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Insurance Carrier: Nationwide Mutual
State: Texas

Consumer Complaint:

Bought my house in 2/2005. Late 2005 my roof started leaking in my kitchen. Called Nationwide for claim. They stated "general maintenance" and denied responsibility. In 4/2008 big storm more damage. Called Nationwide again, this time they agreed to replace the shingles. The roofing company caused more damage to roof, but dry roofed it anyway. After several weeks of pleading to get issue resolved, engineers were sent in. After reading engineering report Nationwide says it is a "manufacture defect" and won't pay to replace the entire roof. Basically the front half of my roof is sliding off toward the street. The insurance company says that my roof does not meet current building standards; therefore they do not have to pay us to have it replaced. They did however offer to pay us $2279.00 for having a roofing company come out and "patch the damage". But the patch won't keep my roof from falling in or worse. The roofing company had too much weight on the roof when they were working which caused beams to break and separate from the main support beam. My house was built in 1953...apparently they only used 2x4 boards they build with 2x6 or 2x8.

Insurance Expert Answer:

I understand how upset you -- I too had a roof problem this past winter -- are but please separate out the issues and don't get angry at the messenger.

It sounds as if the roofing company was incompetent, and never should have put new shingles over the old roof, especially when they had what seems is actual knowledge of the use of 2x4s and prior dry rot. While the roofing company would thus be liable to you for its negligence, to collect from it you'll need to sue them. They are unlikely to pay out of the goodness of their heart or admit liability except to avoid having their reputation tarnished (although THEIR liability insurance company, assuming they have one, may feel differently). To collect you'd have to hire a lawyer or if your small claim court jurisdictional limits are higher than average, take them to small claims court.

I strongly doubt that YOUR homeowner's company will pay more as it does not regard itself as having done anything wrong. Assuming it was reasonable in suggesting the roofing company (and proving it was not would be next to impossible) it has no responsibility for that firm's work. It paid the repair bill, and that's all it had to do. I'm trying to be helpful, but the best approach may be to go to a local TV station consumer help line -- the roofing company has to fear it will get bad PR to remedy the problem during the slow season.