Proposed legislation to ‘stabilize’ property insurance would cut coverage for roofs more than 10-years-old

Instead of getting coverage for “replacement costs”, insurers could offer “actual costs” for older roofs

by: Shannon Behnken

Posted: Feb 5, 2021 / 6:40 PM EST
Updated: February 5, 2021 / 6:40 PM EST

TAMPA, Florida (WFLA) – Florida homeowners are starting to see results from insurance companies taking drastic measures to prevent future losses. And that could just be the beginning.

The proposed legislation has already made it through a legislative committee and would allow insurance companies to change the way in which they cover roofs that are more than 10 years old.

“It is a constant of insurance companies to claim that the reasons they raise interest rates every year are down to all of these scams and then they come up with solutions that always come out of the consumers’ pockets,” the state said Senator Annette Taddeo, a Democrat from Miami.

Taddeo, along with two other senators, voted against the bill, which was passed this week in the first of three committee hearings.

Senate Bill 76 was proposed by Jim Boyd, a Republican from Bradenton. The bill would enable insurance companies to offer policies for roofs over 10 years that deliver what is known as the actual present value instead of the replacement cost.

Settlement is based on what the insurance company determines that your old, depreciated roof is now worth.

Why? Boyd says it’s because of years of fraudulent umbrella litigation costing insurance companies billions and reducing the number of policies offered in the state of Sunshine.

“Ultimately, I hope we can get better access to markets, more markets interested in working in Florida, and lower consumer costs,” said Boyd.

He said he felt bad for consumers who will face the unexpected difficulty of replacing a roof early on, especially during a pandemic. However, he said he thought this was the right thing to do in the long run.

Boyd stated that premiums are going up significantly and that legislation will actually help keep premiums down in the future. In this case, homeowners would have more money to save on future roof replacement work.

“As a homeowner, I think you have an obligation to have a roof replaced over time and you have to start putting money aside or whatever it takes to be prepared for that day,” said Boyd .

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