Hurricanes and other wind storms are a constant threat to Florida homeowners. Florida homeowners have always been able to feel secure that if they had a roof damage insurance claim, their insurance policy would provide for the repair or replacement of their roof. That may all change if Florida Senate Bill 1728 becomes law.
Since the dawn of insurance, property insurance always provided coverage for the full replacement of your roof if such was destroyed by a covered peril, usually a wind storm. If Senate Bill 1728 is passed by the Legislature, insurance companies will be able to limit their roof coverage to a percentage of cost of your roof – regardless of the amount of damage!
Senate Bill 1728 would allow insurance companies to set a “reimbursement schedule” based on the age of your roof, and then limit their roof claim payments to the percentage in their “reimbursement schedule”. For instance, the schedule might state that if your roof is 15 years old, the insurance company would only pay 50% of the cost to replace your roof – even if your roof was entirely destroyed! Thus, if the cost to replace your totally destroyed roof is $50,000, the insurance company would only pay $25,000 of this cost – leaving you to pay the rest out of pocket!
There are other provisions of Senate Bill 1728 which further prove the insidious nature of the Bill. First, the proposed Bill states that these “reimbursement schedules” will only apply to roofs that are over 10 years old. This provision ignores the fact that many roofs last for 20 plus years without issue. The clear purpose of this provision is to artificially force property owners to replace perfectly functional roofs, just to maintain coverage on the home – and thereby save the insurance company some money.
Second, Senate Bill 1728 states that these reductions will not apply to roofs damaged by a storm declared to be a hurricane. This provision is not as generous as it may initially seem. Remember that if the loss is caused a hurricane or other named storm, the insurance company will then get to apply the “hurricane deductible” to your loss – usually around 2% of your policy limits. Depending on the size of your policy limits, this hurricane deductible could totally negate any coverage for your damaged roof.
Clearly, Senate Bill 1728 is bad for Florida homeowners and consumers. All Floridians should contact their Florida Senator and Congressman and tell them to vote “NO” on this Bill.