Florida property insurers dropping homeowners based on roofs’ age

Insurers blame mountain of lawsuits and fraudulent claims

ORLANDO, Fla. – Homeowners in Florida are being dropped from their insurers because of the age of their roofs, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

It is the latest twist in Florida’s ongoing property insurance problem.

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Susie Blanchard said stress and anxiety came after she got a notice of non-renewal from her homeowner’s insurance, effective early April.

The reason listed is “exposure management.” Blanchard says she has no idea what it means.

“We’ve always paid everything on time. We’ve never had any claims,” she said.

When she started looking for other insurers, she says she was told since her roof is older than 10 years old, it would be difficult.

“When we called our insurance agent, she said, ‘good luck finding something’,” Blanchard said.

Blanchard’s home was built in 2004, so her roof is 18 years old.

She even had it inspected.

Chad Pyland with Next Dimension Construction and Roofing did a full inspection of Blanchard’s roof.

“No major wind damage or storm damage, Pyland told News 6. “She has two to three years left on the roof. There’s no need for immediate replacement.”

“I see a lot of homeowners that have life left in their roof, that don’t need replacement, but insurance companies are forcing them to replace early,” Pyland said.

Mark Friedlander is the director of corporate communications with the Insurance Information Institute and says it is becoming more prevalent.

“Florida’s homeowner’s insurance market is very volatile right now,” Friedlander said.

“This has been driven over the last few years by fraudulent roofing schemes, fraudulent roofing claims, and frivolous lawsuits,” he said.

Homeowners with shingle roofs should be prepared to replace them around the 10-year mark in order to keep their insurance, according to Friedlander.

Metal and tile roofs last much longer, according to Pyland.

Homeowners should contact their insurers and ask what their policy is about aging roofs, so they are not caught off guard.

About the Author:

Emmy Award-winning reporter Louis Bolden joined the News 6 team in September of 2001 and hasn't gotten a moment's rest since. Louis has been a General Assignment Reporter for News 6 and Weekend Morning Anchor. He joined the Special Projects/Investigative Unit in 2014.