Matching repairs. Another reason why it’s so important for property owners to partner with an experienced public adjuster. If you’re wondering what public adjusters have to do with dating, there’s proof positive. It’s not about that.
In the property insurance world, “matching” has to do with something else entirely. “Matching repairs” means applying the materials and labor that integrate repairs with the undamaged areas next to them. So that the repairs are “invisible”. Florida law sets some requirements for insurers to cover matching repairs. Experienced Florida public adjusters know these inside and out.
MATCHING REPAIRS EXAMPLE
A simple example should convey the idea. Let’s use water damage. A burst pipe, let’s say, ruins half the kitchen cabinetry and sections of wood flooring. The homeowner’s insurance policy clearly covers costs of replacing the damaged structures. However, the homeowner would still be left with another kind of damage. The new cabinetry wouldn’t look the same as its adjacent neighbors. New flooring will stick out like sore thumb next to the undamaged flooring. The house would appear jerry-built from random spare parts.
Should not the homeowner be “made whole”? Shouldn’t the insurance recovery pay to restore the home to its condition before the damage? Florida Statutes Section 626.9744 answers with a “yes”. However, certain court rulings limit this “yes”.
THE LAW AND ITS LIMITATIONS
Section 626.9744 establishes that “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.” That’s pretty encouraging from a homeowner’s point of view. However, human nature being what it is, it practically begs for abuse. Floor tiling was an area where such abuse was growing rapidly. A cast iron pot falling and cracking one kitchen tile was mushrooming into claims for replacing all the tiles. Since 2012, Florida insurers have been able to limit their coverage of matching repairs to floors.
EVEN UP THE MATCH
Florida’s laws are relatively clear with regard to insurers’ obligations to cover matching repairs. Nevertheless, insurance companies are in business to make profits. They are highly motivated to find ways to defend their denials of claims for matching repairs. After all, every dollar they don’t pay out in claims goes straight to their bottom line. Hence, homeowners facing repairs that call for matching work may encounter stiff resistance. That’s when the kind of experience and knowledge Florida Loss Public Adjusters has really counts. When a homeowner goes it alone, it’s not a fair match.