New Roofing Law May Create More Insurance Disputes
A new law is coming that, while it isn’t intended to affect homeowners insurance, will in fact have a direct impact on homeowners insurance, insurance claims, and undoubtedly, the number of disputes between homeowners and their insurance companies. The law has to do with replacement of roofs.
The Old and New Roof Replacement Rules
Because of the prevalence of hurricanes and hurricane damage, for many years, the law required that if more than 25% of someone’s roof was damaged for any reason or by any cause, that the entirety of the roof had to be replaced to bring it up to the current building code. This was done in an effort to bring as many roofs up to code as possible.
This had one major benefit for homeowners—insurance companies couldn’t argue about that aspect of a roof replacement case. As long as the cause was covered, and if it was clear that more than 25% of the roof was damaged, it didn’t matter if 35%, 45% or 75% was damaged—the entire roof had to be replaced to bring it up to code, so there was no argument about how much of the roof was damaged.
New Law Coming Into Effect
But the law is now set to change. The law will soon go into effect that says that all that has to be replaced and brought up to the current building code, is the actual part of the roof that was damaged. This is for any roof that meets the standards of the 2007 building code.
Note that if the roof meets standards older than 2007, then the old rule still applies—the entire roof needs to be brought up to code, so long as more than 25% of it is replaced.
Note that the 2007 actually went into effect in 2009, so any roof built 2009 and later, likely falls under the new law, and any roof that was built before that date, would fall under the old law.
This new law is sure to invite a lot of conflict and dispute. Now, all percentages of the roof that’s damaged can be disputed by an insurance company. It now matters if, for example, 35% or 36% of the roof has been damaged.
It also means that potentially, a homeowner could end up with a roof that meets different building codes. A homeowner could have part of a roof replaced up to the 2022 codes, and part of the roof that still remains under the (weaker) 2007 building code.
Another issue is cost and construction logistics. A roofing company that only needs to bring, say, half of a roof up to the current 2022 code, will have to find a way to “blend” or integrate that part of the roof, with the other, undamaged part of the roof, that only complies with 2007 parts of the code.
Dispute with your homeowners insurance company? Contact the Miami personal injury attorneys at Velasquez & Associates P.A. today.