Fire Damage - Insurance Claim Question

arazaviMarch 2, 2009


Part of our garage roof recently burned due to the wildfires on November 15, 2008 which effect a lot of Yorba Linda, CA.

Our insurance company has come back and agreed to repair that portion of the roof, but now our roof will be two different colors. The tile maker no longer makes that line of tile, so we will be forced to pick something similar, but due to aging, the rest of the roof will not match. Our insurance company is stating that they owe us for like kind and quality, but not for "matching". Additionally, they will cover what is visible from one "line-of-sight" but that is it. They are also doing this with painting the interior and exterior of the home.

Is this the final verdict, or can this some how be worked around? The paint is especially surprising to me, as there was fire up to our backyard which leads into a Canyon, to the right of our home (we own 1 and 1/3rd acres, so no neighbors to the right), and five neighbors to the left of us are all total burn downs.

Thank you,

Ali Razavi

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If that tile is no longer made, matching will be improbable. Check your policy, it may be that it is spelled out in there, how they make good in a circumstance. Why not talk with the contractor who will be doing the work and see if he'll give you a special price to do the rest of the roof. Not a bad deal to get a new roof with a portion being paid for by your insurance company. Talk to your agent also and see if he/she can negotiate a deal for you using their buying power. How about a clay tile to prevent this from happening in the future?

Thank God you guys were saved from a catastrophy. I really feel sorry for your neighbors. My thoughts are with all you guys out there!!!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 6:27PM
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In surance will normally make good a repair. They have no obligation upgrade the undamaged portion of the house.Replacing the undamaged roof just to make it match would not be covered.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 6:53PM
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You should consider hiring a public adjuster who would work for you, fill out all the forms and take on the insurance company for you.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 11:41AM
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You said the key word: tile. Tile, like brick, is hard to color match. The color differs from firing to firing. Usually, all the tile for one roof comes from one batch of kiln firing. Look into other tile makers to see if they can come close to matching the style and color of your tile. You'll need to take along a sample tile.

One alternative would be to remove all the tiles from the roof section that will be rebuilt and mix the old tiles with the new tiles. The roof will have a shingled effect rather than a continous color. However, this is a lot of work and it appears that your insurance company will not cover the extra labor. You may have to hire a lawyer or offer to pay for the extra labor.

There is an upside. From your description, your house may have been saved because it had fire resistant roofing material. Remind your insurer that they could have been paying for an entire house, not just a roof repair.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 1:31AM
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