Roof Maintenance And Rules To Remember
Is your roof ready to bear the wrath of an oncoming storm or hurricane? Chances are, even brand-new shingles might not come out unscathed. That’s when you turn to your insurer to help cover the cost of roof repairs.
Unfortunately, this part isn’t always so simple. Roof damage claims can hit snags in any number of ways. Insurance companies often look for reasons to deny your claim, such as:
- You failed to mitigate damages by performing timely roof repairs before the incident
- Your roof doesn’t need a full replacement, because less than 25% of the roof requires fixing
- Roof damage was caused by an event not covered under your policy
- Your roof was “too old” to begin with
New Changes in Law May Help Insurers Deny Claims
Recently-passed Florida legislation introduced limitations on insurance coverage for roofs over 10 years old. If your roof is over 10 years old and it gets destroyed during a hurricane, for example, your insurance company could adjust your claim for the old roof’s cash value at the time, instead of paying 100% of the replacement cost. Insurers could also offer reduced coverage at the outset of your policy, based on the roof’s age.
This can put many homeowners in a bind, considering that most shingles are designed to last 20 years if not more. If your roof is over 10 years old, it may help to have annual roof inspections conducted to verify the integrity of your roof before a weather incident takes place. Having regular inspection reports with a date attached to them, along with “before” photos of your roof in its normal condition, are part of a good roof maintenance plan.
Other preventative measures – such as trimming trees when needed and securing any potentially hazardous objects in your yard – will help not only to reduce damage but to avoid headaches with your insurer after a damaging storm.
Florida’s 25-Percent Rule for Roof Replacement
According to the Florida Building Code, Section 708.1.1, “Not more than 25% of the total roof area or roof section of any existing building or structure shall be repaired, replaced or recovered in any 12-month period unless the entire existing roofing system or roof section is replaced to conform to requirements of this code.”
In short, this means that if more than 25% of your roof was damaged, insurance companies might have to cover the cost of a partial or full roof replacement.
This leads to disagreements in coverage claims, as property owners would clearly prefer the roof damage estimate to exceed 25%. Meanwhile, insurance companies would like appraisals to fall below that 25-percent threshold.
If your insurer seeks to squabble over your roof’s age or pre-storm condition, don’t fight that battle on your own. Talk to an experienced property damage attorney with years of experience in this area. They can help you through the process and secure the claim that you deserve for your property.
Contact Our Daytona Beach Property Damage Claims Attorneys
Property damage caused by storms can be expensive and time-consuming. To get the most out of your claim and get your roof back in its best condition, reach out to Bundza & Rodriguez. Call or contact our Daytona Beach property damage attorneys online today and request a consultation to protect your rights in filing a claim.