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Is My Insurance Company Supposed to Replace My Entire Roof?

We receive a lot of questions from homeowners and commercial property owners about roof claims. One of the most common questions is whether the insurance company is required to pay for a full roof replacement or whether the insurance company can pay for only portions of the roof when shingles or other roofing materials are damaged.

Very rarely is your entire roof blown off during a storm. If the whole roof were damaged, then clearly the insurer would owe for the entirety of the roof. Still, most roof claims involve portions of the roof being damaged or sections of shingles being blown off. In those instances, with partial damage, what is a policyholder entitled to?

Fortunately, in Kentucky, we have an insurance regulation, 806 KAR 12:095, that addresses this question. It says:

(b) If a loss requires replacement of items and the replaced items do not reasonably match in quality, color, and size, the insurer shall replace all 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.

What does this mean? For a roof, if a partial replacement of shingles or other roofing materials does not match the existing undamaged portion of the roof in quality, color, or size, the insurer shall (i.e. must) replace the entire roof to conform to a uniform appearance. This does not just apply to roofs, but applies to all interior (think tile flooring, for example) and exterior (roofs, bricks, etc.) losses under replacement cost policies.

Many times, the existing shingles are no longer available on the market, hence a matching shingle is unable to be found for a partial replacement. Also, even if existing shingles are available on the market, it is quite possible that the shingles still on the roof have faded or weathered over the years and do not match a new shingle. Either way, the insurance company should replace the entire roof to conform to a uniform appearance and to avoid unsightly patches,

The Kentucky Department of Insurance issues Advisory Opinions on the Department’s position on certain issues. It issued Advisory Opinion 2023-08 on October 17, 2023, regarding the roof matching provisions that required by 806 KAR 12:095. The Department explained:

The intent of this regulatory provision is to protect the value of an insured’s home or other real property, which could be damaged by the installation of a non-uniform item. The Department interprets “area” to mean the entirety of a part used for a specific purpose, i.e. an entire roof, an entire contiguous interior carpet, an entire contiguous interior tile floor, etc. This language does not permit a “line of sight” rule to be applied when replacing portions of a roof or other “area.”

To illustrate, if the shingles on one slant of a residential roof must be replaced due to damage covered by an applicable property insurance policy, and absent the availability of matching shingles that would render the slant in question reasonably uniform to the remainder of the roof, then an entirely new roof must be installed. Repairing only a portion of the roof with non-uniform shingles that do not reasonably match the remainder of the roof would diminish the value of the home. In situations where the existing roof shingles are still in production and available, use of the same shingles will satisfy the regulation despite any discoloration due to regular aging or wear from use. If the same shingles are not available, the Department would review the quality, color, and size of replacement shingles to determine whether a reasonable match has been met.

Thus, the Department essentially reiterated that the Regulation means what it says. If a partial replacement would leave a roof in a non-uniform appearance, the replacement of the entire roof is required.

If you have questions about a roof claim, please contact the attorneys at Mehr Fairbanks Trial Lawyers at 859-225-3731 or submit an inquiry through our website.

The information contained within this post should not be considered legal advice or legal representation.


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