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Monday, November 19, 2012

Insurance Policies and Code Upgrade Rider

Until recently if something on your roof, or any other part of the home, was not up to code and replacement was covered by the insurance carrier, the insurance paid for the upgrade to code compliance. The insurance doesn't pay for sloppy workmanship, seconds or defective materials, or anything that is not a sudden loss by an "Act of God." But they would pay if a legal government entity like the state, county or municipality required better materials.

If a Homeowners Association or the Mafia required you to put on thicker shingles or decking you were out of pocket.

The change came recently as we fought the insurance companies to pay for better decks on homes with 3/8" decking and won. These thin decks had their roofs replace several times and like most roofs were improperly ventilated. They were safety hazards not only for the roofers but for anyone going up their to get an errant newspaper or put out a fire.

In the recent past many areas allowed fire resistant decking to be used on multifamily condos in lieu of through roof firewalls. The accelerated testing methods did not show that once heated the chemicals used for the fire retardant slowly destroyed the structural integrity of the manufactured wood. Sheet happens and sometimes 4x8.

Last summer an employee of an insurance company said he was going to talk to the cities and see if he could get some relief. That means inferior building codes. Now Irving allows for 3/8" decking to be laid over your worn out decking that is unfit for a sanitary landfill.

A small step for insurance, a giant fall for the firemen. Anyway, if you can find 3/8", it is not that much cheaper but the insurance doesn't have to pay for the removal and disposal of the old deck. This is the unblemished endorsement of shoddy workmanship that insurance companies warn you about.

In conclusion it is reasonable though. You shouldn't expect your insurance to remodel your home. Now go ask your agent if he's offered you the code upgrade feature and if there is anything else he should tell you before he gets you with the low bid policy that covers very little.

Do you even know what your deductible is and if it the same for all types of claims? If you ask your agent for advice and he's experienced, he'll probably get to work and explain your options. There are lots of shortcuts being thrown out there these days and you don't want to find out the hard way that you didn't have flood, fire, arson or code upgrade coverage.

Jon Alan Wright
Jon Wright Roofing, Siding, and Windows
1915 Peters Rd., Suite 310
Irving, TX 75061
972.251.1818 Office
214.718.3748 Cell
972.554.8090 Fax
    Follow jwrightroofing on Twitter

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's the dripping sarcasm, but I have no idea what you are for or against. What is the Wright way to handle bad decking?

Jon Wright said...

Hello Anom, Please don't destroy my site. The best way is to replace it. Tear out the old and put in new. Best to use 5/8" minimum but 7/16" will suffice. Jon

Anonymous said...

Thanks. What a tragedy for Irving. Deck overlays are an absolute disaster. It is hard enough to get a nail to hold into the decks out there now- trying to get a nail to stay put on a floating deck is not going to happen. And the hacks will not be tearing off the old felt which will just result in more trapped moisture.
It is easier to just tear off the old decking. It is barely nailed down anyway. Go back with radiant barrier. It should be a crime not to use radiant barrier.

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