“He clothes his hands with lightning and commands it to strike its mark.” Job 36:32
As a homeowner, you’ve likely experienced or at least heard that property insurance rates are rising. In an effort to relieve homeowners, Florida lawmakers are bringing back a program that they believe will help offset the costs of home inspections and repairs.
According to an article in the Tampa Bay Times, the My Safe Florida Home program, which was first introduced 16 years ago, could potentially assist homeowners financially when it comes to home repairs and inspections. Homeowners have the potential to receive up to $10,000 for home-hardening projects, which means addressing the most vulnerable areas of a home and taking measures to protect it against disasters like storms or wildfires.
So what does this mean and what can you expect as a homeowner? First off, despite these changes, the bill isn’t expected to make a significant impact on insurance rates anytime soon. However, there are some immediate changes taking place that would not only benefit homeowners but also provide assistance to insurance companies.
Changes to roof rules
Some of the effects of the program include prohibiting insurers from refusing to insure homes with a roof that is more than 15 years old only because of the age of the roof. If a homeowner has a roof that is 15 years or older, they can have an inspection done and if the inspection says the roof has five years of serviceable life left, the carrier cannot refuse to insure you on that basis. Of course, the insurer can still refuse to insure you for other reasons and I expect carriers to get creative on their bases for declining to insure.
The program also marks a change to the 25 percent roofing rule. Insurers can now repair a roof with more than 25 percent damage, instead of being required to replace it. The statute does not give a new percentage that would require roof replacement so, in theory, carriers can deny roof replacements even where 75% of the roof or more is in need of repair.
What this means for Contractors with Assignment of Benefits
Contractors who pursue a claim under an assignment of benefits are no longer entitled to recoup their attorney fees if they prevail in a lawsuit. This will have the effect that lawyers will likely refuse to represent Assignment of Benefit cases and the only recourse the contractor will have to get paid by insurance is through the homeowner pursuing the claim.
Assistance for insurance companies
With this bill, a $2 billion pool for reinsurance would be created to help the insurance companies, specifically ahead of hurricane season when claims could see a steep rise due to reported storm damage.
If you have a dispute, contact Brooke Boltz
Contact Brooke Boltz today if you’re a homeowner who has suffered property or home damage and your insurer has either delayed, denied, or only partially paid your claim. Brooke makes it a priority to keep a finger on the pulse of the insurance industry and she has spent years obtaining her clients the compensation they deserve. She’s not afraid to tackle the big insurance companies, and she’ll fight tirelessly for her clients. Set up a free phone consultation and start getting back on track.
Fear no storm. Brooke is here for you.