Tampa Bay homeowner given 22 days to replace intact roof due to insurance crackdown

Better Call Behnken

Roofers say it would be impossible to replace the 14-year-old roof during such a short period

LAND O’ LAKES, Fla. (WFLA) – As insurance companies crackdown on Florida homeowners with aging roofs, Jim Seel is an extreme example of how far companies are willing to go to reduce their risk.

He was given just 22 days to replace his 14-year-old roof, even though he has had no problems with it. The task seems impossible. He called roofing contractor who said it would be four to six weeks before he could get to his roof – and quoted him $12,000.

“I don’t know where I get that from, I mean if we have to pull it out of our 401k or take it out of my son’s college fund,” Seel said.

Seel’s plight is the latest twist in an insurance nightmare hitting Tampa Bay homeowners. Insurance companies are scrutinizing roofs and canceling coverage.

In the case of non-renewals, Florida law requires you to be given 120 days notice, but in the case of new policies, the insurance company can just cancel within 90 days. State law doesn’t mandate any time-frame notice to the consumer.

Seel was told the company did an “external review” and he was provided two photos.

Since receiving the letter four days ago, he hired a roofing contractor who he says claims the roof has no immediate issues. Seel is willing to get the new roof but he says he needs time to secure funds, get estimates and line up a contractor with time to do the roof.

He says contractors tell him they are booked and ordering supplies and securing a permit takes time.

8 On Your Side investigator Shannon Behnken called Universal Property & Casualty and insurance agents all over town to see if Seel could be given more time.

A spokesman for Universal Property & Casualty looked into the situation and called back to say that if Seel has shown he is moving forward with a new roof in the four to six-week time frame, they can work to give him the time before canceling his policy.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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