Excerpted from Independent Insurance Agents of Iowa, Iowa Agent Newsletter – June 23, 2014 |
Question: My client’s house was damaged by hail, the siding is no longer made and can’t be matched. How should this loss be settled? The client has replacement coverage on the home and the carrier does not believe they have to replace all the siding to match. Is this correct?
IIAI Answer: If the siding does not match and that can clearly be seen from a visual point, then the carrier must match the siding. (Iowa has a line of sight regulation; 15.44(1) can be read below.) The key provision is the “reasonably uniform appearance within the same line of sight” term. So, if you stand at the corner of the house and can clearly see the siding does not match, the carrier must replace it. This would be the same for roofs, paint, flooring etc. Here is the legal requirement:
IAC 191-15.44 states:
15.44(1) Replacement cost. When the policy provides for the adjustment and settlement of first party losses based on replacement cost, the following shall apply:
a. When a loss requires repair or replacement of an item or part, any consequential physical damage incurred in making such repair or replacement not otherwise excluded by the policy shall be included in the loss. The insured shall not have to pay for betterment or any other cost except for the applicable deductible.
b. When a loss requires replacement of items and the replaced items do not match in quality, color or size, the insurer shall replace as much of the item as is necessary to result in a reasonably uniform appearance within the same line of sight. This sub-rule applies to interior and exterior losses. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis. The insured shall not bear any cost over the applicable deductible, if any.