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Roofing/Hail Damage to Roof


Mike wrote at 2007-06-08 19:39:30
I am an experienced expert in hail damage recovery which includes identification of hail damage and the extent of it. State Farm Insurance is terribly inconsistant when it comes to hail damage to begin with. The gentleman who posted the answer prior to mine has an idea of what's going on, but seems to be somewhat inexperienced. State Farm's definition of hail damage is "The shingle's matting appearing bruised and fractured. Granular loss does not affect the useful life of the shingle." However, this is an incorrect statement. The most inexpensive way to prove that your roof should be replaced under your policy is to contact the manufacturer of the shingle. Ask them what purpose the granuals serve and if the shingle requires granuals to live up to it's natural life. The answer will be "yes, the granuals are required, otherwise they wouldn't be there". The problem with State Farm is that they will pay for roofs with virtually no damage and turn around and deny roofs with damage such as you describe. Gather the information from the manufacturer and consult with an atorney. If State Farm sees that you are serious and you raise enough of a stink, they will overturn a marginal call in many cases. The fact is that there are engineers that can assess hail damage to your roof. The problem is that they get the bulk of their business from insurance providers. Polotics play a large role in a big-money business like insurance, who's side do you think the engineer with be on? If all else fails, switch insurance companies and wait for another hail storm anywhere in your general area. There are plenty of smaller insurance companies that would cover hail damage like what you have described. Maybe that seems unethical, but I have a very low level of respect for the insurance industry until they can conduct business without the polotics. I hope that I have been of some help.


Scampf wrote at 2008-04-08 04:51:43
There are certain things that an Insurer must ask when viewing damage. One is 'Was it Sudden' and the other is 'Was it accidental'. Your admitting damage from a previous storm. Then 3 weeks after your interior work was finished you were hit by another storm causing additional damage. State Farm could throw you in a legal bind right there.

An engineer will be able to certify the damage using a testing method widely accepted in the industry. They out line an area roughly 10' X 10' on several slopes of the roof. They then check to see how many hail impacts have damaged each area. Now what constitutes damage? Granule loss is a normal condition for shingles and reports and studies now conclude a shingle can lose 70% of it's granules and still have the same life expectancy. If the actual strikes are hard to find then collateral damage is normally accessed. The A/C fins, wood fences, flashings on the roof, etc...

I have been dealing with Insurance agencies for the past 6 years and I know one thing is true for all of them, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. If you feel your claim is justified then fight it. Here in Florida if an Engineer determines there is Hail Damage then the insurer pays his bill even if you hired him. If an engineer says NO DAMAGE then you will pay if you hired him. Sometimes the insurer will hire an engineer of there own. I notice that a high majority of these engineers side with the hand that feeds them. Meaning they must make an opinion and who hired them carries considerable weight. Here an assessment of this nature is $300 to $400 for a shingle roof 50 squares or less. Hope this info helps you or others.

Matt Graham wrote at 2008-11-03 18:07:28
Your not alone in your situation.  As a roofing contractor, I deal with insurance adjustors everyday.  State Farm is usually one of the better companies to deal with.  A lot of the problem lies with how many claims are made in your area.  A lot of times if there are a lot of claims in an area the insurance companies will consider your area a catastrophe area.  Which means they are prepared to assess the damage with lots of types of information.

I've been on roofs before with adjustors and I have pointed out legitimate hail spots and the adjustor told me that the hail was too old, and other hail spots were mechanical (which means the spot was caused by human intervention).  

Each company has it's own adjustors for a reason, to save them as much money as possible.  But, the difference between insurance companies adjustors and independent adjustors is amazing.  10 times out of 10 times I meet with independent adjustor, they will total out the roof.  About 5 times out of 10 I meet with the companies adjustor and they will say it's not enough damage to total out the roof.

The best thing to do is to have a roofing company up on your roof with the adjustor.  If your not happy with your adjustor then you can call your agent and have another adjustor come out for a "re-inspection".  Your premium won't go up and your agent should back you the whole way.

Roof911 wrote at 2012-11-17 02:10:03
I am a expert at winning complex hail claims and the largest claims are settled in appraisal with expert appraisers that take months to weed out biased insurance umpires ( HAAG UMPIRES the last chance for insurance carriers to influence the question of what is hail damage is and save financial loss to the insurance carrier) its importasnt to remember that insurance carriers use adjusters and engineers as a third  party to deflect policy responsibility. The adjusters now only listen to engineers that follow HAAG principles of functional damage " bruising to the matting" Why do you think all new adjusters take HAAG certification classes and even worse roofers taking the class. The insurance carriers have created multiple levels of damage to avoid paying claims and in turn have paid out fortunes to engineer firms like HAAG- RIMKUS - DONNAN to give false conclusions of what is hail damage and they now dictate claim approvals to adjusters. It is brilliant scheme! The policy reads "direct Physical damage" Not cosmetic damage - functional damage - Here lies the problem a consumer can not get a unbiased engineer to write a report for "physical damage caused by hail" If they do it they do not get insurance work! The definition of physical is sight sense and touch - The industry drank the cool aid and only a small amount of us get the big picture. Granular loss is direct loss to the life of the shingle,metal etc and economic loss to the policy holder! win your claim and then file for bad faith lawsuit! If you spray paint my roof as vandalism "the shingle is still not functionally damaged and still sheds water" So why do they pay for this type of claim? Same principle!  


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Brad Zacharia


All aspects of residential Roofing. This includes shingles and flat (low slope) roofs. I have knowledge in the installation as well as the design of roofs from an engineering standpoint.


I have been doing roofing for 40 years. This was my father's business and I took it over in 1980.

I have written responses to artcles that I felt needed a response to and those responses have been published in roofing trade magazines.

BSEE Drexel University

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