Florida Public Adjuster Discuss Property Insurance & Matching Statute

Noble Public Adjusting Group always strives to keep our blog readers informed and educated about all things involving property insurance. To accomplish this goal, today we want to discuss an issue which is always hotly debated, especially by insurance providers. This is the issue of matching. In an earlier blog post, we discussed matching, but today we would like to go into more detail. What we are specifically talking about is the idea of having everything that is replaced or installed match at your home or commercial property after a loss.

Florida Public Adjuster Discuss Property Insurance and Matching

Let’s use a few examples of how the issue of matching comes up. Suppose some shingles on your roof are damaged, but not all. Do you end up with the replacement of a few shingles that don’t match the rest of your roof? No. You need your whole roof replaced. Or let’s say a part of your carpet is damaged. Your insurance company wants to only pay for replacing the damaged portion, but that means it will be patched leaving a new part slightly different looking in the middle of a room. This is unacceptable.

Florida homeowners and commercial property owners, like those who own condos or hotels, are actually much luckier than those in many other states, because in Florida, matching is mandatory. Fla. Stat. § 626.9744 prevents an insurer from attempting to depreciate the undamaged portion of the structure that needs to be replaced due to matching:

 “(2)  When a loss requires replacement of items and the replaced items do not match in quality, color, or size, the insurer shall make reasonable repairs or replacement of items in adjoining areas.”

As we stated above, this issue of matching is hotly disputed by insurance providers. And of course, we know why, they are going to have to spend a lot more money to replace a whole roof or the total carpet in your home if they honor the matching concept, which will return your home to its pre-loss condition. Insurance companies are not in the business of shelling out money they don’t have to. They are in the business of making money. Like any business, profit is their bottom line. So they will often fight homeowners or commercial property owners on the matching issue. That is why you need a public adjuster. We understand the language of insurance, betterment, and matching like nobody’s business.

Ultimately, insurance policies are legal contracts. This means that the policy language will control much of the dispute if matching comes up. On the issue of matching, most insurance policies contain language that says something like this: “We will provide coverage to pay the cost of repair or replacement with similar construction and materials.”  The term similar is broad and can be loosely defined by insurance companies. Similar material and construction could mean a lot of different things depending on the specific circumstances. This is where many matching property insurance claims end up in dispute. The insurance company will sometimes make a case that a certain repair or replacement is sufficiently similar, and therefore that they fulfilled their obligations under the policy, whereas the property owner will counter that repaired or replaced property simply does not match. Therefore, it must be fixed or a full replacement must occur to satisfy the obligations of the policy.

As you can well see, having a public adjuster like Noble Public Adjusting Group on your side will eliminate these issues. However, remember one important thing even if you don’t choose to hire us. Under Florida’s insurance regulations, property insurance companies are required to make efforts to ensure that any replaced items (siding, roofing, flooring) match. This is not always possible, as sometimes materials are no longer on the market or become prohibitively expensive. When reasonable matching is not possible, insurance companies are legally required to pay the costs to replace the entire section of the structure, including previously undamaged parts, so that it has a reasonably uniform appearance.

We hope this blog post has helped clear up any confusion you may have had as a homeowner or commercial property owner when it comes to matching. Noble Public Adjusting Group wants you to know that if you have filed an insurance claim but are having an issue with matching, we can fix the problem. Also, with the beginning of the Hurricane Season occurring every June, it makes for the perfect time to have us go over your property insurance policy with you, to make sure you have all the coverage you need in case you experience a loss.

Contact us today to discuss matching or anything else you have on your mind. We love hearing from our blog readers!

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