Florida Roofing, Insurance, and Legal Industries Collide

Issue:

Last week, I shared an article from Reuters that caught my eye with CMG's Jonathan Daniel in Jacksonville. It explained that a crackdown on exorbitant homeowners/roofing insurance claims was likely on the way in the Florida market. Here's the gist: Homeowner's insurance rates are jumping dramatically because of severe hurricanes over the past few years, but also due to a rash of lawsuits demanding that insurance companies pay for expensive, whole-roof replacements even when the damage is arguably minor. The law firms involved are alleged to have been adding substantial legal fees to those claims, also at great cost to insurers. That is leading some insurance companies to raise rates dramatically, which in turn is leading the state to consider placing some controls to the claims homeowners might file and the fees the law firms involved can charge.

Opportunity/Idea:

When Jonathan brought this to one of his roofing company clients, it was enthusiastically received as a way the roofer could distinguish itself from the "door knocker" competition it faces. (He was referring to people who go door-to-door, hanging ads on the doors of houses claiming they might be able to get you a replacement roof "[paraphrasing] at little or no cost to you.")

Ways you might use this issue to gain an appointment:

  • If you're calling on a well-established roofing company that competes with less reputable solicitors: "Now could be a great time to establish yourself as an above-board, transparent service provider. I'd like to share some ideas that can help position you as the roofer with integrity." Your angle of attack could include testimonials and reputation management; or, point to the credentials of the company, products, or installation team members; or, point out the company heritage and number of years in business.
  • If you're calling on someone who has been heavily reliant on the "insurance will pay for it" angle of attack, suggest that it might be time to consider alternatives before it becomes a regulatory or public relations headache. "Watch for the _______ roofing signs in your neighborhood. It's a sign that your neighbors trust us to do the work… and we'd like to earn your trust, too." Or, "We know that several houses within any neighborhood tend to experience the same aging, as well as the same weather and storm impact of the homes that surround them. That's why, when we're working in a neighborhood, we tend to reach out and offer our services. But don't wait for us to come to you. Reach out to us at: ___________."

Using this issue in a Needs Analysis:

  • What share of your business is directly related to storm damage and insurance claims?
  • Are you seeing increased push-back from the insurance industry, yet? Or, are you concerned about the change of increased regulation in this category?

Sources:

February 12th article -
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-insurance-florida/florida-consumers-flabbergasted-as-property-insurers-push-for-double-digit-rate-hikes-idUSKBN2AC111

A December story in Insurance Business Magazine that provides an insurance industry take on the issue - https://www.insurancebusinessmag.com/us/news/breaking-news/home-insurance-rates-in-florida-to-significantly-increase-next-year-242366.aspx

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