In 1990, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners adopted a new section to its model regulations relating to unfair property claims.1
Section 9 of the model regulation provides:2
A. When the policy provides for the adjustment and settlement of first-party losses based on replacement cost, the following shall apply:
(2) When a loss requires replacement of items and the replaced items do not match in quality, color or size, the insurer shall replace all such items in the area so as to conform to a reasonably uniform appearance. This applies to interior and exterior losses. The insured shall not bear any cost over the applicable deductible, if any.
Florida adopted a version of this regulation in Fla. Stat. Ann. § 626.9744, Claim settlement practices relating to property insurance.
Florida requires the insurer to “make reasonable repairs or replacement of items in adjoining areas” when there is a loss requiring replacement of items and the replaced items do not match in quality, color or size.3
Florida, however, allows the insurer to “consider the cost of repairing or replacing the undamaged portions of the property, the degree of uniformity that can be achieved without such cost, the remaining useful life of the undamaged portion, and other relevant factors” in determining the extent of the repairs or replacement of items in adjoining areas.4
Florida’s matching statute is significant because it provides an insured with coverage for undamaged property where there is no match to the damaged portion of covered property. An example would be where a roof is partially damaged as a result from Hurricane Irma and matching roof materials for repairs are unavailable.
Finally, the Florida statute specifically applies to homeowner policies, not commercial insurance policies.5
1 Unfair Property/Casualty Claims Settlement Practices Model Regulation § 9(A) (Nat’l Assoc. of Ins. Comm’rs 1997), available at http://www.naic.org/store/free/MDL-902.pdf
2 Id. Emphasis added.
3 Fla. Stat. Ann. § 626.9744 (emphasis added).
5 Id.; see also Strasser v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., No. 09–60314–CIV, 2010 WL 667945 at *1 (S.D. Fla. Feb. 22, 2010) (observing that Fla. Stat. § 626.9744 matching requirement only applies to homeowner’s policies).