbitration is the only way. And yes, the roofer guy was present when the Allstate adjuster took a look.

I spent quite a bit of time today calling Allstate and I have been told that I can request another inspection, but they can't tell me if that would be entertained. I have also been told to fax them a copy of the estimate from the roofer. Yes, I should have called the state insurance agency, but will call them tomorrow and update you guys on what I find.

SS, Yes I am aware that most arbitration boards are in not in the side of the consumers, and that is why I wanted to find out if anyone has any experience dealing with them. But it does seem like litigation is an option, but I would rather not go there if I can help it.

Thanks all!

Edit: Also, IL has one of the most lame duck insurance regulatory agency in the country... You guys know how many past governors we have in jail and on the way, right? This ain't California (as far as insurance business is concerned)

deyab said: Long story short: Allstate agrees that there is hail damage + wind damage in my roof. They also agree that there was a hailstorm in my area late March '09. However, they claim that they are somehow able to determine that the damage is more than 12 month old, and hence not covered. I have the same insurance since 2002 with Allstate, and that somehow is not relevant. This is in Illinois.

I am trying to find out if there is a arbitration clause in my contract - it's been very difficult to get that information out of Allstate as well.

Any of you ever been in arbitration with the insurance company? How does it work? Any idea on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated. Also, would it be an issue if I change my insurance company now? They are also jacking up my renewal by about 50%


I wonder if what's going on is that they are saying the roof needed replacement anyway.

deyab said: ...Edit: Also, IL has one of the most lame duck insurance regulatory agency in the country... You guys know how many past governors we have in jail and on the way, right?...The government and politicians in IL are among the most corrupt the country.

I have Allstate and they paid a siding claim on aluminum siding that was 20 years old. It was a 10k job, but they never tried to see it was old damage (which most of it probably was). So I was good on that level, but my rate went up 40+% so I guess I am not the only Allstate customer and I had the "claimgaurd" that was supposed to not see an increase because of a claim.. They claim my increase was just an overall increase in rates.

If it is any consolation, my roofer told me Allstate was a real PITA to deal with.

your in good hands, right?
My parents had state farm and when their house was flooding state farm went above and beyond the call of duty to screw them over. Not blaming state farm so much as saying that even 'nice' insurance companies like allstate, statefarm will mess you over in a heart beat. I used to think paying a premium for a bigger name was worth it but now I just pay for the cheapest insurance I can find from a 'reasonable' insurance provider.

davneil said: I think it matters also if you are in a 3rd world state or not. e.g. Houston is less of a Western World city and more of a colony. For any issue, you are first a suspect.

?? Houston is also the 4th largest city in the USA- how is it less of a western world city and more of a colony. What kind of comment is that...

SUCKISSTAPLES said: why would you want arbitration? They side with the insurer the vast majority of the time. You will have much better luck with a lawsuit, and you need a lawyer to do that competently.

I handled a similar roof damage denial issue for a client, even my numerous attempts to resolve it with higherups at the claims dept of the insurer led nowhere. Magically, right after they were sued, a settlement check arrives in my office.


Why is that? Do they always get to select the arbitrator? (I've never had an real issue with any of my insurers.

RightPatriot said:
Why is that? Do they always get to select the arbitrator? (I've never had an real issue with any of my insurers.

No, but the various arbitration associations are linked to big business much the same way that Congressmen are linked to lobbyists.

The various arbitration associations were either created by big business or dramatically expanded by it, in order for claims against customers of arbitration services to be heard on grounds favorable to them, instead of in front a neutral judge and a jury of the consumer's peers.

Arbitration is basically a panel of private-sector bureaucrats looking to dispose of claims quickly and with low cost (for the business), rather than actually finding the truth.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ian-millhiser/by-trap-or-by-trick-...

I would try Googling your issue to see if there are others who have faced the same problem with your insurer. Often times angry customers set up "payback" websites and divulge details on how to punish the company in question.

All this doesn't really surprise me though; the insurance companies always find ways to avoid paying claims. I had some water damage to my floor (the door to the deck had leaked and rotted my floor). I contacted State Farm and they flat out told me no. They said if a pipe had burst and caused the floor damage they would pay but not if water had gotten in through the door. I guess my big mistake was contacting them first instead of reading the policy. As it is now, if a pipe were to magically burst and soak the floor, they would have cause to deny my claim because I had reported a similar problem that was not caused by the pipe.

^^^^ Check your policy, there is no coverage for seepage. The cause of the damage needs to be a covered cause of loss.

In the meantime start shopping for a new insurance company, Just by making a call to them means they will most likely not renew your policy

You might also consider slowly increasing your reserves, and raising your deductible appropriately. Self-insurance is typically less expensive and less hassle, if you are capable of bearing the risk. If your house burns down, let them pick up the tab for that. Otherwise, (relatively) minor damage is best covered out of pocket.

You may want to start using the phrase "bad faith" with the claims people when you discuss their refusal to pay a claim where they acknowledge there is wind/hail damage. Not sure if Illinois law recognizes bad faith claims (I assume it does), but your use of the phrase may get the attention of the claims people and get your file put in a different pile.

BlueEyesAustinTexas said: raringvt said: How much is the damage? If it's not a complete tear-off/replace job, you'll likely be better off not having them pay it. By the time you pay the deductable and suffer a rate increase, you may pay less to just pay it out of pocket anyway.

If it's a major expense, absolutely fight them on this. Many insurers will simply say no...most people don't want to take the time to fight them and will simply take no.
How do you reckon? Our bill for a tear-off and re-roof was over $10,000...the additional damage we suffered from the hail storm (gutter dents, holes in the shed and screens was enough to cover our deductible plus addons like solarboard and some of the required carpentry work for the new deck. In addition, in Texas at least, windstorm damage doesn't even count as a claim for re-rate/renewal purposes (wasn't evenlisted when I switched insurers).

To the OP, and to anyone else in this condition, the first and most important thing in a roof claim is to CALL A LOCAL ROOFING GUY and have them assess your roof. I did that and he handled all of the (easy) neogotiations with my insurance company (Farmers). I'd counsul you to do the same and have them contact Allstate if they thing a re-roof is in order.
OP didn't really say how much damage was from the storm and how much of the "complete reroof" estimate may be attributed to the fact that it is an older roof anyway. I think raringvt's point was, if the storm damage is minor, then it may not be worth the hassle and deductable to go through the insurance.

deyab said: Long story short: Allstate agrees that there is hail damage + wind damage in my roof. They also agree that there was a hailstorm in my area late March '09. However, they claim that they are somehow able to determine that the damage is more than 12 month old, and hence not covered...I don't find that so outlandish, I would think (to an experienced eye) the difference between damage from a few months ago would look very differnce than damage from more than a year ago.

OP, how old is the roof?

House built in 2000. I bought in 2002. Fairly new roof I would say. Also, the initial estimate from the roofer for a re-roof was in the $8k range

wp746911 said: your in good hands, right?
My parents had state farm and when their house was flooding state farm went above and beyond the call of duty to screw them over. Not blaming state farm so much as saying that even 'nice' insurance companies like allstate, statefarm will mess you over in a heart beat. I used to think paying a premium for a bigger name was worth it but now I just pay for the cheapest insurance I can find from a 'reasonable' insurance provider.


State Farm declined to renew my homeowners policy (with them 15+ years, one small calim 9 years ago) because I live too close to the coastline. Got coverage from another company at same price.

Are you in good hands?

My insurance company did not refuse to pay, they just gave an estimate so low that I could not have fixed the damages. I contacted an ajuster group, Adjuster Group 2000 (I think that was the name). They came and when they were done checking my policy and the damages, they gave an estimate that was almost 5 times what the insurance company wanted to pay. I decided to go with them (they charge a percentage 5 or 10 percent, I forget). They delt with the insurance company and the adjusters. I was very satisfied. I don't know who would be in your area, but I would at least call a private adjuster group and see what they can do for you. I know that even if a claim has been paid, they say that they can reopen it (up to 3 years later). This was a few years ago, but I would not hesitate to go with them again.

ps those are usually called

Public adjusters

Not private adjusters,,,, just in case others are looking for that service



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