It seems that every year two or three hail storms blow through town (Austin, TX) immediately followed by a migration of roofing companies eager to put up new roofs paid for by insurance companies. In the past 20 years or so I’ve gotten a free roof on my own house plus three or four free roofs on some of my rental properties.
Last week I went up on a roof with a contractor to inspect damage from the latest storm and sure enough he found enough damage to justify replacing the roof. To my eyes it looks like pretty insignificant damage. Because of the direction of the storm only one face of the roof (about one fourth of the total roof) was damaged, and the guy had a hard time finding enough hail marks to qualify for a new roof, but he managed it.
So now I get a new, free roof. I don’t even need to pay the deductible and I never have. In each case the roofing contractor has said outright that he can give me a price that will be well under the insurance company’s expected payout, and that’s been the case. So once again, new, free roofs for everybody!! And everybody’s happy - or so it seems. I get a new roof, the roofers get a lot of money, and the insurance companies at least don’t seem to mind.
Well, fine I suppose, but something’s very wrong with this. First of all, I have a hard time believing that the tiny amount of damage I saw justifies the replacement of the entire roof. Surely they can make a shingle that can withstand minor hail damage. Or what about some kind of patch that you can apply to the individual hail marks?
Every time this happens I feel like I’m participating in some sort of grand scam, so I just let the roofers and insurance company work things out and I go along with whatever they agree to.
So what’s really going on here? Is a roof really ruined by ten hail strikes in a ten square foot area? Am I allowing myself to be a party to an illegal activity? Why does everyone seem OK with the status quo?