August 16, 2022
The property insurance market in the state of Florida has faced many issues over the past year and in an attempt to address some of these problems two new property insurance bills were recently passed. These include SB 2-D and SB 4-D. What is so critical about these news laws is the fact that they both have provisions that relate directly to roofs, which is causing major changes to how homeowners can purchase homeowners insurance policies in Florida.
Both of these laws have several changes. But of course, what has to be one of the greater changes that came out of this is Florida Statute § 627.7011(5). Created by SB 2-D, this new statute applies to policies issued or renewed on or after July 1, 2022 and it prohibits insurance companies from refusing to insure a home with a roof that is less than 15 years old.
Per the statute, if the roof is at least 15 years old, and the carrier requires the replacement of the roof to issue or renew the policy, the homeowner can have a roof inspection paid for by the homeowner. The insurer is now prohibited from refusing to issue a policy solely because of the age of the roof if the inspector determines that the roof has 5 or more years of useful life left.
Other changes to property insurance laws from the creation of SB 2-D and SB 4-D include changes to roof deductibles, underwriting, a 25% rule under Florida building code for roof repairs, advertising, assignments of benefits, and attorney’s fees.
Another major change includes the amendment to Florida Statute § 489.147, which requires that a contractor or public adjuster advertisement contain, in at least 12 point font size and no smaller than at least half the font size as the largest font size used in the communication, the following language:
- The consumer is responsible for payment of any insurance deductible;
- It is insurance fraud punishable as a felony of the third degree for a contractor to knowingly or willfully, and with intent to injure, defraud, or deceive, pay, waive, or rebate all or part of an insurance deductible applicable to payment to the contractor for repairs to a property covered by a property insurance policy; and
- It is insurance fraud punishable as a felony of the third degree to intentionally file an insurance claim containing any false, incomplete, or misleading information.