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Roof damage from Hurricane Ian? Understanding Florida’s New Roofing Law | Property Insurance Protection Law Blog



Florida’s 25 percent cap rule is gone. The insurance lobby convinced Florida lawmakers to stop following good roof construction practices this past summer. Legislation recently passed in Florida’s special session could allow insurance companies to patch rather than replace significant portions of your hurricane-damaged roof. Previously, if a roof was damaged more than 25%, it had to be replaced.

The Florida Building Commission had the following teams in place:

706.1.1 : Not more than 25 percent of the total roof area or roof section of any existing building or structure shall be repaired, replaced or restored in any 1

2-month period unless the entire existing roof system or roof section is replaced to meet the requirements of this code.

Here is the new law that effectively overrides this long-standing building code:

Notwithstanding any provision of the Florida Building Code to the contrary, if an existing roof system or roof section was constructed, repaired or replaced in accordance with the requirements of the Florida Building Code of 2007, or any subsequent editions of the Florida Building Code, and 25 percent or more of such roof system or roof section is being repaired, replaced or recycled, only the repaired, replaced or restored part is required to be constructed in accordance with the Florida Building Code in effect, as applicable. The Florida Building Commission shall adopt this exception to the rule and incorporate it into the Florida Building Code… a local government may not by ordinance adopt an administrative or technical amendment to this exception. …

Note that roofs built prior to the effective date of the 2007 code are exempt.

What does this mean? Many insurance companies will take a very hard line and only allow piecemeal patching. If repaired this way, many roofs will not be repaired to the manufacturer’s specifications, leaving your roof vulnerable to leaks and wearing out well before its expected lifespan.

Note that most roofing material manufacturers have exclusions in their warranties for this piecemeal patching.

If your roof sustained significant damage and the insurance company will only pay for patching, under the new law, you should seek professional help.

Today’s thought

Quite often, when I get up in the morning, I think my warranty is running out on these body parts because it doesn’t work quite like it used to.
– John Glenn


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