Commission opposes legislation making it harder to get insurance on older roofs

The Miami-Dade County Commission on March 2 approved a resolution sponsored by Commissioner Joe Martinez against Senate Bill (SB) 76 and House Bill (HB) 305 or similar laws that would allow homeowner insurance companies to stop providing full replacement coverage for roofs of a certain age.

Commissioner Martinez’s legislation rejects these bills because they would adversely affect all residents of Miami-Dade County and Florida. The elderly population, which makes up a large part of Miami-Dade, may not be able to purchase insurance to replace roofs that are more than 10 years old and would pay for the replacement if damaged.

Commissioner Martinez stated that the replacement cost can be much more expensive than the original cost of the roof at the time of construction and that it is right for the people it serves to oppose. Currently, Florida law mandates that insurers purchasing homeowner property insurance policies must offer home adjustments, including the roof, based on replacement cost, while the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation can approve insurance forms that cover roof losses based on The actual cash value – such as the loss in value of the roof – the insurer must offer an adjustment of the replacement costs on the roof before the policy is issued.

The proposed bills, Senate Bill (SB) 76 and House Bill (HB) 305, were put for consideration by Senator Jim Boyd (R, Bradenton) and Rep. Bob Rommel (R, Naples) during the Florida Legislature session in 2021 Filed Among other things, remove the requirement to offer reimbursement of replacement costs for roofs that are at least 10 years old, even though the typical life of a roof in Florida is 25 to 30 years.

If a homeowner’s roof is at least 10 years old and destroyed during a hurricane, for example, the homeowner’s insurance company can only pay for what the roof is worth at the time, as opposed to the full roof replacement cost and those bills. When this goes into effect, homeowners who have been paying their premium for years can be disenfranchised by having insurance companies pay a fraction of the cost of replacing the roof, resulting in a significant reduction in coverage for many homeowners across the state.

“In a county where we suffered serious roof damage, including the blue roof disasters of hurricane season 2005 and most recently the effects of Hurricane Irma, I felt these bills were supposed to help insurance companies, not people” Said Commissioner Martinez, “I have had to protect everyone from the adverse effects of these bills, especially those who are older, seniors and without the economic resources to replace their older roofs.”

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