If you or your contractor have sent notification of supplements to your insurance company for shortages in the scope of work or costs on your insurance claim, but your insurance company just doesn't want to pay for items that your contractor says are necessary to complete your roofing project, it is probably time to take things to the next level.
How agreeable insurance adjusters and claim reps are to accepting supplements to their claims can depend on a lot of factors. My personal opinion is that it depends more on how much financial loss the company is sustaining at the time of your claim. I'll be honest - I've seen instances where insurance companies are easy to work with and times when the same company is impossible to work with and there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason behind it.
Whatever the reason is, if you have replacement cost coverage and Ordinance and Law in your policy, AND, if the work being charged by your roofer is legitimate, necessary, reasonable, and can be justified, but your insurer is still fighting about payment, then you will probably need help from a 3rd party, namely, an appraiser.
I can't speak about every insurance policy because I'm not a lawyer, appraiser, or public adjuster, however, it's very likely that your policy contains terms that give you the right, if you believe your insurance company's estimate for the repairs is incorrect or too low, to demand a process of arbitration known as "appraisal."
As I mentioned above, the appraisal process can be invoked when you disagree with the claim results and your insurance company is unwilling to be reasonable and/or revise the claim when presented with facts.
What Is The Appraisal Process?
The appraisal process starts when you select an appraiser to work with and you send a "Demand for Appraisal" letter to the insurance company. This is not a request for appraisal. You are not asking the insurance company to go into appraisal. If your policy allows you the appraisal process then you are invoking your right to the process. The insurance company doesn't get to choose whether or not to go into appraisal. That's why it's a "demand" letter. You are informing the insurance company that you expect them to begin their part in the process.
Once you have sent them the demand letter, they will typically have 20 days to respond. In that period they will choose their own appraiser to assign to review the claim and meet with your appraiser. Your appraiser and the appraiser for the insurance company will independently review the damage and all the details. They may or may not meet at the property. Once they have each reviewed the details of the damage and the repairs necessary, they will create estimates for the scope and cost of repairs. Then they begin discussions with each other about which estimate is correct and where compromises should be made. Once they agree on the scope and cost of repairs, a settlement is awarded. This settlement is binding and all parties involved have to accept the outcome. At that point, there's no more appeal to be made. You, your contractor, and your insurance company all have to accept the award, regardless of who's favor it results in (if any).
What If The Appraisers Don't Agree?
If the two appraisers can't come to an agreement then they choose an "umpire". The umpire is a neutral party who will review and evaluate all the facts presented by the appraisers and then make the final decision. Again, once this decision is made, it's binding and there is no more path for appeals.
Important Facts About Appraisal
Before invoking the appraisal process, there are some facts you need to know.
- The appraisal process can delay payments from the insurance company. This is because the insurance company is waiting for the settlement to be awarded before issuing any final checks for supplement amounts. If you've invoked appraisal before your job has been started by your contractor, it may delay the beginning of the project.
- Your contractor may have to wait to get final payment while the appraisal process plods along.
- There is a cost for the appraiser. In many cases, that cost will have to be paid by the homeowner, but in some cases, the contractor may cover that cost for you.
Homeowners need to be aware that their insurance claims are very often underfunded. Most homeowners don't know this and trust that their insurance company is taking care of them at the time of their loss.
The appraisal process is your right to invoke in order to protect you from bad faith on the part of your insurance company.
Homestead Roofing has inspected, repaired, and replaced thousands of roofs in Colorado Springs and the surrounding counties.
As a family-owned business, we take every project personally, committing all our efforts to ensure you and your loved ones have an excellent roof for your living space. Contact us today for more information about our roofing solutions.