Wind Mitigation Inspection Photo Requirements. Roof Slope Images?

Hi,

I do over 1,100 wind mits a year and have never had a problem with an insurance company kicking back my reports until recently. Twice in the past 3 months I have had Citizens kick back my reports saying they needed roof slope images (but I’ve had thousands of customers over the years that use Citizens, that this was not a problem for).

Nowhere on form OIR-B1-1802 (Rev. 01/12) does it state that roof slope images are required, and I’ve taken courses in Wind Mitigation Inspection at 4 different schools and none of that instruction has indicated this is a requirement. The images I provided clearly show the roof geometry (which would be the closest thing) and in both cases the classification was “Other”, so it wasn’t a matter of them wanting to disprove a potential incorrectly given Hip Roof credit.

The only time I take roof slope images is for 4-Point Inspections and Roof Inspections. The form does say however, “The insurer may ask additional questions regarding the mitigated feature(s) verified on this form”.

I’ve seen hundreds of other inspectors wind mitigation reports that customers have shown me and none of their reports included roof slope images… On occasion some may include a few rooftop photos that basically just illustrate the material type, but that’s about it, not detailed roof slope images or full rooftop photos.

Has anyone else run into this? Did these 2 customers just get someone who just started working at Citizens and is unfamiliar with the requirements of the form? Or are they being given a hard time on purpose? Or is this a new secret non-publicly published requirement from Citizens that they have not put on the form and no one there enforces except whoever handled these 2 customers of mine?

Am I wrong for charging a small fee to go back out a second time and perform a separate Roof Inspection and take detailed rooftop images of all slopes when this happens? Because what the insurance company is requesting falls outside the scope of the requirements for a standard wind mitigation inspection.

I do so many of these, if I had to add roof slope images to every inspection just to be safe (just because of 2 rogue kick backs), it wouldn’t make much sense. With 1,100 wind mits. per year, it would add several hundred of hours of additional labor per year…

I’ve never had one kicked back for this (yet). Although, I remember another inspector having this same issue not long ago. It will defiantly make me take a second look at my prices if I have to start adding roof slope pictures.

1 Like

If you saw it on this forum, that “other inspector not long ago” was probably me. LOL This is the 2nd time this has happened to me, and I briefly mentioned it somewhere else on this forum in another post as a reply to something else.

1 Like

Any idea if the same Agent (uninformed) on both, or the same Agency (Policy)?

1 Like

I knew I remembered seeing it somewhere! lol

It seems that every once in awhile I get oddball one-off requests from some insurance agent or " the underwriter wants it…" request. This office or broker or whomever might be trying to use the Wind Mit as a Roof Cert.

I don’t get roof pix if all I’m doing is a wind mit. Ain’t gonna start either.
If it’s any other inspection or combo service, then I have them on file anyway for that weird call 2 weeks later.

As for charging an extra fee for these particular clients, that’s your call, I wouldn’t do it unless it’s a major inconvenience to get there.

I have always given them all roof slopes!

I’m not sure if it’s the same agent, but I think it might be someone at Citizens not the actual agent because the customer sent me a screenshot of what this last agent had to say and she said the underwriter was requesting the images… which makes me think maybe it’s someone new at Citizens who wasn’t properly trained, or as Dominic mentioned, they might be trying to use the Wind Mit as a Roof Cert. However the agent (who is obviously clueless) was implying that I do not know what I am doing… lmao

It’s a brand new metal roof, and according to Citizens own website under required documentation for a new roof it says:
“If you have a ‘Finalized roof permit’ PolicyCenter will automatically Allow coverage to be bound by agent”.
End of story. That’s their own policy, in their own words. smh

1 Like

The reason I’d charge is because I’m already booking 2+ weeks out and between the drive, time to take the photos and time to do the report, not only am I out the revenue for an appointment spot, but it’s going to delay a spot for another client who needs an inspection.

It’s also the principle of the matter. I provided the service I was paid for. What is being asked is outside the scope of what was required. It would be like going to my mechanic to have my oil changed, but then asking for free tires. It’s really no different than that.

I’m all about customer service and going out of my way to make the customer happy, but the problem here lies with the insurance company, not me. I’m having trouble justifying donating my time and gas and giving up a spot for another customer along with the loss of income derived from it all because someone else is making a mistake (or intentionally trying to take advantage).

It’s a shame that the insurance agent herself in this case is so misinformed. Because if she knew what was required, she could represent her client properly and point out that what they are asking is not a requirement (I mean maybe it’s a honest mistake… just a new employee with poor training)… And if they still insisted, she could threaten to file a complaint with the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation for denying the report.

1 Like

I get what you’re saying, but it isn’t quite the same, as your client has no idea what the hell the wind mit is supposed to include, that’s why they hire us. Your client isn’t making the demand, some wackjob agent is.

Schedule the roof pictures when you’re in the area, if possible, client doesn’t even need to be there. Or simply charge a fee if you feel that strongly about it, I think there’s a case in either direction.

I agree with Dom, I wouldnt charge again. Its not their fault you need more pics.

What part of FL are you in?

Yeah, I can agree with that. If I can do it when I am in her area already, then it’s not a big deal as it would just take 15+ minutes… However, she’s got a fenced yard that I believe is locked, there may also be a dog… so it’s not like I can just swing by when she’s not home, although I could just use a drone.

But if it needs to be done by a certain date, and a special trip needs to be made, then that would be an issue I’d need to charge for.

But it would be better to correct the problem at the source, so this isn’t a problem in the future.

EDIT: Sent her an email saying that this shouldn’t be her issue, the fault lies with the person requesting things outside the scope of the inspection and I’d do it for free if I it could be done when I’m in the area.

I had one recently, a gable roof. I had 8 pictures, but that wasn’t enough. Got a google Earth pic, sent that which showed the entire roof.

And this was for the 4 point.

Meanwhile, another “agent” on another home said the roof was a hip roof…on the 4-point…I informed my client that roof type isn’t even part of the 4 point…at least not yet…and the 50 x 20 flat roof negates the hip roof credit…

It is a sign of the times…incompetence and lack of training…5 months to go… :slight_smile:

Then there was the “agent” at Loggerhead Insurance who said they only accept wind mits from contractors…I informed her that she might want to have a look at chapter 627.711 of the Florida Statutes…

2 Likes

For a 4-point I usually do 15 to 30+ pics depending on the size and shape of the roof, just to be safe (maybe that’s overboard). The google earth pic would show the geometry, but not the current condition… but I get your point… Geometry isn’t even a factor on a 4-point. smh

As far as only accepting Wind Mits from contractors, no offense to contractors, but every single report that I have seen that was done by a contractor has had at LEAST one error, usually multiple errors, and I have seen at least 40-50 over the years. Some that I have seen have completely dumbfounded me due to the sheer number of errors. I’ve never witnessed one done by a contractor that was performed correctly.

It’s not their fault, I don’t think their license requirement even includes training in Wind Mitigation Inspection. It’s not their area of expertise, it’s not what they specialize in, it’s not their area of expertise, and they surely do far less wind mitigation inspections than a home inspector would so they lack the experience. That agent you mentioned who only uses contractors is doing her clients a major disservice, and they are probably missing out on countless credits that they legally qualify for.

I always have taken photos of the roof and included it in the report. It only takes a few extra minutes. Mostly just to show the roofing material and shape. I have had Inspections where there was a re-roof permit but when you arrive at the home it was just for a section of roof and not the entire thing. Its hard to notice that sometimes from the ground level. I dont walk roofs for the wind mit, just use a gopro on a telescopoing pole like you would for the roof to wall attachments. I would agree that between the agents and underwriters there is a complete lack of knowledge that wastes our time and can affect the client negatively. I have had to be an educator on multiple occasions. Especially with the difference between A1 and A3 outside of the HVHC. South Florida agents have no clue.

1 Like

In both of the cases that this has happened to me, they were brand new roofs. They were requesting slope images (I provided 7 images showing the roof geometry)… For roof slope images I also do something similar, use a 10ft selfie stick from the ground for single story homes (and a drone for 2 & 3 story homes). But roof slope images would take about 15 minutes on most of the homes I inspect and would require 15-30 images depending on the size and shape. Adding 15 minutes to every wind mitigation inspection I do would add 275 hours of labor per year (also add 10 minutes to download, resize/crop and add the images to the report x1,1100 reports=an additional 183 hours, so a total of 458 hours of additional labor/year). I’d have to drop at least one appointment slot per day to accommodate that, it would also screw up my scheduling, and I’d obviously need to adjust my rates. I’m not willing to do that over 2 rogue requests from someone who either does not know what they are doing or is trying to gain an additional Roof Inspection at my expense by illegally rejecting a legitimate report that includes all of the required images.

On the form itself, it states “At least one photograph must accompany this form to validate each attribute marked in questions 3 through 7”. Of those sections requiring images, there is only 1 one section pertaining to the exterior of the roof:

Section #5: "Roof Geometry”: “A minimum of 1 image is required”, I typically provide 4 , (1 image of each side of the home in high resolution that can be zoomed in to full screen, even the roof material type can clearly be seen) however in the latest instance I provided 7 images. The sole purpose of images for this section is to establish the “Roof Geometry”, nothing else. The roof in question was classified as “Other”. The images clearly established that, so the request was not to establish whether or not the home qualified for a hip roof credit…

That’s it for the roof photo requirements on the form. To verify this, all that needs to be done is to read what’s on the form.

As far as “Roof Slope” images (what was requested), they are only required for 4-Point Inspections and Roof Certification Inspections.

And as I mentioned in a post above, according to Citizens own website the only documentation required for a new roof is:
“If you have a ‘Finalized roof permit’ PolicyCenter will automatically Allow coverage to be bound by agent”.
End of story. That’s their own policy, in their own words.

If an employee at an insurance company wants photos outside the scope of what is required for that form, they should request the type of inspection they need in order to get those photos, not reject a Wind Mitigation report that complies with the photo requirements. Rejecting a form that complies with the photo requirements is a violation that can be reported to Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.

The problem is, no one in our state’s current insurance climate would be willing to report an insurance company, it’s a complete dumpster fire. I had one customer who was denied credit for his shutters. Even though I had images of the stamp on them saying “Miami-Dade Approved”, they wanted it to say “ASTM E 1886”. I pointed out that the home was built in 2005 and that the shutters were included in the county’s inspection as part of the permit and passed code, and also included InterNACHI training videos showing that if they say “Miami-Dade Approved” they are acceptable. They still denied giving him credit on his shutters, even though he legally qualified for credit. But he was afraid to report them to have the credit enforced because he had a previous claim and was having trouble finding insurance. He was worried they would just find a reason to deny him coverage, so he gave up and allowed them to take advantage of him even though they were violating state law.

It shouldn’t be this way, a report should simply document the facts and the insurance companies should comply with state law, it’s that simple. But I don’t blame him for feeling that way, many Floridians are desperate and feel like they are being held hostage. I can’t tell you how many customers I have had that the insurance company’s own initial adjuster had written up their damage for like $80,000 and they ended up with a check for $3,000 with the same adjusters name on the final breakdown. All of the laws passed last year were to protect and benefit the insurance companies to keep them from pulling out, but a ton pulled out or went bankrupt anyway, no laws were passed to protect the consumer. And insurance companies going bankrupt? I did not even know that was possible, shouldn’t an insurance company be required to have the funds to back up what they are covering? These issues have nothing to do with our inspections, but if you’re from Southwest Florida where Ian hit (or any other area that had hurricane damage in the past year and a half) I’m sure we’ve all heard the horror stories from our customers and it’s just a mess. With the current insurance company crisis going on, I myself would probably never file a report with the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, simply out of paranoia that the insurance company being reported might flag my name and give my customers a hard time in the future.

I did however email Citizens about this particular issue yesterday (without mentioning my customer’s name) asking how to handle a situation like this when it arises, as it’s not a common issue with them. It might just simply be an honest mistake by one employee who is new and not properly trained. Apparently it can take up to 5 days for a response.

I had a client not given the opening protection credit even though everything was verified. I called the agent to see what the issue was. It turns out statefarm will not give opening protection credit to a condo/ townhouse unless every unit is protected. I figured that there is no way that can be a real thing. I called 3 other state farm agents and they all confirmed it to be true. So it is impossible for anyone to get that credit with state farm if they live in a condo/ townhome unless it was built originally with protection to begin with.
As far citezens is concerned, I used to be able to call and talk to under writing. Now they refuse everytime. It doesnt happen often, but once or twice a year ( usual with a 4-point) I will have to contact them with something they cannot comprehend for whatever reason. Now I have the agent call and have them put me on the line with them. Usually we will get a supervisor eventually and they always have been reasonable and quick in resolving the underwriters error. This is not a quick process. I just hate when they find fault due to their lack of knowledge.

I do condos/townhouses all of the time, I’ve only rarely had an insurance company accept opening protection credit for a unit when other units are not protected. The reason for this is that the units are all under one roof. If an unprotected opening in another unit is breached it will allow pressure into the building creating lift to the roof. Basically the wind mit ends up being on the building, not the unit.

I have always told the property owner to check with their agent first and warn them ahead of time that it’s unlikely they will get credit for the reason stated above. I won’t give credit without acceptance from the insurance company first, for liability reasons. If the agent says it’s ok, I put a notation on the report in bold red print under section #7 stating that credit was given based on just the unit as it was approved by the current agent. I make this notation in the event the owner needs to change companies in the future to avoid a problem with the report. But I’ve only actually had this accepted a few times, technically I do not think it’s correct (again for the reason mentioned above), but that is up to the insurance company to decide. If they are willing to give credit when I’ve documented unprotected openings, then I am covered as far as my liability goes.

It really stinks for the client when there are multiple units with protection, but there is that one hold out.

As far as contacting insurance companies about issues, they really should make it easier. Many times, especially lately, things are time sensitive (pending cancellations, etc), so making the process difficult is not in the best interest of their clients.

1 Like