Roofer Sues Insurance Companies

A local contractor is sending a message to insurance companies he claims have shortchanged him on hundreds of roof repairs. Fact Finders has learned of lawsuits amounting to millions of dollars affecting hundreds of homeowners caught in the middle.

Months after getting a new roof, Tim Gardner wonders why the contractor is suing his insurance for $11,000 more.

Gardner said, "Why didn’t they give me a courtesy heads-up that they're suing my insurance company.”

Valley Boys Roofing has filed lawsuits claiming seven insurance companies shortchanged them thousands of dollars on each house repaired.

Steve Shannon, Valley Boys Roofing President said, "They’re missing specific line items off the roofing system they're saying they're not wanting to pay for and we got to replace those during the roof replacement. So we just want to be compensated for them."

The lawsuits name 300 homeowners and list what their insurance should have paid for but denied. For example one house is listed "not paid for a skylight." Fact Finders looked all around the house and there's no skylight and the owner says he's never had one.

But Valley Boy’s attorney says the lawsuits only demand insurance pay for all the work his client is owed.

Matt Saathoff said, "If there are errors in those documents, that will all be fixed, and it will all be determined in discovery."

The attorney says homeowners who signed over their claims to Valley Boys won't be sued, only their insurance.

Contractor Steve Shannon says of insurance companies, " They’re making their profits and trying to squeeze us little guys out."

But Tim worries the lawsuit might affect him eventually. "How does that affect my insurance rates having doubled the claim compared to everybody else?"

Valley Boys Roofing has filed suit against seven insurance companies claiming more than $6 million still owed on roofs repaired from the devastating hail storm in west Omaha last year. The suits allege underpayment on 303 homes.

In legal filings some insurance companies allege Valley Boys didn't tell homeowners that their insurance would be sued for more money than the bid.

The attorney for American Family Insurance sent Fact Finders a statement regarding the lawsuits.

"American Family has worked with our Omaha-area customers and roofing contractors to resolve thousands of claims from the April, 2013 hail storm. When insurance companies and contractors work together in the customers’ best interests, the repairs can get started promptly and homeowners quickly return to their normal lives. When the opposite happens, and roofing contractors choose to ignore standard practices, the process grinds to a halt and homeowners are unfairly delayed getting their homes repaired."

Here are the companies being sued.
Farm Bureau
Auto-Owners
American Family
Travelers
USAA
State Farm
Farmers


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