Matching can be one of the more difficult and contested issues in the property insurance world. Some jurisdictions address the issue by statutes and regulations requiring the replacement of undamaged items when the damaged items cannot be replaced in a way that achieves a reasonably uniform appearance. Other jurisdictions address the issue through case law.
In Connecticut, there is a statute, Conn. Gen. Stat. § 38a-316e, which provides:
Matching of adjacent items under real property covered loss.
When a covered loss for real property requires the replacement of an item or items and the replacement item or items do not match adjacent items in quality, color or size, the insurer shall replace all such items with material of like kind and quality so as to conform to a reasonably uniform appearance. This provision shall apply to interior and exterior covered losses.
Last year, the Superior Court of Connecticut discussed the application of the state’s matching regulation in, Kamansky v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., CV-18-6094809S, 2019 WL 2374343 Â (Conn. Super. Ct. Apr. 30, 2019). In that case, a car crash damaged the siding of a policyholder’s home. The policyholder filed a claim with his insurance carrier and argued that under § 38-316e, the original siding had faded, and full replacement was required. The insurance carrier denied coverage under the policy and relied on an exclusion for wear and tear, marring, and deterioration. The court, narrowly interpreting the word “adjacent,” ruled that the carrier was not required to replace all siding, as there was undamaged siding that was not “adjacent” to the damaged siding.
Whether a policy covers matching depends on your specific jurisdiction, and the terms and conditions of the applicable policy. Merlin Law Group has written extensively on the topic of matching. Make sure to check out these blog posts: