A bill supported by roofing contractors, adjusters and consumer lawyers in Georgia would require insurers to provide full replacements of certain roofs, even if only a few shingles are damaged.
Supporters of the bill gathered at Georgia’s capitol in early March to convince Rep. Eddie Lumsden, chair of the Insurance Committee, to hold a hearing on HB 1310. The bill would be similar to laws already in place in states like Florida that call for the full replacement of most roofs.
“Tennessee, Florida, these laws are implemented in those states,” Georgia consumer attorney Remington Huggins told Fox-affiliated WAGA-TV. “And all we ask is that the homeowners across the state of Georgia have the same representation.”
According to the current version of the HB 1310, if a loss requires a replacement of the items and the items don’t match quality, color or size, the insurer is to replace “all items in the area to conform to a reasonably uniform appearance.” This would be applied to both interior and exterior losses, with the insured not bearing any extra costs outside of the deductible.
According to a story from WAGA-TV, the problem stems from homeowners who are struggling with roof repairs and replacements involving discontinued shingles like the Atlas Chalet. Some insurance companies will only pay for repairing damaged shingles, even if the new shingles don’t match the rest of the roof.
"You can’t fix an Atlas Chalet shingle roof," said Tim Varga, president of the Georgia Association of Public Insurance Adjusters. "You can’t use a discontinued product with a new product and consider it repaired right."
Critics of the bill, such as Insurance Commissioner John King, argue that it would cause multiple insurance rate increases, similar to what Florida has experienced.
The law would prohibit an insurer from requiring the use of a preferred vendor or contractor, but still allows it to recommend a vendor or contractor.