TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Florida homeowners are starting to see the results of insurance companies taking drastic measures to prevent future losses. And this could be just the beginning.
The proposed legislation has already made it through one legislative committee and would allow insurance companies to change the way they cover roofs that are more than 10-years-old.
“It’s a constant of the insurance companies of trying to claim that reasons they keep raising rates every single year is because of all this fraud, and then they come with solutions that always end up coming out of the pocket of the consumers,” said State Senator Annette Taddeo, a Democrat from Miami.
Taddeo, along with two other senators voted against the bill that passed through the first of three committee hearings this week.
Senate Bill 76 was proposed by Jim Boyd, a Republican from Bradenton. The bill would allow insurance companies to offer policies for roofs over 10-years-old that would provide what’s called actual cash value, instead of the replacement cost.
Settlements would be based on what the insurance company determines your old, depreciated roof is worth now.
Why? Boyd says it’s because of years of fraudulent roof claim litigation costing insurance companies billon and shrinking the number of policies offered in the Sunshine state.
“At the end of the day, what I’m hoping we can do is provide more access to markets, more markets will be interested in working in Florida, and driving consumers costs down,” Boyd said.
He said he feels badly for consumers who will be faced with the unexpected hardship of replacing a roof early, especially during a pandemic. However, he said he feels this is the right thing to do in the long run.
Boyd explained that premiums are going up significantly and this legislation will actually help keep premiums down in the future. When that happens, he explained, homeowners will have more money to save for future roof replacements.
“As homeowners, I think you have some obligation that overtime a roof is going to need replacing, and you have to start setting money aside or whatever it takes to be prepared for that day,” Boyd said.