If you have never dealt with an insurance claim for property damage, then you are likely not familiar with the term “matching rule” or “matching statute.” However, if you are the victim of roof or other property damage, this rule is very relevant to you and your ability to properly repair your home.
About The Matching Rule for Tile Roofs in Florida
Florida’s matching statute provides that if an insured property is damaged, then the items used to make repairs must reasonably match the items used on adjoining areas.
626.9744 Claim settlement practices relating to property insurance.— Unless otherwise provided by the policy, when a homeowner’s insurance policy provides for the adjustment and settlement of first-party losses based on repair or replacement cost, the following requirements apply:
(2) When a loss requires replacement of items and the replaced items do not match in quality, color, or size, the insurer shall make reasonable repairs or replacement of items in adjoining areas.
Why does the state have a matching statute?
For years, the insurance industry would short change policyholders by only repairing items directly damaged by a covered loss. The legislature passed the matching statute to protect Florida homeowners from these deceptive and unfair practices by the insurance companies.
For example, without the matching statute, an insurer would be able to use any tiles they want to repair a damaged home. Think about how a home would look if a patch of roof tiles were one color and the rest were a different shade. It would not look good. The homeowner would suffer a decrease in value of the home because of the no longer uniform appearance. Homeowners both expect and deserve that their home be restored to the same condition it was in before the damage occurred, and the matching statute compels insurers to make sure the property is restored to its pre-damaged state.
Why insurers argue against the matching statute
Insurance companies are for profit businesses with the single goal of making money for their stakeholders. When they can offer a patch or partial repair or the use of cheaper materials to make repairs instead of the use of proper repair methodology and material, they will save money at the expense of the homeowner.
While property owners and policyholders love Florida’s matching statute, the insurance companies definitely do not. Matching issues with a lightly-damaged section of roof can lead to a domino effect of tear out and replacement costs of many items that are not directly damaged. The problem of partial replacement is especially troubling where the damaged tiles have been discontinued, making it virtually impossible to properly match.
The ability for insurance companies and contractors to find matching materials is compounded because material standards have changed over time. This, combined with various companies going out of business or being bought out, has led to the discontinuation of the majority of roofing materials which were used in the past. For roofing tiles, it is almost impossible to find matching roof tiles for all but the newest installed roofs. According to one experienced roofing contractor, virtually any roof tiles installed before 2004 are now discontinued. Should any of these roofs be damaged and require replacement, the entire roof will most likely need to be replaced, even if a relatively small number of tiles were damaged.
Don’t let your insurer deny a valid tile roof insurance claim
If the tile roof on your home or business has been damaged, it is all too common for insurers to seek out any reason they can find to deny your claim outright, or at least minimize the payout offer to repair the property.
We can help you file a new claim, negotiate higher settlement amounts for repairs, and we can even help you to reopen a claim where the policyholder was not given a sufficient settlement. Our team is standing by, so if you have questions about your claim or damage to your home or commercial property, get in touch with us today!