I’m sorry for the lengthy post, but I wanted to present the full picture, so that the suggestions you provide would be more useful for me.
I live in Texas. A lot of my neighbors were getting their roof replaced with their insurance claim payments, in the last few months. When I asked around, the neighbors said that there was a hail storm last year that damaged a lot of the roofs in the neighborhood. On my street, 5 out of 10 homes had their roof replaced, all with insurance claim payments, including my neighbor to the left, the house in front of ours, and the house behind ours, basically all around my house.
So, when I filed a hail damage claim with my insurance, they sent an adjuster to inspect the roof and they denied the claim; when I called and talked to a supervisor at the insurance claim processing company about why my claim was denied, they said the adjuster did not find any hail damage and there was some wear and tear not related to hail damage. When I questioned how it’s possible for so many of the homes around me to have hail damage and not our roof, they asked me to send pictures of my roof showing hail damage. So, I hired a public adjuster to represent me, the adjuster inspected the roof, took photos and concluded there is hail damage and sent a report to the claim processing company, including lots of pictures; they still denied the claim stating their earlier denial still stands and did not give any reason for claim denial.
The public adjuster then told me that if the insurance company at least offered a claim payment, however small that is, they would have been able to go the "Appraisal" route, to negotiate with them on the claim, but since that did not happen, the adjuster is encouraging me to work with a Law firm (that they refer their clients to); the law firm said they work on a contingency fee basis and that their fee would be 40% of the insurance claim payment and the case can take anywhere from 9 months to a year. With the law firm’s contingency fee being so high, I was concerned that the leftover insurance payment (after the law firm’s 40% fee) may not be sufficient to cover the costs of roof replacement and I just wanted to forget about the claim and move on my with my life.
But, a few days back the owner of the public adjuster firm called me and said that if I don’t pursue the claim further, it will affect my home’s insurability negatively going forward. He said that the claim I submitted, along with the public adjuster’s report, photos, as well as insurance adjuster’s report will be a permanent record for all insurance companies to look at. So he said I may not be able to get a new insurance policy from another company (given the claim and the documentation indicating there’s roof damage, whether it’s from wear and tear or hail damage), and he also said that even if I do get some company to provide a policy for my home, they may exclude covering the roof claiming prior damage to the roof. He also said that If I stay with the current company, they will also not pay for any future roof claims, even if there’s new damage from another weather event in the future, again claiming there was prior damage to the roof.
So, it feels like I’m left with no choice but to go work with the law firm and file a case against the insurance company for pursuing the claim further.
I am writing to ask you what are my options at this point, both regarding the claim and also future insurability of my home/roof.
Is working with an attorney my only option now to get my roof claim to be paid ?
Is not proceeding further with this claim going to hurt my home’s insurability, because of the documented roof damage in the claim paperwork ?
Is my claim information with the adjuster’s picture and report available/accessible to all insurer companies ?
After I sign up for a new policy from a new insurance company, is it possible for a new insurance company to cancel my policy, after they inspect my roof ?
What’s the best course of action for me right now, first to get the claim paid and second, to continue to have roof insurance coverage going forward? Thank you very much in advance for your time.