The building code for the state of Florida includes a section devoted to roof damage and the issue of repairs.
In determining how much of your roof qualifies for repair or replacement, the so-called “25 percent rule” applies. Will your insurance company be on board?
About the rule
The 25 percent rule in the Florida building Code appears in Section 611.1.1 and states: “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 requirements of this code.”
What it means
If damage occurs to more than 25% of your roof, you must bring the entire roof up to code. In some cases, the building code divides a roof into sections. Therefore, if one section sustains more than 25% damage, replacement need only apply to that particular section. On the other hand, if less than 25% of your roof suffers damage, Section 611.1.1 does not apply. For example, perhaps a small corner of the roof suffers damage because a tree falls on it. According to the Florida Building Code, you must only have that small area of damage repaired. Patching the area will suffice.
Why roof damage occurs
Your roof may consist of anything from asphalt shingles to ceramic or clay tiles. Any kind of roofing material is subject to wear and tear from the elements. For all its fine weather, Florida also has its share of natural disasters, such as heavy rainstorms and hurricanes, which can damage your roof. Over time, wind can also be a factor in roof damage.
How the insurance company reacts
Your insurer will probably scrutinize your claim for roof damage in view of the 25 percent rule. Because the insurance company wants to hold on to as much money as possible, it may either try to provide a less-than-adequate settlement for the repairs to your roof or deny your claim altogether. If this occurs and negotiation is not successful, litigation will likely follow.