Tens of thousands of Florida home and business owners have insurance claims for damage caused by Hurricane Hermine.  It is critical that policy holders know their rights.

Hurricane Hermine

I have litigated thousands of insurance claims on behalf of Florida home and business owners.  Many of those claims have involved claims for roof damage.

Almost 100% of home and business owners’ insurance policies issued in Florida are known as “replacement cost” policies.  A replacement cost policy means just what it sounds like: the insurance company is required to REPLACE the damaged property with new.  A simple example will help.

Suppose you have a 25 year old shingle roof and Hurricane Hermine causes damage (I’ll discuss what “damage” is in a moment).  The insurance company is required to pay to replace the old roof with a new roof.  I mean what you just read.  The insurance company must pay for a new roof with no deductions because of the age of the roof.

Now, some FAQ’s:

  • What if the insurance company says my roof needed to be replaced because it was old?  If your roof was functional (even if it had some leaks) the insurance company has to pay for a new roof regardless of the age.
  • What if I patched some leaks in my roof before the storm?  The insurance company agreed to insure your roof in exchange for you paying your premium.  The insurance company has to pay for a new roof.
  • What if my insurance company has an engineer inspect my roof and the engineer says there is no wind damage?  You should let me have your roof inspected for free.  Insurers almost always send out their own engineers or “roof consultants” and they are often paid significant amounts of money by the insurance companies.  Every insurance roof denial I’ve ever won started with the insurance company saying “no.”

Now, what constitutes “damage” under your insurance policy.

First, you do not have to lose a single shingle to be entitled to a full roof replacement.  There are many types of roof damage that entitle you to a new roof.  Certainly, shingles blown into your neighbor’s yard is one of the types of damage that is covered.  But, there are others.

Your shingles have a sealant strip on their underside that is a critical component of their functionality.  Wind can lift the shingles and cause the sealant strip to fail.  The shingle then sits back down where it was before.  However, once the sealant strip is broken the shingles are “damaged” and must be replaced.

Another type of damage is known as “degranulation.”  Every shingle has tens of thousands of granules that serve several purposes.  If some of those granules are blown or knocked off by a storm that is considered “damage.”

Another type of claim occurs when your insurance company agrees to pay for the damage, but they low-ball the price.  I can help with that too.  Insurance companies are required to pay the reasonable costs of replacement.  If your roofer gives you a quote for a new roof, but your insurance company low-balls that quote, let me take a look at your claim for free.

Sometimes may say they don’t think it is fair that the insurance company has to pay for a new roof when the former roof was old, or not in the best of shapes.  You paid for replacement cost coverage, and you are entitled to receive what you paid for.  Your insurance company knew what it was selling to you and determined its premium based on what it sold you.

If your insurance company denies or low-balls your claim, even if you think there is nothing that you can do, let me look at the insurance denial for free.

Finally, if there is only one thing you remember from this blog, let it be this:

“No” is not the end of the inquiry.  It is just the beginning.  Every insurance case I’ve ever won all have one thing in common.  They all started with “No.”

Also, in most of my insurance cases, if I win the insurance company has to pay all of my attorney’s fees and costs.  And, if I lose, I’ll work for free.  Mark Nation

If your insurance claim has been denied, delayed, or underpaid, I’d like to help.  You can call me at 1-800-NationLaw, or email me at mark@nationlaw.com