Navigating Florida's Roofing Laws - Repairs vs. Replacement After a Hurricane

Published June 20th, 2024 by Claim Help Lawyers

The aftermath of a hurricane can be a daunting experience for a Florida homeowner, especially when it comes to assessing and addressing your home’s roof damage. In 2024, understanding what your property insurance covers and navigating the state's roofing laws is crucial to ensure your home is properly protected and repaired.

The 25% Rule Change

One of the most significant changes in Florida's roofing laws is the modification of the 25% rule in 2022. Previously, if a roof sustained damage exceeding 25% of its total area, insurance companies were required to pay for a full roof replacement. However, the new law provides if the roof  is in compliance with the requirements of the 2007 Florida Building Code (or newer) and it can be repaired, as discretionary to the carrier,  a roof replacement amount is not required to be paid by insurance company for the damages, even if you choose to have the roof replaced instead of repaired.

Prior to this law change,  if your roof was damaged at  25% or more  of the roofing system by a covered peril  the carrier would be obligated to pay for the full replacement (depending on your policy terms and conditions being met).  This change has sparked debates and concerns among homeowners and contractors. While it may provide cost savings for insurance companies, it could also lead to patchwork repairs that compromise the integrity and longevity of the roof, as well as the aesthetics.

Roof Repair vs. Replacement

When it comes to roof damage after a hurricane, homeowners often face the dilemma of whether to pursue repairs or opt for a full replacement. The decision should be based on several factors, including the extent of the damage, the age and condition of the existing roof, and the potential long-term costs associated with each option.

Roof repairs may be a viable solution for minor to moderate damage, such as missing or damaged shingles, leaks, or isolated areas of concern. However, if the damage is extensive or the roof is nearing the end of its lifespan, a full replacement may be the more cost-effective and long-lasting solution.  The most important factor is whether the repair protects your property’s integrity. 

Ordinance and Law Coverage

In Florida, many homeowners' insurance policies include ordinance and law coverage, which can provide additional funds to bring a property up to current building codes after a covered loss. This coverage can be particularly valuable when it comes to roof replacements, as it may help offset the costs of meeting updated roofing requirements and standards.

It's essential to review your policy and understand the limits and exclusions of your ordinance and law coverage, as these can vary among insurance providers and policies, as well as amounts.

Navigating Insurance Claims

Navigating the insurance claims process after a hurricane can be complex, especially when it comes to roof damage. It's crucial to document the damage thoroughly, including hiring a licensed professional to accurately photograph and document damages and to file your claim promptly and pursuant to the terms of your policy.

If you have a claim and  you disagree with your insurance company's assessment or proposed settlement amounts, you have the right to dispute their decision. Consulting with a licensed reputable public adjuster or an attorney specializing in property insurance claims can provide valuable guidance and advocacy throughout the process.  The Knoerr Law Group can help you through the entire process and assist with finding a public adjuster who can provide what is required to your insurance company.

In Florida, it's also important to be aware of the state's laws and regulations regarding insurance claims, such as the timeframes for filing and responding to claims, as well as the rights and responsibilities of both homeowners and insurance companies have changed.  Florida law requires an insured to provide notice of a property insurance claim promptly after a storm.  For claims resulting from hurricanes, tornadoes, windstorms, severe rain, or other weather-related events, the date of loss is the date that the hurricane made landfall, or the tornado, windstorm, severe rain, or other weather-related event is verified by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

Protecting Your Home

Remember, prevention is key. Regularly checking for water leaks after storms and addressing any issues promptly can help minimize the risk of extensive damage during a hurricane or storm.

Key Points:

  • Florida's roofing laws have changed, including the 25% rule for roof damage, which allows leeway for insurance companies to accept liability for a repair instead of replacement of the damaged roof.
  • Homeowners must carefully evaluate whether roof repairs or replacement is the better option based on the extent of damage, age of the roof, and long-term costs.
  • Ordinance and law coverage in insurance policies can provide additional funds to bring a property up to current building codes after a covered loss, including roof replacements.
  • Documenting damage thoroughly and filing insurance claims promptly is crucial when navigating the claims process after a hurricane.
  • Homeowners have the right to dispute insurance company assessments and proposed settlements.

Knoerr Law Group's attorneys have over 50 years in combined experience in helping Florida property owners with the complexities of insurance claims and roofing laws. We advocate for your rights and make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Contact Knoerr Law Group today at 1-844-456-6377 to schedule a consultation. Let us help you through the process of repairing or replacing your roof after a hurricane, ensuring your home is fully protected.

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