Joey Childress and Chip Merlin at the 2019 First Party Claims Conference West

Joey Childress of Childress Engineering Services from Richardson, Texas, was attending the First Party Claims Conference in Marina Del Rey, California. He came up to me and showed a video and photographs of an extreme hailstorm hitting the greater Dallas Fort Worth area.


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Section 708.1.1 of the Florida Building Code, often referred to as the “25% Rule,” implements guidelines for roof replacement requirements. The section states,

Not more than 25 percent of the total roof area or roof section of any existing building or structure shall be repaired, replaced or recovered in any 12-month period unless the entire roofing system or roof section conforms to requirements of this code.
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When renewing your insurance premium, it’s common for your insurance agent to offer you any discounts you qualify for. These discounts can range in size from a few dollars to several hundred dollars, depending on the discount. For example, it is well known that a multi-policy discount can save you hundreds of dollars annually when you bundle your auto and homeowner insurance with the same carrier. A lesser known discount is the roof exclusion endorsement. This endorsement could also save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on your premium. However, it could cost you far more in the long run.
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Note: This guest post is by Steven Thomas. As President and Owner of Roof Leak Detection Company, Inc., Steven Thomas has evaluated over 20,000 roofing systems on commercial, industrial, and residential properties, and has been qualified in court as an expert in regards to roof testing and evaluations. His company is an approved Testing Laboratory and has held this certification since 1994.

I have seen a trend lately which occurs after severe weather impacts an area and damage has been caused by either hail, wind, or extreme amounts of rain (like what I witnessed this past week in Texas), and Contractors have been applying shrink wrap to roofs. Apparently, they use shrink wrap to prevent water from entering the building. When you have a leaky roof, it is costly to repair and annoying to say the least! And yes, shrink wrap can certainly provide a temporary relief from the immediate problem of water coming into the structure; however, every novel idea has its problems too!
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I have been involved in several commercial property claims where the insurer has agreed to pay the cost to remove and to replace roof shingles damaged by hail, but has refused to pay the cost to remove and to replace the decking, even though the condition of the decking is such that it no longer is in a suitable condition for application of the new shingles. The insurer’s reasons for refusing to pay for the costs of the decking removal and replacement are two-fold: (1) no coverage is afforded for the decking because it was not directly damaged by hail and (2) replacement of the decking is a code upgrade, and in my claims there was limited ordinance or law coverage. So, is the insurer right? Is replacing roof decking as part of replacing hail-damaged shingles a coverage or a scope issue? In my opinion, it is a scope of repair/replacement issue.
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Insurance companies routinely have instructions for their claims adjusters on how to adjust various types of losses. State Farm has some of the most detailed claims guidelines in the industry. I have often stated that for first-party claims, relevant claims guidelines should also be provided to the policyholders who suffer losses. Why not?


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For those of us that practice in the area of property damage in Colorado, June 6, 2012, is a day with much notoriety. A large wind and hail storm passed through the state, causing extraordinary damage. Even though it was classified as a catastrophic event, many insurers still challenged damages, so I represented a high volume of clients from this storm. However, this was not the only thing that happened on this date in Colorado. Governor Hickenlooper also signed into effect Senate Bill 12-038, “Concerning Measures to Protect Consumers who Engage a Roofing Contractor to Perform Roofing Services on Residential Property.” The full act is available online, but I wanted to draw your attention to certain parts of it as they have been topics of many recent phone calls.


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Public adjusters and policyholder attorneys were enamored with the possibility of filing class action lawsuits against contractors and roofers with contingent fee contracts or contracts that include public adjuster services. Contractors, roofers and their attorneys writing these types of contracts should be on Red Alert because those types of contracts are illegal and could result in huge disgorgements of payments to prior policyholder customers.


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