A rental property claim of a prominent local attorney was denied while two of his other properties with less damage were approved by the same adjuster.
ORGANIC 3-TAB SHINGLES
This claim is also worth discussing due to involving “organic 3-tab” shingles. This material was marketed as a “green” roofing solution and gained popularity among builders. Designated as a “heavy weight” shingle and lacking the industry standard fiberglass reinforcing mat, they generally last 10 years if you’re lucky whereas they dry out and start to curl due to the absence of reinforcement. The production/use of organic asphalt shingles is virtually non-existent and insurance carriers paid higher “heavy weight” prices before reclassifying them as general 3-tab shingles in 2013. People paid a premium for this item which has been eliminated by the simple expedient of deleting the item from insurance estimating software. Most people with organic shingles needed their failing roof replaced anyway so pricing differences are seldom a topic of discussion.
Older organic shingles are generally not replaceable due to their brittle nature. Lifting one in an attempt to replace a lower shingle will usually result in the shingle breaking and almost never properly sealing if successful replacement is accomplished. Attempts to replace older organic shingles present the significant risk of jeopardizing the integrity of the entire roofing system. Most carriers approve full roof replacement upon indication that a single organic shingle has been damaged. (This is no exaggeration.) A similar scenario is presented with “T-Lock” shingles common to Colorado Springs. In both cases, they are no longer manufactured and obtaining a matching replacement is all but impossible even if there was a willingness to attempt repair.
UNFEASIBLE EXPECTATIONS OF THE ADJUSTER
This claim consists of an extremely small 9 square (900 sq.ft.) roof which had more hail impacts than almost any roof in the region. However, there is a caveat to inspecting organic shingles and identifying hail impacts which played a role in the previously discussed claim denial as well. Due to being dry, brittle and quite thick, a hail impact generally causes surface granules to flake off rather than evidencing the typical bruising. The loss of granules alone looks more like blistering as opposed to storm damage, for which a claim will be denied. Seasoned adjusters will rarely argue an organic claim, but rookie adjusters can be hard to convince. The only sign of impact is usually missing granules and not a single claim has failed following proper explanation. Simply educating the uninformed can be extremely beneficial to successful resolution.
The multitude of hail impacts were readily apparent on this roof and we submitted our findings to the adjuster. The adjuster then contested our professional opinion and declared that replacement shingles could be purchased from a company that buys used shingles from homeowners. Thus, the adjuster wanted the contractor to purchase 10-15 year old organic shingles (that were purchased after sitting that long in someone’s garage) in order to attempt a futile repair. Facts were presented that reduced his idea to nothing more than a terrible and uniformed idea, so he hired an out-of-state engineering firm to travel to the property location for inspection. The engineer quipped that he saw enough damage from the ground to warrant replacement of the entire roof and marking all the impacts with chalk resulted in him running out of chalk. The claim was approved for full roof replacement and it should be observed that the adjuster spent more money hiring an engineer to travel from South Dakota than it would have cost to just approve the claim. Several adjusters told him that prior to him pursuing his ridiculous quest of personal vindication. The Bar licensed property owner understood that we are the experts he would rely upon if litigating the claim, so full control was given to resolve the issue without need for legal proceedings. There is no explanation as to why the claim was vehemently challenged by a field manager as you’ll see from the following pictures. The contractor estimate we submitted contained 125 images which are omitted from the below attachment due to size limitations.