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Roof Damage From Hurricane Ian? Understand Florida’s New Roofing Law

Florida’s new roofing legislation has generated a lot of discussion on Facebook for the roofing industry. Influencers on social media even announced their lack of interest in traveling to Florida. Unfortunately, having more people roof their homes after a hurricane would be more beneficial for the families affected.

What new laws have been implemented since Florida had its most recent major storm? They were mostly aimed at male residents.

The 25% Rule

The 25% roofing restriction in Florida is no longer in effect. This past summer, the insurance industry successfully persuaded Florida lawmakers to discontinue adhering to best practices in roofing construction. A major portion of your hurricane-damaged roof may be patched rather than replaced, according to recently passed legislation in Florida’s special session. Previously, a roof had to be replaced if it was damaged by more than 25%.

The Building Commission of Florida had the following regulations in place:

706.1.1: Not more than 25 percent of the total roof area or roof section of any existing building or structure shall be repaired, replaced, or recovered in any 12-month period unless the entire existing roofing system or roof section is replaced to conform to the requirements of this code.

Here is the new law [Florida Statutes 553.844(5)] which effectively overrides this longstanding building code:

Notwithstanding any provision in the Florida Building Code to the contrary, if an existing roofing system or roof section was built, repaired, or replaced in compliance with the requirements of the 2007 Florida Building Code, or any subsequent editions of the Florida Building Code, and 25 percent or more of such a roofing system or roof section is being repaired, replaced, or recovered, only the repaired, replaced, or recovered portion is required to be constructed in accordance with the Florida Building Code in effect, as applicable. The Florida Building Commission shall adopt this exception by rule and incorporate it in the Florida Building Code….a local government may not adopt by ordinance an administrative or technical amendment to this exception. …

New Claim Process Laws

There are new ordinances governing the referral of cases to attorneys. In Florida, it is well recognized that a roofer cannot contest the policy during the claim process. In order to address such matters, one would need to hire a PA or attorney. The lawyers would then proceed to contest the allegations.

These several new laws will undoubtedly reduce the number of claims. They will be slower and more difficult, giving the attorneys little opportunity to intervene.

Tips on Filing Hurricane Insurance Claims

We all hope we never have to deal with a hurricane’s aftereffects. However, if a storm damages your house, knowing what to do if you need to make an insurance claim might lessen your uncertainty and anxiety as you start the recovery process.

We have prepared our top storm insurance claim suggestions below. These will help the process of filing a claim go a little more smoothly because we are aware of the difficulties you may be experiencing.

Here’s what you need to know:

File an insurance claim

Contact your insurance company as soon as possible. It can usually be done via a 1-800 number, but you may find yourself on hold. Some companies have online portals or apps for making a report.

Prevent further damage

Put tarps on damaged roofs and cover broken windows, but only if it’s safe to do so. Failing to mitigate additional damage to your property may result in a claim being denied. If you’re spending money to prevent damage, whether it’s supplies or hiring help, keep detailed records for the insurance company. Every policy is different, but many policies cover around $3,000 of damage mitigation.

Save receipts if you relocate

Most homeowners insurance policies will cover some additional living expenses for “loss of use” of a property, meaning it’s uninhabitable until it’s repaired or completely rebuilt. This could include the cost of a hotel, or even rent on an apartment if it takes longer. It may also cover things like the cost of dining out because you don’t have a home kitchen. Don’t use cash if possible. It’s best to pay for all of this with one credit card to keep it organized, and to keep detailed records and receipts for the insurance company.

You have two years to file your claim

Florida law requires that all hurricane damage claims be filed within two years of the date of loss. Supplemental claims are limited to three years from the date of loss.

Work only with professionals

If you run into trouble, then you can work with a public adjuster or lawyer — the only people authorized by Florida law to negotiate a claim with your insurance company. Anyone else who wants you to hire them to do it may be committing a felony. To verify whether you are working with a licensed professional, go to

Be wary of contracts with Assignment of Benefits language

Florida law allows a property owner to sign over management of their insurance claim to a third party but often contractors offer to do this as a sales tactic. It is promoted as a way to allow someone else to shoulder the hassle of dealing with a difficult insurance carrier but it can also lead to higher costs, lawsuits, and potentially more delays.

Car insurance can cover storm damage

Comprehensive car insurance covers storm-related damage to your vehicle, such as if a tree falls on your car or it is affected by flooding. It can also cover a garage collapsing on your vehicle if your home is severely damaged.

Trust Sabal Construction and Roofing, LLC for Your Roofing Needs

Shingle roofingLet your insurance work for you! You should seek professional assistance if your roof has sustained major damages. And the insurance company, relying on the new rule, is just covering repairs. 

Sabal Construction and Roofing intervenes with this concern and contributes to the traumatic aftermath of Hurricane Ian. How? We assist homeowners in making the most of what can appear to be a negative situation overall. We have a roofing license and a general contractor license to help you with any hurricane damage!