IYC: Couple can’t insure roof

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SHAWNEE, Okla. – Poor health, coupled with living expenses, has Charles Moose’s pocketbook strapped.

He said, “By the time we get the electric bill and gas and water.”

Charles and his wife barely have enough cash leftover to cover rent and groceries, let alone a $450 insurance premium.

“They raised our rates so high it would have taken one of our social security checks to pay the premium,” Charles said.

So Charles dropped his long time insurer, State Farm, opting instead for cheaper homeowner’s coverage through Farmers Mutual.

The switch now saves him about $400 each month for essentially the same coverage, with one major exception.

Farmers Mutual refuses to insure the family’s roof because of pre-existing damage that occurred while the house was still insured through State Farm.

Charles says he tried filing numerous claims with his former State Farm agent, most recently this past summer following a large hail storm.

A State Farm adjuster and a local roofer inspected the roof and both agreed, while it showed signs of deterioration, wear and tear, there wasn’t any storm-related damage to it.

Most policies don’t cover wear and tear, plus the amount of the Moose’s claim didn’t exceed their deductible.

We scheduled another inspection by an independent adjuster with Brown O’Haver.

Brown O’Haver regional manager, Alice Young, said, “There’s wear and tear and there is hail hits.”

Young says the problem is there’s no way to pinpoint when the damage actually occurred.

“When you have a hail hit that happens ten years ago and you don’t take care of it right away, eventually it becomes no longer a hail hit,” Young said. “It becomes wear and tear.”

Young has this advice if you think you have hail damage.

  • Get an independent inspection from an experienced contractor.
  • Then immediately contact your insurance agent to file your claim.
  • Remember, insurers use something called a C.L.U.E. report to set your rates.
  • Get your free C.L.U.E. report.

The clue database keeps tabs on your claims history.

The more times you try to file a claim, the more dings against your C.L.U.E. report, the higher your insurer can raise your premium.

Meanwhile, Charles is keeping the faith.

He said, “We turned it over to the Lord’s hands.”

A State Farm spokesperson says its rates are influenced by a number of factors, not just a homeowner’s clue score. 

We’ve since reached out to a Shawnee roofing company about possibly helping the Mooses with their new roof.

We’ll keep you posted on things.

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