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Question DetailsAsked on 8/20/2013

Should a roofing contractor ask to see the insurance inspector's report?

The roofing materials (shingles, etc.) for the entire roof need replacing due to hail and wind damage. The insurance claims rep sent me a report after inspecting the roofing, turbine vents, and gutters. He seemed honest about the damage and suggested replacing with a 30-year roofing, etc. I agreed. I called one roofing contractor wants to see the report to "help" me with the deductible. I did not want to disclose specific numbers but suggested a ballpark all-around figure. He seems reluctant without getting more insurance information but feels he could replace it. My brother texted me: let the contractor work with the insurance agent but the contractor wants to see the insurance report. I just want to get estimates from several and decide. The insurance agent said to fax in the estimates to claims. I feel trapped between the two--agent and contractor. I just want some 30-year roof replacement estimates and, then, let me decide which one to contract with.

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5 Answers

Voted Best Answer

At a minimum, he should see the technical part of the report - everything but the cost estimate by the insurance adjuster, so he knows that the adjuster noticed all the problems to be fixed.

Letting him see the cost is illegal on federal jobs and in some states as it i considered insurance pricing collusion. I would let him bid first, then if he is over the insurance companies estimate have the insurance company talk to him about why they should allow more. Letting him see the estimate just almost guarantees his bid will magically come in at or a bit above that.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD


Well, if hes a reputable restoration contractor it is pretty important he see's the estimate he's working with for several reasons. One, he's goiing to have to invoice the insurance company for the recoverable depreciation when he's finished. Two, the insurance company may have missed something or intentionally left it off the estimate or something unforseen in costs may come up during the build, which all would require supplemental invoicing to the insurance company for additional funds. Three, there's no reason to hide it from him, if he comes in lower than the estimate, it is considered insurance fraud to pocket those funds(you can't legally profit off an insurance loss/claim) so he will have to bill the insuance company appropriately... Your biggest concern should be finding a reputable contractor who is versed in dealing with insurance claims, has done quality work in your area with good references and more importantly has been around for awhile and can provide you with at least a 5yr workmanship warranty. Not every good roofer is a good restoration contractor..doing retail work and doing insurance work are different and require knoledge of the claims process. If he's offering to eat your deductible( which I don't do because it's techically illegal) and put up a quality architectural shingle I would do my research on the company and look at some of their work, talk to some of their customers and go from there. Getting multiple estimates for the purpose of getting the lowest price is only going to save your insuance company $$$ and likely get you an inferior job

Answered 7 years ago by cewoodford


There are only two things you can control on a job or a claim, scope and price. Scope includes a complete description of WHAT is to be done, including quality, quantity etc. The Price is self explanatory and can be different from contractor to contractor even based on exactly the same scope, that is why they call it a BID. Typically the insurance company will pay you an ACV (actual cash value) amount of what they have determined the damage to be based on their scope and their prices. That means they have withheld depreciation. The withheld amount can be recovered, with two limiting parameters: the amount you actually spend, or the amount your insurance company established as the total estimate amount. So does it pay to get multiple bids? In most cases yes. Let's say for example the insurance estimate is $10,000 and they with held depreciation of 10% or $1000, and you get a bid for $8000. The $1000 difference you can indeed pocket and the reference to that being illegal is hogwash. You have done nothing more than proper due diligence. So, getting back to the question regarding sharing the insurance estimate with the contractors - I would share the scope only, meaning hide the prices, so they are all bidding on exactly the same outcome. In that way you can also determine the accuracy of the insurance company's scope.

Answered 7 years ago by insuranceguy


I don't know what state you do business in Insuranceguy, but here in Illinois/Mn/Wi it is illegal to profit off of an insuance claim...getting a lower bid than your insurance estimate will equate to your estimate being repriced unless your find a shady contractor to false invoice the insuance company

Answered 7 years ago by cewoodford


A bit of clarification on the insurance settlement versus cost issue, which is actuyally compatible with both prior points of view, from having gone through this from both the customer and the owner sides seeral times. Without giving legal advice, this is how it was explained to me by a VP at State Farm, and by an attorney specializing in commercial insurance claims, on several multi-million dollar commercial claims.

If the insurance company is paying the bill directly to the contractor, or to you based on a contractor billing or signed firm bid or contract, it is fraud to take more from the insurance company then the work actually cost, after taking into account all credits or rebates you may receive.

Most insurance companies offer cash settlements of smaller claims to save time and get the case off the books, rather than have to follow it thorugh the process and risk cost increases coming out of their pocket. If the insurance company chooses (and you agree) to make a cash settlement of the claim based on their assessment of the cost (the ACV as noted by insurance guy, also called Adjusted Cash Value or Adjusted Amount), with or without prior estimates (but no firm contract) from contractors or vendors, and you accept that as total coverage of the claim before the repair or replacement work is actually done, then that is the insurance company's assessment of fair value and if you end up paying less than that for the work that is your gain, if it ends up costing more that is out of your pocket unless you can convince the insurance adjuster that there was concealed damage realted to the original claim that you did not know about until the work commnced. This, along with contractors trying to bump up their price during the course of the work, is the major risk in accepting a cash settlement rather than actual cost after the fact.

Of course, check in your state if you end up ahead - specific states may have variations on this rule.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD


Price should not be a concern for you. The contract you have with your insurance company, that you sighed, says you are only responsible for your deductible. Isn't that a nice privilege to have? This means you have full control of interviewing and selecting to hire the best roofer you can find. That is what you should be doing, Interviewing roofers for a job position. Remember, the insurance is only going to pay what it cost to bring your home back to pre storm condition ,minus your deductible. The adjusters report is just what it is,an estimate. It is not written in stone. It can go up or down according to invoices you submit. You are only the trusty of the funds, not the owner of the insurance funds to spend them in any way you want. Think of it this way. If the insurance says your covered for brain surgery,would you go out and get estimates for the surgery,or would you find the best brain surgeon you can and give him full access to your insurance? They are both insurance claims at its basic core and work the same. However, the insurance in whole saves 2.3 billion a year by making the homeowner the trusty of the funds. Most will use it inappropriately and find out in the end they hired the cheapest contractor they could and still ended up paying their deductible. They can call the insurance after the fact crying that they didn't send all the money they said they would in their insurance estimate. The insurance will respond that you choose the contractor at their price and your deductible was all you paid. Another easy way to look at it is, If the insurance estimated your damages at one million dollars, and you submitted invoices that you had it all repaired at 250k, do you really thing they are going to send you all the 1 million,minus your deductible?

Answered 3 years ago by bengavin123

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