Hurricane Irma caused an estimated $50 billion in damage, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It was the fifth-costliest U.S. hurricane on record, and a sizable chunk of that estimate is attributed to roof damage.
As Southwest Florida residents can attest, some homes and businesses had their roofs quickly replaced or repaired, and others sat in disrepair for months on end.
Why weren’t they all fixed?
Roofers and insurance companies certainly were overwhelmed, but that’s not the only reason some roofs were not repaired.
Let’s start with the Florida Building Code. The extensive guidelines provide that “not more than 25% 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 the requirements of this code.” This means that if more than one-fourth of a roof was damaged, insurance companies might be liable to cover the cost of a partial or full roof replacement.
If less than 25% of a roof was damaged, insurance companies can still pick up the cost of repairs. However, most hurricane insurance policies have a deductible, which is either a flat amount that property owners must pay before insurance kicks in, or a percentage based on the total repair cost. Deductibles can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands, and considering many Southwest Florida residents and businesses lost income and revenue immediately after the storm, simply cutting a check for a large deductible wasn’t in the budget.
Hurricane damage is unpredictable, but there are steps that property owners and property managers can take to ensure the post-hurricane insurance claims process isn’t as painful:
- Pre-hurricane prep: Winds can dislodge shingles and tiles, but a lot of roof damage is caused by flying debris. Trim trees near any structure and securely store any potential flying objects located on the property.
- Photo evidence: It’s important to have before-and-after photos to document the condition of a roof. Insurance companies appreciate documentation when evaluating claims, and photo evidence eliminates any potential argument that a roof was already damaged before the storm hit.
- Inspection reports: Written and dated inspection reports from a reputable, certified inspector demonstrate a property owner’s commitment to proper maintenance and offer another piece of evidence outlining the roof’s condition before a storm.
- Annual maintenance plan: Beyond hurricane insurance policies, roofing materials and installation might still be under warranty. However, many warranties require regular maintenance to remain valid, so we offer annual maintenance plans to provide peace of mind to our commercial clients.
Target Roofing works hand-in-hand with property insurance companies, and after Hurricane Irma, our team was on a first-name basis with local representatives working on behalf of the nation’s largest insurance companies. We know what they need to process a claim, and we even help our clients by providing detailed inspection reports and itemized estimates.
Target Roofing’s portfolio includes high-rises, apartment buildings, condominiums, shopping plazas, churches, schools and government facilities. Do you have questions about property insurance and your roofing needs? Contact our team today by clicking here or email admin@TargetRoofers.com.