Florida roofing contractors are in the midst of an insurance crisis as premiums skyrocket for residents and insurance companies leave the state. A number of new laws have been introduced that place more restrictions on how roofing contractors do business. This includes how they can advertise and file insurance claims as well as the criteria for covered roof replacements.
Roofing contractors that operate in the state of Florida must understand these new laws to adequately service homeowners and avoid legal trouble. Here are the latest changes roofing contractors should be aware of during the Florida insurance crisis.
Roofing advertising material needs specific messaging
In June 2021, Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, signed a bill into law that put restrictions on how roofing contractors can advertise and what they can say to a homeowner. While a subsequent lawsuit put the restrictions on hold for a bit, a revised version was officially introduced in June of 2022.
The new law requires roofing contractors to put specific information on all printed or electronic marketing/advertising materials. It states that contractors must use at least 12-point font, or a font that is half the size of the largest font used on the marketing piece, to convey the following, according to the Florida Legislature:
- The consumer is responsible for payment of any insurance deductible.
- It is insurance fraud punishable as a felony of the third degree for a contractor to knowingly or willfully, and with intent to injure, defraud, or deceive, pay, waive, or rebate all or part of an insurance deductible applicable to payment to the contractor for repairs to a property covered by a property insurance policy.
- It is insurance fraud punishable as a felony of the third degree to intentionally file an insurance claim containing any false, incomplete, or misleading information.
Roofing contractors operating through the Florida insurance crisis have plenty of ways to advertise while staying within these guidelines. Unfortunately, these changes are just the beginning. How roofing contractors work with homeowners has changed, as well.
Getting full roof replacements covered by insurance is more difficult
In May 2022, Florida’s 25% Roof Replacement Rule was eliminated and replaced with Senate Bill 4-D. The law originally stated that if more than 25% of the roof was damaged, the entire roof would need to be replaced to meet code requirements. SB 4-D states that as long as the rest of the roof complies with Florida’s 2007 building code, it only needs to be repaired.
This rule can be complex for roofing contractors, insurers, and homeowners alike. For instance, only homes with roofs constructed or replaced after March 1, 2009, fall under the new law. Homes that were built prior, and have not had a roof replacement, will need to have the entire roof replaced if more than 25% is damaged.
This change means that roofing contractors may not be able to sell as many complete replacement jobs, as fewer homeowner policies will cover full replacements. As a result, roofing contractors should discuss this change with homeowners and be prepared to offer financing to help homeowners cover costs that may not be covered by their insurance company.
Roofing contractors cannot file insurance claims for homeowners
In the past, homeowners could sign an Assignment of Benefits that would transfer insurance payments directly to their roofing contractor, making the process easier for both parties. However, Senate Bill 2-A, which went into effect December 16, 2022, now requires homeowners to file their own claims and hire third parties themselves, if necessary. This law puts the burden on homeowners to cover large payments if a project is denied or not paid out for the full cost of the repairs by the insurance company.
One of the reasons behind this change is to help insurance companies minimize the amount of money they pay out in claims and lawsuits. In fact, Florida currently makes up 76% of the nation’s homeowners’ insurance lawsuits.
Though roofing contractors in Florida can no longer file claims directly, they can still advise customers on how to do so and help them through the process. Contractors should implement different procedures for working with homeowners that can use an AOB and those that cannot.
How AccuLynx’s roofing software can help contractors as insurance laws change
Roofing software won’t solve the Florida insurance crisis, but it can help roofing contractors streamline operations and provide the best service to homeowners. AccuLynx’s all-in-one business management software allows roofing contractors to manage every aspect of their work from a single system. AccuLynx includes CRM, estimating, production scheduling, project management, aerial measurements, material ordering, photo sharing, payment processing, custom reporting, homeowner financing, and more. Roofing contractors that use AccuLynx save, on average, nine hours per week and grow total job profits by 32% after their first year.
If you’re interested in taking the next step to grow your roofing business, AccuLynx is offering $250 Visa gift cards to new customers that sign up by February 2, 2024!