It's obvious that insurance providers are in business by RECEIVING your money, not GIVING you money.
So it isn’t surprising when your insurance provider doesn’t give you as much money as you expected to receive for damages to your property or just doesn’t pay you at all. We are receiving a lot of calls right now from frustrated clients who are ticked off at their insurance providers for this exact reason.
Don’t be bullied by big insurance! Here is how YOU, the homeowner, can negotiate with your insurance provider:
Time to play hardball!
First off, go put on your thick skin and get your helmet because you, unfortunately, have to play hardball. It will take assertion and fortitude—no way around it. And you can’t really demand a higher estimate from them, so you have to use mind games and analogies to convince them.
For example, you don’t get the luxury of telling your insurance provider that their premium is too high and that you’re not going to pay it—you want a lower price. So, why do they get to tell you your roof costs too much and they’re not going to pay you? A big contributor with this one is that insurance companies are not factoring in the inflated prices of materials due to shortages from COVID. You can learn about the shortages here.
Now you obviously can go with a cheaper insurance provider to pay a lesser premium, but that higher-priced insurance isn’t going to lower their prices. Then why drop yours?
You’ll have to use reason with this as well. If you had a cheap 3-tab, 15-year-old roof on your home, your insurance provider would not pay you the full price for a premium, architectural shingle, full roofing system. But if you are putting a similar roof on your house to the one you had before, then this analogy could be a perfect fit for you.
Use logic and reasoning.
Another issue we hear often is the insurance provider asking the homeowner to get multiple bids. Let’s give a story for our next example. You get into a car wreck (heaven forbid), and you call a tow truck. That tow truck will ask you where you want to tow your car.
You happen to know a good mechanic in town that everyone knows, loves, and trusts. So you ask the tow truck to bring your vehicle to that shop. The mechanic inspects your car and gives you a quote on how much it will cost to restore it to the pre-wreck condition.
You then call your insurance and tell them the info you now have. What are they going to do? Ask you to tow your car to 3 other mechanics to get more bids? NO! So if you KNOW you have a contractor that you trust, love, and want to use, why do you have to go through all the extra hassle to get multiple quotes?
You have a hole in your roof! You don’t have time to jump through fiery hoops for your insurance provider. And do you realize how overwhelmed the roofing contractors are in the affected areas? By the time you get those three additional quotes, you could be getting more water damage in your home.
You know what? Run that by them as well. Say, “Yea, sure, I’ll wait another two weeks for all your quotes to come in. And then, since I waited two weeks JUST FOR QUOTES, now I’m on a two-month waiting list for the ACTUAL roof to get installed. And by that time, you can replace my sheetrock, ceiling, appliances, and anything else that gets damaged. You choose.” Put that ball in their court!
Prove contractor credibility to insurance providers.
And lastly, let’s talk about quality contractors. You can either choose a quality contractor who is licensed, insured, and backed by the manufacturer because of the amazing job they do, or you can choose the cheapest guy (the one your insurance provider wants). Gone with him is any assurance of a quality install.
One of those roofs will have a higher chance of lasting through the brutality of the Southeast’s weather, while the other will fall to pieces in a couple of storms. And guess who gets to pay for that roof replacement in a shorter time frame? Your insurance provider! Run that by them and see if they would rather potentially replace a roof in 5 years or 25 years.
Give proof to your insurance provider that the contractor you are using is licensed and insured. It could help if they are reputable as well. However, that last one doesn’t REALLY play a huge role, but it couldn’t hurt.
I can’t guarantee 100% cooperation, but I can at least say it will increase your chances. We all agree 2020 is a crazy year, so we are playing some crazy games to get through it. But you can do it! Get out there, be compelling, be persistent, be honorable, and get through it.