However, some insurers have stopped giving the discounts because of Florida’s complicated new form. For many this means that their insurance premiums may go up few hundred dollars a year.
The new form used by inspectors is based on a 2002 state study that did not examine tile roofs. As a result, the form doesn’t mention tile roofs, which are one of the two most common roofs in South Florida. The roofs are especially popular in upscale communities throughout the area.
Some inspectors are going the extra mile and added commentary that the property meets the latest building codes and should qualify for a discount. Nonetheless, some insurers are taking a hardline approach and strictly following the form.
According to research, metal roofs are considered the strongest in hurricane force winds. Concrete tile roofs are second. Although relatively strong, a 2008 study showed that tile roofs led to about 30 percent higher losses for one insurer because they are more expensive to repair and replace. A FEMA studied showed, however, that tile roofs do a better job of keeping water out of homes. Water damage is more expensive to fix than a roof alone.
We’ve all heard about the recent property insurance law changes and the end/cutback of these discounts is a result of that new law. For example, some inspectors are erring on the side of caution when it comes to the grey areas on the form because of a new law that makes it a crime to give unwarranted discounts. It seems like the form needs to be clarified so that policyholders are not cheated out of discounts.
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About the Author – Gabriel de las Salas is an attorney with the law firm of Alvarez & Barbara, LLP. His practice is focused on general civil and commercial litigation, including personal injury, insurance claims and real estate disputes. Mr. de las Salas received his B.A., cum laude, from the University of Florida, and his J.D., from Stetson University College of Law.