• Miles Garner

Why absolutely MUST have your roof inspected.

I want to bring a little known tactic of the insurance companies to light. Being in this industry and having many conversations with insurance adjusters while on rooftops performing inspections, I am always amazed at the disdain for the sneaky practices of their own employers, or in the case of independent adjusters, their contractors. Recently, I was reminded of something that I have seen happen before but haven't spoke about in a while. As far as I know most states have a statute of limitations for claims to be filed for a particular wind or hail event, and in Florida the limit is 3 years. It used to be 5 years, but there was a lobby that influenced a reduction in the time allowed... I wonder who that was?

Chapter 627 Florida statutes INSURANCE RATES AND CONTRACTS
627.70132 Notice of windstorm or hurricane claim.—A claim, supplemental claim, or reopened claim under an insurance policy that provides property insurance, as defined in s. 624.604, for loss or damage caused by the peril of windstorm or hurricane is barred unless notice of the claim, supplemental claim, or reopened claim was given to the insurer in accordance with the terms of the policy within 3 years after the hurricane first made landfall or the windstorm caused the covered damage. For purposes of this section, the term “supplemental claim” or “reopened claim” means any additional claim for recovery from the insurer for losses from the same hurricane or windstorm which the insurer has previously adjusted pursuant to the initial claim. This section does not affect any applicable limitation on civil actions provided in s. 95.11 for claims, supplemental claims, or reopened claims timely filed under this section.

While 3 years is plenty of time to file a claim, the problem is this. Much of the storm damage that we see on rooftops, can not be seen from the ground and can take longer than 3 years before it starts to manifest as a leak. So a homeowner will unknowingly leave this damage on their home unattended to until the statute of limitations is over.

Now, the insurance company would certainly not want to tell you that you have claimable damage while still within the statute of limitations, so, once the time has run out, your insurer will send someone out to inspect the roof. When they find damage on your house, they will then send you a letter requiring you to repair or replace the roof depending on the age of materials. This is to be done at the homeowners expense and if not completed, you run the risk of being dropped altogether.

This is why I absolutely urge you to have a roofing contractor, with a high level of experience in identifying storm damage, inspect your roof and present to you the best course of action.

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