In this article I will attempt to convey techniques that may help you increase the amount of adjustments that result in totaled roof. These techniques will be based solely on my own experiences, or the experiences of those that have been trained by me, and should not be taken as fool proof. They are my opinion and should not be considered absolute truth. In other words, this is what worked for me, and for the people that have worked for me. It may or may not work for you.
I m going to go against conventionalism, by starting with the nitty gritty, before going into the more subjective areas.
So lets get started! Most adjustments fail because either:
a. There isn t a contractor on the roof to hold the adjuster accountable, or
b. The contractor on the roof doesn t know enough about insurance policy in order to get the roof paid for.
Obviously if you want to get the roof paid for, you need to be there. If an adjuster is on the edge, he will usually err on the side of grace if there is someone on the roof with him. Always be friendly with these guys, if your nice to them, they won t want to upset you.... Most of the time. It has also been my experience that they don t want to be told how to do there job, so, unless it looks like they are not going to pass the roof, or they explicitly ask for your help, just stand back and talk about football.
However, if it looks like they are not going to total the roof, you should do these things.
1. Point out any collateral damage such as dented up vents etc. This will establish that there was a hailstorm in the area. It has also been my experience that if a roof is over ten years old and there are dents on the vents, the difference between age and hail damage is not always discernible. In these cases, the adjusters should always err on the side grace.
2. Point out any hail spots that you see. Not just the ones that have dented the shingles, but any spots whatsoever where the roof is spalling(i.e. Where the granules are missing and the tar is left exposed to the elements.) All adjusters should know, that if the tar is exposed to the elements, that it is only a matter of time before it can crack and cause a leak. This is why the roof does not have to be leaking, in order to be totaled!
3. While you are doing these look for wind damage. There are several types of wind damage that many people do not know about. The best of course is creased or ripped shingles. If there is just one ripped shingle on a roof, and the roof is dry and brittle, the insurance companies are obligated to pay for the whole roof. Usually most roofs over twelve years old fall into this category. The reason is that if a roof is dry and brittle, a reasonable repair can not be made without damaging surrounding shingles. Of course when a roofer tries to repair the newly damaged shingles, a domino effect would occur. Thus one ripped or creased shingle can be reason to total an entire roof.
4. In addition to looking for ripped or creased shingles, you should also look for something called wind driven debris. Examples of wind driven debris are leaves, pine needles, pollen etc. that have been blown underneath the shingle. The roof can be totaled if there is enough junk underneath enough shingles, if the shingles are unable to reseal properly.
On a more subjective note, here are a few tips.
1. It has been my experience that adjusters do not typically like for you to circle hail damage with chalk before they get on the roof.
2. It has also been my experience that drawing an accurate roof diagram before the adjuster arrives can actually be the difference between a totaled roof, and a failed adjustment. The reason for this is that many adjusters already have it in there head that they are going to pass at least one or two roofs a day, and they are usually going to pass the roofs that require the least amount of work (assuming they don t operate ethically). You drawing up a roof diagram takes away a lot of work that they would otherwise have to do if they passed the roof. However, be warned that if an adjuster takes your diagram he will usually check at least a few of your measurements, and if they are not accurate then he will not be happy.
3. Never leave the homeowner alone with an adjuster, they may be friendly as can be with you, but as soon as they are alone with the homeowner they may immediately start bashing on you, as well as advise them not to honor any contracts that you may have had them sign.
4. If an adjuster is not going to pass a roof, remain courteous with them in front of the homeowner. Go to the front door with the adjuster, and after he explains to the homeowner that he will not be totaling the roof, tell the homeowner that you don t hold anything against the adjuster, but you do respectfully disagree with him, and you do recommend that a re inspection is filed. It has been mine as well as others experience that the adjuster may change his mind before he leaves.
5. If the adjuster does not change his mind, you SHOULD ALWAYS file a re inspection. I estimate that seventy percent of the re inspections that I have been on have passed.
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