Statistics show that about 40% of all hurricanes that hit the U.S. make landfall in Florida, making it necessary for families to have a disaster plan in place. Yet even as they are able to move to a safer location during a powerful hurricane, many owners of homes located along Florida’s coastlines worry about not having enough insurance protection against possible devastations.
Private Insurance Companies are Either Hiking Up Insurance Costs or Canceling Policies
While climate change used to be a debatable topic in Florida, the reality is that majority of the insurance companies in the region have received approval to increase insurance rates, or cancel insurance policies due to “extraordinary” circumstances.
According to the state regulator, early cancellation of policies is deemed necessary as an extraordinary remedy, for insurance companies facing debilitating financial conditions. Private insurance companies in Florida are struggling to maintain the minimum amount of surplus funds required by state regulators to ensure payment of claims. However, ever since the occurrences of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Michael, insurers have been reporting that the amounts they’ve spent on claims have been exceeding amounts received as premium payments.
Actually many insurance claims for home repairs have been ignored, causing upheavals that led to lawsuits. Insurers on the other hand, are blaming general contractors, particularly roofers, for making Florida homeowners incur unnecessary building repairs.
Florida lawmakers stepped in by passing legislation that prescribe new guidelines for insurance claims and denials. Under the new law, roofing contractors are now banned from directly offering free inspection services to homeowners in order to land contractor deals.
However, as the turn of events has it, even residents of older Florida condominiums no longer feel safe, after part of the Champlain Tower collapsed last June. Subsequent audits of apartments and condominiums in the Miami Dade area, revealed that many had fallen behind on inspection processes.
Inspection reports reveal the necessary repairs that have to be completed to prevent minor defects from causing further damage. Overtime, unaddressed issues could compromise the integrity of the building and the safety of dwellers.
Why Post-Hurricane Home Inspection in Florida is of Utmost Importance
Florida’s hurricane season has hardly been kind to many homes in the southern part of the state, including those in the Tampa Bay area. After every battering and flooding, new defects may or may not surface.
Since home inspections pose as extra costs that most homeowners try to avoid, roofing contractors began offering them as a free service. After all, their knowledge of roofing systems, their actual training and years of experience as certified roof contractors have given them a better understanding of the most common defects that occur after a hurricane.
Missing shingles and roof leaks are the most common, which if not thoroughly inspected and repaired, the occurrence of another hurricane or even a tropical storm, could make a home susceptible to water infiltration . Roofing experts at Tampa Bay Roof give advice that water accumulating on roofs could find other entry ways, through damaged sidings and/or gutters lifted by high winds.
While insurers tend to question the need to repair sidings in addressing roof leaks, certified roofers know by experience that water inflation could lead to further and costlier damages through such defects. Continuous water infiltration can cause rotting in wood structures, as well as seep into concrete walls, and over time, corrode metal support.
As it is, however, Florida homeowners have to make the initiative to get their homes inspected. Yet they still face uncertainties on whether or not their insurance provider will reject, or accept a claim for reimbursement via their policy coverage.