(WSVN) – A surprise no homeowner wants: his insurance company said he needed a new roof. How did you know? Because of an image from a satellite orbiting the earth. Can you inspect your roof from space? It’s Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser tonight.
Sometimes buying a home from a contractor is good.
Nicholas Gadbois, Dach was googled: “A large part of the house has been modernized. They had made the pitched roof. The flat roof is pretty new. It’s probably around 10 years old now. “
Nicholas found the flat roof at the back of his house in good shape until he received a letter in the mail.
Nicholas Gadbois: “From our insurance company that we have to have a new flat roof.”
Nicholas was a little baffled that the roof wasn’t leaking and the insurance company hadn’t come out to inspect it. He asked how they knew it was bad.
Nicholas Gadbois: “Based on a Google image, it appears that the roof needs to be replaced.”
That’s true. Nicholas says the insurance agent told him they used such a Google satellite image to determine that his roof was not good.
Nicholas Gadbois: “You can’t see anything from a Google image. You can’t zoom a google image far enough to get into the details. “
But Nicholas needs insurance, so he contacted two roofers to get a quote for replacing the flat roof and they gave him good news.
Nicholas Gadbois: “Both contractors said: ‘Your roof did not need to be repaired.'”
Back to the insurance company to ask them to personally inspect the roof.
Nicholas Gadbois: “You said you can’t send anyone out unless a lawsuit is filed. There’s no point in not coming out and inspecting the roof. “
That means Nicholas will have to spend $ 5,000-10,000 to replace a roof that a roofer says is good but a Google antenna says it is bad.
Nicholas Gadbois: “My legal question is, does an insurance company have the right to use a google image to force a homeowner to get a new roof?”
He asked Howard a legal question. Time for you to go to work.
Howard Finkelstein, 7 News Legal Expert: “Believe it or not, an insurance company can use any method they want to inspect your roof, even from a satellite hundreds of kilometers away. That’s because they take the risk to insure you and therefore set the criteria by which they will assume that risk. Of course, Nicholas can tell them to go for a hike and they can say, ‘We’re not renewing you.’ “
We contacted Nicholas’ insurance company.
One employee said to us, “We have a contract with a third party that uses artificial intelligence and high-resolution aerial imagery to determine the condition of the roof.”
We asked for this picture and the name of the third party company.
Then the insurance company representative said they hadn’t used the company in Nicholas’ case but declined to insure his roof because “we don’t write flat roofs that are more than 10 years old”.
However, they added that they could offer Nicholas another type of policy to cover his flat roof if he wanted to stay with them.
Howard Finkelstein: “If you don’t want to call the insurance company after the insurance company to find the best rates, contact an insurance broker who will do it all for you and help you choose the best policy.”
Nicholas Gadbois: “Very pleased with the help Help Me Howard has given me.”
And he’s happy with his insurance company after they’ve reached a compromise.
Nicholas Gadbois: “And offered me a revised policy. I am satisfied with that. “
And why would Nicholas accept a policy with no full coverage? Because this insurance company is cheaper than other companies.
Cost is important with insurance, which is another reason to look around.
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